V10-powered Ford Shelby Cobra concept up for bidding in November

This is what Ford thinks the Cobra would have been had Shelby been starting this century | Larry Edsall photo

With J Mays as its design director, Ford Motor Company was into what Mays called “retrofuturism” in the early years of this century. There was a new Mustang that harkened to the late 1960s. There was the Ford GT, an update of the historic GT40s that won at Le Mans. There were all sorts of retro-inspired concept cars.

Among those concepts was the 2004 Ford Shelby Cobra, that joined the Mustang and GT in what Mays termed the “trilogy of Ford’s most legendary performance vehicles.”

That 2004 Ford Shelby Cobra will cross the auction block in early November at GAA Classic Cars auction at the Palace in Greensboro, North Carolina. The winning bidder will write his or her check to the Henry Ford Estate, a 501-C3 charity that will apply the money to the restoration of Fair Lane, the Dearborn, Michigan, estate of Henry and Clara Ford.

Concept car interior

Note: Because the concept did not go into production, for liability purposes, Ford will “render the car completely not driveable” before its delivery to its next owner, although the engine will remain functional.

That engine is something Carroll Shelby didn’t have available when he built the original Cobra, and which likely wouldn’t have fit within the engine compartment of the AC body he used to create the Ferrari-beating sports car. The engine is a specially created 6.4-liter V10 with an aluminum block and heads, featuring velocity stacks, a 10.8:1 compression ratio and pumping out 605 horsepower and 501 pound-feet of torque.

Just as in Shelby’s Cobras, the engine is up front, the driven wheels in the back.

The concept weighs a little more than 3,000 pounds and has no roof, window glass or radio.

Cobra was displayed at recent Quail motorsports event in California

“That’s the formula,” Shelby said when the car was unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. “It’s a massive motor in a tiny, lightweight car.”

GAA’s brochure about the concept notes that because the Ford GT program was codenamed Petunia within Ford, the team working on the Cobra concept operated under the name “Daisy.”

“The Daisy name was a little tongue-in-cheek,” said Chris Theodore, who headed Ford’s advanced-product team. “It was a little bit of a tease. Everybody knew we were up to something, but they didn’t know what. I call it a fan dance — the most tantalizing secrets are the ones that you know are there, but can’t quite see.”

For complete details, visit the special GAA Shelby Cobra Concept website.

Shelby’s Venice crew brings back GT350R as it was meant to be

The Original Venice Crew's Shelby GT350R at McCall Motorworks Revival at the Monterey Jet Center | Larry Edsall photos
The Original Venice Crew’s Shelby GT350R at McCall Motorworks Revival at the Monterey Jet Center | Larry Edsall photos

Back in 1964, Pete Brock designed several additional enhancements for the K-Code Ford Mustangs that Shelby American was racing as the 1965 GT350R. However, the demands of the racing season left little time to build very many of them. Thus only 36 of the 562 GT350s for 1965 carried the “R” designation and independent rear suspension.

Now, however, comes word that the Original Venice Crew — the earliest Shelby team was based in Venice, California — will build a limited run of 36 continuation cars incorporating Brock’s upgrades. The cars will be licensed by Carroll Shelby Licensing and the Ford Motor Company, according a news release. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1967 Shelby GT500

1967 Shelby GT500
1967 Shelby GT500

Mustangs have been on my mind a lot lately. Between my quest for a new daily driver and my social media feeds exclusively displaying all things Mustang, and the upcoming Team Shelby Monterey trip, I couldn’t help myself from browsing ClassicCars.com to see what was listed.

Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1968 Shelby GT350

The Shelby looks nicely finished in correct Sunlit Gold
The Shelby looks nicely finished in correct Sunlit Gold

There are Mustangs and then there are Mustangs. Ford built a lot of pony cars, and while many are just standard Mustangs, there are a number of them that are a lot more interesting and valuable than others.

