Fox News has a story about a Shelby Cobra 427 Super Snake being sold at auction for $5.5 million. Although not a world record, this is the highest ever paid for an American car.
And when you see the spec for this car, it becomes clear why it sold for so much. Made in 1966, the Super Snake added twin superchargers to the 427 Ford V8 – that gave it a 0-60mph time of around 3 seconds, unimagineable acceleration at the time.
Now that’s what I call hairy…
Also known as the Shelby Cobra, it was the result of fitting a 260 cu.in. (4.2 liter) Ford V8 into a British sportscar of the early sixties, the AC Ace. As such, it is claimed by both nations as theirs, understandably so since it is so desirable that innumerable companies around the world produce replicas of it. Later, the Ford 427 in. (7.0 liter) V8 was fitted and it became the hairy monster we know so well.
It was an obvious candidate for sportscar racing and was entered several times at Le Mans in the sixties. These were often hardtops like the car below. They did not win but put on a glorious show with their growling V8 exhaust note.
AC Cars stopped making the basic Ace body shell in 1968 but Carroll Shelby, the man who turned them into Cobras in America, went through a long legal battle to obtain the right to continue manufacturing them. He won and is still making them today.
The performance has a lot to do with the popularity of the car, the formula of lightweight British sportscar with big American V8 being bound to succeed, but the looks have something to do with it too. Fitting so large an engine has necessitated widening the track and given the car huge wheel arches that accentuate its impression of power. And the whole car bulges with muscle like an automotive Schwarzenegger.
It’s not exactly the prettiest car on the road but it sure turns heads!