1965 Shelby 427 S/C Cobra

The Cobra, hailed as a timeless classic among sports cars, captivated enthusiasts with its powerful performance and captivating design. Originating from Texan Carroll Shelby’s racing ventures in late 1950s Europe, the Cobra was born from his insight into marrying a lightweight American V8 engine with a proven European chassis, a winning formula he proved by installing a Ford V8 into the chassis of an AC Ace.

Formalizing this concept, Shelby arranged for AC Cars to send Cobras – lacking engines – from England to his California facilities for completion. Production commenced in 1962, with the 260ci prototype, later replaced by the more potent 289ci unit in 1963. The MkII update introduced rack-and-pinion steering, while the MkIII in 1965 boasted a sturdier chassis to accommodate Ford’s monstrous 427ci V8 engine, defining the iconic Cobra MkIII aesthetic.

Shelby’s elite team of drivers, including Ken Miles and Phil Remington, alongside support from racing legends, propelled the Ford-powered Cobra to unparalleled dominance, securing consecutive U.S. Manufacturer’s Championships from 1963 to 1965 and clinching the fiercely contested 1965 FIA World Manufacturer’s Championship with the Daytona Coupe.

With competition versions utilizing the formidable 427 engine, the ‘S/C’ variant, derived from unsold competition cars, showcased breathtaking performance, epitomizing the Cobra’s prowess on both track and street. Setting new benchmarks for road car performance, the Cobra’s legacy endures through its limited production run, leaving an indelible mark on automotive history.

Photo Source: RM Sotheby’s