Shelby Cobra Celebrates 50th Birthday

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Fifty years ago, Carroll Shelby put a 260 cubic inch Ford V8 into a curvacious British roadster called the Ace, made my AC Cars, and the Cobra was born. The first Cobra was introduced to the public 50 years ago this week at the 1962 New York Auto Show. Overshadowed by the Studebaker Avanti, also introduced for the first time at the same show, nobody could have imagined the Anglo-American hybrid becoming the icon that it is today. Jamie Kitman at the New York Times has a fine recap of the Cobra’s history. Because of all the Cobra replicas and the appeal of “moar displacement and power”, most people think of the muscular, bulging, fender flared 427 Cobra, but I sort of prefer the original svelte small block versions. To celebrate the Cobra’s golden anniversary, here are a couple of 289 powered 1964 Cobras that were on display at last year’s Eyes On Design show.

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