The top of the heap for street cars is the 1965 Shelby GT350. Sadly, the cost for one of these is north of $300,000. But there are a number of other special Mustangs out there that are a lot more affordable and still very special, which leads me to the Pick of the Day, a 1968 Shelby GT350 located in Springfield, Ohio. Continue reading

More on that stolen Shelby Mustang headed to auction

1968 Shelby GT500 was stolen in 1970 but has clear title for Reno auction | MAG photos
1968 Shelby GT500 was stolen in 1970 but has clear title for Reno auction | MAG photos

On June 1, we shared the tale of a 1968 Shelby GT500 Ford Mustang that had been stolen in 1970, was impounded 41 years later by a Mustang-savvy police officer, eventually went to court to have its ownership determined, and now would be offered up for bidding at the Motorsports Auction Group’s Hot August Nights sale August 10-12 in Reno, Nevada.

As they used to say, the switchboard lit up. The story drew massive interest among visitors to the Daily News at ClassicCars.com, and many of you left comments about the car’s post-recovery ownership status. Continue reading

Stolen Shelby GT500 headed to Hot August Nights auction

Mustang savvy police officer spotted GT500 stolen 41 years earlier | MAG photos
Mustang savvy police officer spotted GT500 stolen 41 years earlier | MAG photos

On February 9, 1970, Robert Lanyon discovered that his 1968 Shelby Mustang GT500 had been stolen. Even though the car remained in the same vicinity, Lanyon would never drive it again.

Forty-one years after Lanyon’s car was stolen, Tim Sullivan, a San Mateo, California, police sergeant and Mustang enthusiast, was following a ’68 GT500 and, out of curiosity, ran its registration. The report came back that the car wasn’t registered as a ’68, but as a 1965 model. Continue reading

Driven: Superformance Cobra from new Arizona dealership

The road-ready Superformance MKIII stands on 18-inch wheels and performance tires | Bob Golfen photos
The road-ready Superformance MKIII stands on 18-inch wheels and performance tires | Bob Golfen photos

The little red roadster started with a thunderous blast, a full-throated roar from its fat side pipes that seemed to thicken the air. The big V8 settled into a lumpy high-performance idle that burbled like the bass section of a symphony orchestra.

Hunkered down on the pavement in a Tempe, Arizona, industrial park, the Superformance MKIII was like a brawny beast about to launch into battle. The MKIII is full of sound and fury, and it’s like buying a brand-new Shelby 427 Cobra, with all the glorious style and outrageous power that entails. Continue reading

Dragonsnake, Monical cars lead Worldwide’s Arlington auction

This 1963 Shelby 289 Cobra 'Dragonsnake' was independently built but is officially recognized | Worldwide Auctioneers photos
This 1963 Shelby 289 Cobra ‘Dragonsnake’ was independently built but is officially recognized | Worldwide Auctioneers photos

Cars built and collected by Texans highlight Worldwide Auctioneers’ 16th annual Texas auction, which moves to a new venue for its April 21-22 sale. Instead of the Houston area, the Texas Classic Auction will be held at the Arlington Convention Center between Dallas and Fort Worth.

The move coincides with the location for the sixth annual Concours d’Elegance of Texas, scheduled for April 23. Continue reading

‘Top-down fun’ offered by Barrett-Jackson at Palm Beach sale

A featured car is the 1968 Ford Shelby GT500KR originally owned by actor Lee Marvin | Barrett-Jackson photos
A featured car is the 1968 Ford Shelby GT500KR originally owned by actor Lee Marvin | Barrett-Jackson photos

Barrett-Jackson holds four auctions every year and each one has its own character, with certain types of collector cars hitting the spot among bidders and spectators depending on the venue.

At the Palm Beach, Florida, auction, the focus is on convertibles, popular in the relaxed atmosphere for cruising along the coastline. The upcoming sale in West Palm Beach, which takes place April 6-8, has stocked a boatload of open-air pleasure craft among about 500 collector cars that will cross the block, all of them at no reserve. Continue reading