Shelby Cobra Mk. III 1965





Auto World

scale 1:18

Model number: AWSS104


Review of the model:

If you are looking after a brutal, predator racing car from the sixties, it’s hard not to mention the famous Cobra from Carroll Shelby workshop. This is not a beautiful car, but it has it own strange feeling of some coolness. And when it came to the racing tracks it won and eats all others competitors, including the very fast Chevrolet Corvette. The war between Ford and Chevrolet was in full blaze. This particular model car here is from the B-movie “Spin Out”, with Elvis Presley in the leading role!

Why I just picked this model out among so many producers of 1:18 Cobra´s? The answer is simple: I was lucky to get this model at sale of 75% discount of the retail price, so I think it was a bargain, as Auto World model cars lay in the midlevel segment when it comes to price and detail richness.

After I unpacked the model I was a bit fascinated about how heavy this rather little model was. The very famous color scheme: blue with twin white stripes is in my book the most handsome, but the little Plexiglas windscreen suits the car well and make it even more brutal. When all this is said, I most admit that the model itself is a bit dull. Therefore I decided to give it a little custom work.

I started with the wheels as they are only all dark grey. The rims of the hubs get new chrome paint, thanks to my Liquid Chrome pen from Molotov. The center knock-off spinners where painted gold, as so many Cobras’ has this feature. One thing is nice to see; is the well made rubber tires with big markings of Goodyear on the walls. But why they in the movie have tires with no letters – I don’t know. I decided to paint the big letters with white acrylic paint. The acrylic paint is a must here, as it’s nearly impossible to not overdue the paint work. But the excessive paint is easily removed after with a toothpick. A bit of “black wash” and matt varnish give the model the impression of a used tire. In my opinion gives the model car more life and action.

The model came with white side pipes, but again it was too much white for my taste. So I gave the pipes silver paint and the big shields around was wrapped with household foil. In this model the trunk lid can not be opened. So I made a grove around the lid to give the impression of a separated part – My homemade result could have been better! Up front; the “black pupils” was a bit pronounced to my taste, so again, as on so many model cars, some white paint behind the lenses to block the light from the black holes, was the answer.

The crash bar behind the driver seat was also black, so I find the chrome paint more appealing. I am aware that this model is moving a bit away from the movie car it was mend to resemble. But instead of a correct “dull” model I was willing to go on a side way and say: This model car has Homage to the movie-car. Just like so many real cars do.
Lastly I decided to give the well made cockpit some extra detailing by adding seatbelts – A feature that seems reasonable as this car is a beast to drive. Small band from gift boxes was true to scale and the locks were made of cut styrene plastic. This alternation was giving the model some life too.

It was some joyful hours spent, and I am far more glad of the model now. But I know some will say I have ruined the model – And that’s Okay.
Otherwise let’s go around the model to see if it lives up to its expectations. Shall we start with the paint? As on a white model, gabs around the parts will always be more notable, but they are acceptable here on this model. The paintwork itself is good with no flaws of dust particles under. The casting general is fine also! One will ask are all perfect?.... no not all; The exhaust pipes could have been cast better (plastic). The attachment pins under the windscreen is a bit crude. The one and only mirror is placed wrong. And mention earlier the trunk lid can not be open. The highlight of the model is the details on the wheels and the cockpit is very well made. The steering wheel and gauge looks very realistic. The top of the cake is by far the engine – this big 427 cu. Inch monster lay low in the engine bay with all the decals and wires added. Even the hood has a small holding stick.

So is this the best 1:18 Cobra out there?....No
Is it the best 1:18 Cobra for the price?....No
Is it a good model of a Cobra?....Yes

Lucky Die cast makes a fine model in the budget price segment, but Solido make an even better one. Kyosho makes a well detailed but also to a higher price. But the best choice in my mind is the Cobra series from Shelby collectibles. They will be my pick if I need another Cobra later.
I will give this model 3 out of 6 stars  ******

Below here are pictures of the model, historical description, old brochures, technical data and some movie clips for the real car. So please enjoy!




