Robb Design Portfolio: Snake Charmer

1964 Shelby Cobra 289
The Shelby Cobra is one of the most copied cars of all time; each year, enthusiasts produce Cobra knockoffs in quantities greater than the 998 original autos that American racer Carroll Shelby built between 1962 and 1967. Ironically, the Cobra itself was a virtual replica of Ferrari’s 166 MM Barchetta. The A.C. Ace, a derivative of the Ferrari, debuted at the 1953 Earls Court London Motor Show. In 1962 the auto’s British maker began exporting the aluminum-body chassis to Shelby, who flared the wheel arches to accommodate wider tires and powered the car with a 260 cu in Ford V-8. Later Cobras, such as the 1964 model pictured here, incorporated a 289 cu in engine. Shelby eventually, and somewhat reluctantly, replaced the 289 with a 427 Cobra. "I was forced to increase power because of Corvette," Shelby recalls, "but I’d rather drive the 289 around the street than the 427."

Photo by ALPINA Burkard Bovensiepen GmbH + Co. KG
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