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(A couple of) Carroll Shelby’s greatest creations

1965 Shelby GT350

We mentioned earlier in the week, when we made our quick overview of Carroll Shelby’s career, that we’ll be talking about him and some of his machines later on in the week, well this is that day, we’ll be taking a similarly quick look at some of the machines that make up his legacy.

He is a legend because of one simple truth, at least some of the things that he did worked extremely well. We’re not saying that everything he did was worthy of the record-books, but there are quite a few things that are, such as winning Le Mans as a driver, a team manager and a constructor – the only man to have done this – and also he’s mostly to thank for the Mustang‘s reputation as a performance car. Obviously there’s the Cobra, without which the Viper would have never just sprung up from the ground, not to mention that he worked on the Viper as well.


1962 AC Cobra

What made this car unique at its launch and a very important point of reference since then, has been its stylish look and shape. While the basic idea behind the style can be found in the 1953 AC Ace, the Cobra is still the loveliest of the British-American hybrid cars not to mention one of the most important cars of the muscle decade. It is probably the most popular kit car model out there.


1964 Cobra Daytona Coupe

This variation on the initial Cobra was designed by Pete Brock, and replaced the British influences with more Italian ones. The vehicle worked as planned and beat Ferrari’s equally-legendary 250 GTO, however only six of these cars were built, so it is actually rarer than the 250 GTO.


1965 427 Cobra

For this Cobra, Shelby applied some of his Texan values, meaning more of everything is always better, this is why this Cobra features the 427-inch side-oiler from Ford. The chassis had to be upgraded as well, in order to handle the extra power and bulk of the thing and the coil springs were replaced with the leaf jobs from the AC.


1965 Shelby Mustang GT 350

This is the model that turned the Mustang, from a ‘secretary’s car’ as he used to call it, into a performance beast, just as John DeLorean was starting the muscle-car wars with the early versions of the Pontiac GTO.


1992 Dodge Viper RT/10

We skipped a few decades to reach this modern interpretation of the Cobra. The car was built with Shelby’s input, and to strengthen the link to the original, this one got the name of an aggressive snake as well.

These have been just five of the many more models that Shelby has worked on during his career, some might not even consider these to be his most important, we’re not saying they are, just that they are part of his greatest creations.

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