  Buy it ... or watch it go by  
  This is a man's  car  
  The fastest US car on the road in 1965  
I did some custom work to "improve the model car"
Fine rubber Goodyear tires
Loud speaking side pipes
The steering wheel is very detailed
Look at the wide rear wheels
I like the new chrome rims on the hubs as well as the gold knockoff spinners
The short rear part of the car gives a sporty look overall
Lets open the hood and have a preview of the beast
No door handles on the outside
A rather well made cockpit
A nice feature is my homemade seatbelts
This is a small windshield for a fast car
A good looking car?
427 cu inch Ford Big block
Homage to the 1966 Spin Out movie with Elvis Presley
Small back lights
The mirror is misplaced
# 11
Side pipes with household foil
A big mouth to gasp fresh air
A car with a engine or a engine with a car
  Nice details  




Even before he started racing professionally and won the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Carroll Shelby had a dream of building sports cars under his own name. But in early sixties, that dream seemed impossible. His health condition forced him to stop racing and his other business ventures didn’t look promising. But in 1961, he got the news that AC Cars from England would stop production of their AC Ace model since the Bristol six cylinder engines weren’t available anymore. True entrepreneur at heart, Shelby realized that the light and nimble British roadster could be a perfect match for a powerful American V8 engine and that this could be the chance of becoming a constructor, and not just a retired racing car driver. Very soon, he contacted AC Cars and they sent him an engine-less body to his shop in California. With some help from Ford Motor Company and a small team of mechanics, the first Shelby Cobra was introduced in 1962. It was powered by Ford’s 260 engine, and later with a venerable 289 V8, and it pretty soon took the sports car world by a storm. The combination of lightweight body, small dimensions and brute US power proved to be revolutionary and the car did extremely well in competition all around the world.


However, Shelby’s ambition wasn’t about to end there as he knew that Cobra had more potential. So, in 1964, Shelby started working on Shelby Cobra 427, an even more extreme version powered by a monstrous Ford big block 7 liter engine with around 450 bhp. and over 600 Nm of torque. It was insane to put this kind of power in such a light car, but Shelby was not the guy who cared about sanity of his vehicles. He rightfully thought that there is no such thig as too much power and he was determined to build an ultimate classic muscle car. Installing a 427 V8 proved to be more difficult and Cobra body needed to be stretched and widened with necessary improvements to the chassis and suspension. The overall design remained the same, but although 289 and 427 Cobras looked very similar, none of the body panels, except for hood, trunk and windshield, are interchangeable.

Driving & performance

Equipped with the beast of an engine and four-speed manual transmission, Cobra 427 was astonishingly fast even by today’s standards. The 0 to 60 mph time was just over 4 seconds and 0 to 100 mph sprint took the amazing 10.3 seconds. For years, Cobra 427 was the fastest American car in every aspect. The brutal acceleration was one of the best selling points, and one legend says that Shelby put a 100$ bill on the dash of Cobra 427, saying that anybody who could reach it during acceleration can claim it. Apparently, nobody walked away a 100$ richer. However, such fantastic performance proved to be too much for some owners and lot of Cobras were crashed since the drivers weren’t used to that level of power and speed.

Equipment & comfort

Since the Cobra 427 was an extreme sports car, there is not much in terms of equipment which was installed. The driver had full instrumentation which was a necessity, rather than luxury, and nothing more. All Cobra 427s were roadsters and there wasn’t a regular convertible roof, just a piece of canvas with plexiglas side windows in case of rain. Lack of weather protection could be interpreted as a safety feature because driving a 427 Cobra on wet surface at any speed could easily be fatal. Cobra 427 had very stiff suspension and passengers sat low, open to elements with almost no protection from the wind, followed by roaring sound of the mighty V8 engine which is a big part of 427’s appeal and magic.

