1963 Shelby Cobra by Superformance
Few names are more intertwined with the history of American sports cars than Shelby. From beginnings as a successful racing driver, Carrol Shelby was obsessed with speed and dreamed of building his own sports car. With Bristol, the engine manufacturer for AC, announcing that it would no longer produce the motor used in the Ace, AC was forced to look elsewhere for its power plants and turned to the Ford 2.6l from the Zephyr. The Zephyr-powered AC Ace was short lived, however, after Carrol Shelby approached AC with an idea that would result in one of the most iconic cars ever made. The idea for the AC Cobra was simple: modify the existing Zephyr-powered chassis to accept a small block V8. While synonymous with Ford today, Shelby’s initial choice of engine manufacturer was Chevrolet. But while Chevy was not keen on the idea of shoehorning their V8 into a small British car and creating more competition for their Corvette, Ford seemed more excited by the idea. That same year, the Ace was discontinued in favor of this new high-performance variant. The AC Cobra was an instant hit. The 289 cu in Windsor powered Cobras had given birth to an unexpected champion of speed by combining American power and British handling characteristics, and it proved itself to be
While the Shelby/AC cooperative effort received legendary status nearly immediately after its unveiling, and later iterations only helped to solidify its position in the proverbial hall of fame, this was not a car that many people would ever have the chance to see in person, let alone drive or own. Many replica Cobras have been built and have flooded the market with varying levels of quality and adherence to the original build sheets, but few have been given the official nod by Carrol Shelby himself. Superformance is one such company that pride themselves and building the cars the right way, just as they would have been built by AC and Shelby and the only company that is official Shelby Licensed products. Much like Lynx and their phenomenal Jaguar recreations, Superformance’s Shelby Cobras, the strict adherence to the original production practices and an unrelenting eye for aesthetic and dimensional authenticity puts them ahead of the rest, and that shows with this gorgeous MKII Slab Side roadster. Much like the body of the car, the driving experience is indistinguishable from the original. From unbelievable acceleration to its famous handling characteristics, Superformance has managed to bring the Cobra back to life with this car.
This beautiful Cobra is finished in deep green paint over black leather interior. Power from the Ford 289 power plant is sent to the rear wheels without and electronic interference through an upgraded 5-speed transmission. Though the MKII Cobra was not equipped with the later massive 7.0L Ford 427, this smaller 4.7L V8 provides a visceral experience that the driver realize just how brilliantly insane Shelby must have been to create the later 427. Acceleration is explosive and nearly unimaginable in a British lightweight from the 1960s, with every blip of the throttle guaranteed to remind any car enthusiast why, with boyish enthusiasm, we so frequently hung Shelby Cobra posters on our walls. This car would be perfectly at home on those posters, still looking and feeling as if it had just rolled out of the factory.