Pressing on the throttle, I feel the vehicle’s immediate response as it surges down an empty street. A light tap of the hydraulic disc brakes before the turn allows the tires to carve with scalpel-like precision—ride dynamics worthy of the famed cobra logo. The Shelby livery is synonymous with performance, but what’s currently being harnessed is just about 3 hp as I hold tightly to the handlebars of this new electric bicycle.
Built in collaboration with Carroll Shelby International, the limited-edition two-wheeler from Vintage Electric is painted the same shade as many Shelby iterations, including the Cobra 289 Slabside, and its leather saddle and handgrips take inspiration from those automotive interiors. The cruiser, with a street-legal top speed of 20 mph, runs on a 48-volt battery and a 750-watt hub motor. The engine-battery combo takes the power up to 3,000 watts, giving the bike the juice it needs to hit 36 mph (on private property only) when in key-activated Race mode. Carroll Shelby himself would approve.
“A lot of electric drivetrains developed for the European market are only allowed to have 250 watts of power,” says Andrew Davidge, founder of Vintage Electric. “Our bikes are like having a big-block 427 V-8.”
With a production run of only 300 examples priced at $7,249 each, the Vintage Electric Shelby may go fast in more ways than one.