Running costs

The original Cobra 427s are one of the most sought after and expensive classic cars often cherished and preserved by their owners. The prices are well over 1 million dollars for a perfect example, but original Cobras rarely are for sale. Basic running costs are not high since Cobra 427 uses a drivetrain from Ford, and spare parts are common and cheap. Some of the bodywork parts, suspension parts and details could be very expensive since they can only be found as new old stock and they are very rare.
However, since the early '70s, a lot of small companies produced Cobra 427 replicas which tremendously helped popularity of the car. Since the original car was rare and expensive, many fans found that having a replica can provide them with the same experience for fraction of the cost. Most of the replicas have been built from fiberglass and with various bits and pieces from other cars, but during the years, just a few companies started producing exact clones of Cobra 427 which are identical in every aspect. The original AC is the best known, and there is Shelby American in Las Vegas that still makes continuation series Cobras. You can buy a Cobra 427 kit car cheap and personalize it with different engines, transmissions, brakes and suspension. Lots of replica owners have been installing small block Chevrolet engines in their Cobras, since the engines are cheap and common, which is considered blasphemy by the Ford purists. It is estimated that more than 60.000 Cobra replicas have been made over the years.

Facts & figures

The original Cobra 427 was made from 1965 to 1967 and in that period Shelby produced 348 copies. Most of the 427s have been produced as street cars (260 examples) but Shelby offered a “Competition“ package for owners with racing aspirations and “Semi-Competition“ package for people who wanted a street car which they could race from time to time. It is unclear how many were crashed and destroyed, but the most surviving examples have been accounted for by Shelby historians and clubs. Nevertheless, it is one of the most legendary American cars and the most successful British-American hybrid which helped Shelby become more popular as constructor than a racer. Over 50 years old, it still is one of most desirable sports cars for every enthusiast.

The very first (Mk I) sold at auction

In 2016, the first Shelby Cobra produced – the first car ever built by Carroll himself – went up on the auction block and fetched a mind-boggling $13.75 million. Chassis number CSX2000 hit a final bid of $12.5 million with auction fees, making it the most expensive American car ever sold at auction thus far (the record was previously held by a 1968 Ford GT40).

Technical specification:

AC Cobra Mk. III:

Manufacturer AC Cars
Shelby American
Also called Shelby AC Cobra
Shelby Cobra


Thames Ditton, Surrey, England
Los Angeles, California, USA

Body and chassis:
Body style 2-door roadster
Layout FR layout

Predecessor AC Ace
Successor AC MK IV

Production 1965–67

Engine 427 or 289 cu in (7.0 or 4.7 L) V8

Wheelbase 90 in (2,286 mm)
Length 156 in (3,962 mm)
Width 68 in (1,727 mm)
Height 48 in (1,219 mm)
Curb weight 2,355 lb (1,068 kg)

Cobra 427

A new chassis was required, developed, and designated Mark III. The new car was designed in cooperation with Ford in Detroit. A new chassis was built using 4 in (102 mm) main chassis tubes (up from 3 in (76 mm)) and coil spring suspension all around. The new car also had wide fenders and a larger radiator opening. It was powered by the "side oiler" Ford 427 engine (7.0 L) rated at 425 bhp (317 kW), which provided a top speed of 164 mph (262 km/h) in the standard model and 485 bhp (362 kW) with a top speed of 185 mph (298 km/h) in the competition model.

  Carroll Shelby 1923-2012  


Carroll Hall Shelby (January 11, 1923 – May 10, 2012) was an American automotive designer, racing driver, and entrepreneur. Shelby is best known for his involvement with the AC Cobra and Mustang (later known as Shelby Mustangs) for Ford Motor Company, which he modified during the late-1960 and early-2000. He established Shelby American Inc. in 1962 to manufacture and market performance vehicles, as well as Carroll Shelby Licensing in 1988 which grew into Carroll Shelby International.

Carroll Shelby was born on January 11, 1923 to Warren Hall Shelby, a rural mail carrier, and his wife, Eloise (Lawrence) Shelby in Leesburg, Texas. Shelby suffered from heart valve leakage problems by age 7 and experienced health complications from this throughout his life. Shelby's education as a pilot began in the military at the San Antonio Aviation Cadet Center, later known as Lackland Air Force Base, in November 1941.

Shelby's first wife was Jeanne Fields; they married on December 18, 1943. Their daughter Sharon Anne Shelby was born a year later on September 27, 1944. Shelby and Fields had two more children — Michael Hall (born November 2, 1946) and Patrick Bert (born October 23, 1947). They later divorced in February 1960. By 1962, Shelby married actress Jan Harrison before the marriage was annulled the same year.

