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
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
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
A rather well made cockpit
A nice feature is my homemade
This is a small windshield for a
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
Side pipes with household
A big mouth to gasp fresh air
A car with a engine or a
engine with a car
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.
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
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).
AC Cobra Mk. III:
Manufacturer AC Cars
Also called Shelby AC 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
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)
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
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
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
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
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
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
Inside Shelby American - Jay Leno's
Test Driving 575 HP 1965 Shelby Cobra 427 SC CSX4891
Bill Cosby 200 MPH
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