Last updated Jan 25, 2009
Hello, this is my 1966 Ford 427 Shelby Cobra (replica)
I actually bought the engine before I bought the replica kit. I contacted Shelby Motors, and at that time, he was starting up the "continuation series" of Cobra's. I asked if he had any parts from the past for sale (I thought, ya, ,...right) !
I was able to talk with the legend, Mr. Carroll Shelby himself. Being such a great man and a icon of racing, I felt and always will, honored ! He asked what I wanted to purchase, I replied jokingly, "a engine". He said he had 5 from the "old days" and said, "pick one". I about fainted. He raced these engines in 1967. I asked to speak with one of his engine builders. He emailed me the stats/specs and brief history, picked one and had it shipped home. The only parts missing was the sidewinder intake, Cobra oil pan and balancer.
I left it stock for 3 years. The automotive touring group, "Americruise" came to Lincoln with apx. 3,000 muscle car's and Hot Rods. A bunch of us car nut guys !!!, had breakfast, pulled onto 27th street and boom,...I thought damn ! I shut her down, pulled onto a side street, saw nothing wrong and went to the show. The next morning, I took off the valve covers and the rocker shaft at # 1 cylinder was broke in half ! The reason,......Ford for some reason did not have support stands on the ends, just the middle ???
To my amazement, both intake and exhaust valves were frozen shut, and the exhaust pushrod was bent 90% inside the manifold ! I asked the engine builder that machines the sprint car engine, what he thought happened, he was dumbfounded too. I could see one valve guide either splitting or had shrank therefore freezing shut but, not both at the same time ?
Anyway, these engines were the top dogs in racing (along with the Heim's) but the pushrods went through the intake manifold which made them all most straight on, not angled. It made for a better design. So, since I had to take apart the whole top end, I rebuilt it in 2003.
I was able to do all of the car except the engine machining and a great friend helped me assemble it.
I custom mixed the blue and added pearl to the white stripes. I also made several aluminum parts on the car. (see photo's)
I've built other cars over the years but, my Cobra is just a kick in the pants fun ! Like a skate board on wheels.
I love to go to shows with family, friends and talk to other owners of their cars. I let most people, including children, sit in the car and sometimes, let them fire up the engine. That's what shows are all about, the sharing and comradely with others. Trophy's are fine but I enjoy the time spent with car enthusiasts the most.
A friend and I are planning on starting car shows with no awards, any vehicle can enter, free to the public and just have a great time ! Hopefully we can accomplish this.
I have a long,.... story from my first show. It's about the "Jerry Lewis Telethon for Muscle Dystrophy". I took a young man that is the "Ambassador for MS" for a ride in the Car. "My favorite of all time", he said. Sadly, he succumbed to the disease 4 months later. All of what happened is a great memory I'll have forever, and no trophy in the world can make me feel better than sharing the love of car's and time spent with, with Brian.
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