1966 AC Cobra replica, 600+HP 351, Race or Street, 5k Miles, One Celebrity Owner, Fast and Furious!

This is a one celebrity owned and hand made Cobra replica made by Carroll Shelby associate Steve Curle.  It was built for the street and track and features a robust and reliable 351 Windsor V8 with about 600+ horsepower.  This incredible Cobra features a custom built and blue-printed CLAY-SMITH racing engine.  The investment in the engine alone is about $80,000.

The remaining description here is from the celebrity owner, Peter Wolf, who ordered this Cobra from new.  Peter was a rally driver years ago and is no stranger to racing.  He is also the famous musician and producer:  The originally used engine in the first COBRAS of CARROLL SHELBY, was a 260 cu inch “small-block” FORD motor. Carroll got these engines through his old and trusted friend LEE IACOCA – back then Head of Marketing at the Ford Motor Company.

These early cars were known as “Leaf Spring Cars” because they had a single leaf spring mounted behind the water cooler in front of the engine.  Within a year, Carroll and his drivers realized, that this kind of suspension was not able to hold the road well at higher racing-speeds. They started to use 4 coil springs with shocks located inside the springs and the engines got bored out to 298 cubic inches. In the following years: 1963 to 1965 – all the major races were won. Those years gave the COBRA its legendary status.

These cars had a perfect balance between “Over steer” and “Under steer”. That means that at high racing speeds, when one reaches the limit-range of the car, traction is lost on all four wheels simultaneously, letting the driver control the break away of the vehicle with the gas pedal.  See and hear details on this video:

[tmm_video cover_image=”” cover_image_on_mobiles=”1″ width=”” height=”” sc_id=”sc1455354315346″]http://youtu.be/0yMWDGXInmQ[/tmm_video]

In 1965, inspired by Chevrolets large block engines, Shelby basically was forced into also using Ford’s big block 427 cu inch (also knick-named “side-Oilers”). These huge steel-motors were basically way too big for a small car like the COBRA. The result was, that these cars were unbelievably fast in a straight line, but were almost uncontrollable in corners.

Very few races were actually won with the 427’s. The breakneck acceleration of this car however created the incredible “COBRA-MYTH”. This and its sexy timeless design are still the reason, why armies of male admirers to this day have a love-relationship with this automotive icon.

Inspired by the rising interest and Black Market of COBRA-Replicas, Carroll Shelby himself started a new production–series of his beloved COBRAS in 1991. He also realized, that in a reissue of his “Original Cobras” (he still had 44 original VIN numbers left) the old 427 side-oiler engines would not be able to keep up with the new measurements in technology. Since the myth of the original 427 acceleration was still unbelievable, Carroll wanted to keep the original image as intact as possible. So he came up with the idea of producing aluminum 427 motor blocks. Unfortunately these blocks turned out to be way too unreliable and not race-ready (hair cracks in the block walls were very common). After producing about 20 cars – at a price tag of $500,000 not a lot of customers could be found – production was stopped.

My car was an afterthought of this series. When my car was hand-made in 1993, Steve Curle (Carrolls former associate) asked me, what kind of engine I would prefer.  Since I used to be a rally driver in my early days in the 60’s – I knew, that balance of the car was much more important than pure raw power alone.  That’s why I originally selected the small-block 289 Ford motor to be my power plant. At my first race in WILLOW SPRINGS though I was not able to reach the finish line. After about 20 minutes my motor blew up, because it was not able to withstand the relatively high revs of about 7000-8000 RPM’s.

But since – following the true COBRA legend – I also wanted a true “sledgehammer” under the hood, that was not too heavy in weight but very strong and reliable in sustained high revs – Steve suggested a CLAY SMITH built engine.  This very special custom blueprinted engine- made by the legendary CLAY SMITH – an engine builder specializing on Indianapolis, Dragster and racing boat engines. It is a 351 Windsor Ford motor, opened up to 420 cu inches. This motor with very high compression is good for over 10,000 RPMs at long and sustained loads.

The end result is an engine that has the wonderful balance of a regular small-block, but has even more power than the original 427 super side-oiler. The acceleration of my car beats the one of the old 427s by miles! A 7-Liter motor at 10.000 RPM’s is pure excess! My car will do 0 to 60 miles/hour in 3,2 seconds and is measured on the dyno at 603 horsepower. That is an awesome measurement hardly reached by anything on the road – even these days.

This motor is under my car’s hood. And obviously it is made out of steel, so it is much more reliable than an aluminum motor, that – after every race a la Formula One – has to be entirely returned and rebuilt. With Titanium parts instead of the old-fashioned steel part – replacing pistons and piston-rods, this engine reaches the high RPMs effortlessly and without breaking under the 2-hour loads of a race. (Not even my RUF Turbo Porsche with 3,5 sec acceleration can hang with the raw power of this COBRA.)

On the racetrack the COBRA uses 126 octane gasoline (the car sounds like a sewing-machine using this petrol.) Still one can use regular Super gasoline at the gas stations to run it – and it will also work fine (here in the US we only use 91 Octane).

The Cobra is titled and registered as a 1966 Ford and therefore is exempt from smog testing, etc.  It is located at our Temecula facility and is being detailed since the photos were taken.

For more details please call Harry Clark at 951.901.5088 or email us at harry@classicpromenade.com.

Classic Promenade
Logo
Register New Account
Reset Password

Get the Daily Email

Get the latest auctions and market info delivered right to your inbox, plus a heads up on exclusive content from Harry.