Shelby honed his driving skills with his Willys automobile while attending Woodrow Wilson High School in Dallas, Texas. He graduated from Wilson in 1940. He was enrolled at The Georgia School of Technology in the Aeronautical Engineering program. However, because of the war Shelby did not go to school and enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps, serving in World War II as a flight instructor and test pilot. He graduated with the rank of staff sergeant pilot. Subsequently, he had short stints as an oil-well roughneck and as a poultry farmer prior to his racing career.

Starting out as an amateur, Shelby initially raced a friend's MG TC and borrowed Cad-Allards. He later recalled that the combination of the small English Allard and American V-8 power inspired his creation of the AC Cobra. His great success racing the Allards led to invitations to drive for the Aston Martin and Maserati factory teams in the mid-to-late 1950s. Driving for Donald Healey in a modified, streamlined, and supercharged Austin-Healey 100S, he set 16 U.S. and international speed records at the Bonneville salt flats.

He drove in the Mount Washington Hillclimb Auto Race in a specially prepared Ferrari 375 GP roadster, to a record run of 10:21.8 seconds on his way to victory in 1956.

He was Sports Illustrated's driver of the year in 1956 and 1957.

He competed in Formula One from 1958 to 1959, participating in a total of eight World Championship races and several non-championship races.

The highlight of his race driving career came in 1959, when he co-drove an Aston Martin DBR1 (with Englishman Roy Salvadori) to victory in the 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans. During this race he noted the performance of an English GT car built by AC Cars, known as the Ace. Three years later, the AC Ace would become the basis for the AC Cobra.

After retiring from driving in October 1959 for health reasons, he opened a high-performance driving school and the Shelby-American company.

He obtained a license to import the AC Cobra (often known in the US as the Shelby Cobra), a successful British Sports racing car manufactured by AC Motors of England, which AC had designed at Shelby's request by fitting a Ford V8 to their popular AC Ace sports car in place of its standard AC six, Ford Zephyr or 2-liter Bristol engine. Shelby remained influential with Ford manufactured cars, including the Daytona Coupe, GT40, the Mustang-based Shelby GT350 and Shelby GT500. After parting with Ford, Shelby moved on to help develop performance cars with divisions of the two other Big 3 American companies, Dodge, and Oldsmobile.

Ford provided financial support for AC's Cobras from 1962 through 1965 and provided financial support for the Ford GTs, first with John Wyer's Ford Advanced Vehicles in 1963 and then with Shelby American from 1964 through 1967.

In the intervening years, Shelby had a series of ventures start and stop relating to production of "completion" Cobras — cars that were allegedly built using "left over" parts and frames. In the 1960s, the FIA required entrants (Shelby, Ford, Ferrari, etc.) to produce at least 100 cars for homologated classes of racing. Shelby simply ordered an insufficient number of cars and skipped a large block of Vehicle Identification Numbers, to create the illusion the company had imported large numbers of cars. Decades later in the 1990s, Carroll alleged that he had found the "left over" frames, and began selling cars which were supposedly finally "completed". After it was discovered the cars were built from scratch in collaboration with McCluskey, Ltd., they were re-termed "continuation" Cobras. The cars are still built to this day, known as the current CSX4000 series of Cobras.

He was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1991, the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 1992, the Automotive Hall of Fame in 1992, and the Diecast Hall of Fame in 2009. He was also inducted into the SCCA Hall of Fame on March 2, 2013.

In 2003, Ford Motor Co. and Carroll Shelby mended ties and he became technical advisor to the Ford GT project. In that same year, he formed Carroll Shelby International, Inc., based in Nevada.

Shelby received a heart transplant in 1990 and a kidney transplant in 1996.

Shelby died on May 10, 2012, at the age of 89. He had been suffering from a serious heart ailment for decades.

1966 Poster from the film
  IMDB link click on the picture above.  


Band singer/race driver Mike McCoy (Elvis Presley) must choose between marrying a beautiful rich girl and driving her father's car in a prestigious race.

Scene From Spinout-Elvis Presley & Shelley Fabares
Old brochures of the car





















Videos of the real car from YouTube




Inside Shelby American - Jay Leno's Garage

  Test Driving 575 HP 1965 Shelby Cobra 427 SC CSX4891  
  Bill Cosby 200 MPH  


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Aeronautic Mar. 2018


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