By Dave Turner
All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author.
When Ford celebrated their Centenary in 2003 a whole series of concepts were unleashed, along with the many other related events. Most, if not all, these special productions were conceived to recall one of the memorable and significant vehicles of Ford’s past.
Among these was the Shelby Cobra that resulted when Carroll Shelby inserted a big US Ford V8, first a 4.2 and for production a 4.7, into the front of an unsuspecting AC Ace. This had previously been the home of the old 6 cylinder 2 litre AC engine that dated back to the 1920s and from April 1956 there was the option of a straight 6 Bristol 2 litre. For just over a couple of years from March 1961 the 2,553cc Ford straight 6 was employed.
Since the production of the first Cobras ended in Jan 1969 there have been many copies and kit cars replicating the Cobra, in fact Carroll Shelby produced a very limited number of 2 seater roadsters in the late 1990s that had a degree of GM content and called simply Shelby Cobra.
The 2004 Concept car was produced by Ford and featured an all-aluminium 6.4 litre V10 engine that was claimed to be able to propel the car to 267mph – although it was actually electronically limited to 100mph. Its chassis was based on that of a Ford GT, modified to be front engined but with the transmission in the rear. It was not registered for road use but was subsequently purchased by one of its designers, Chris Theodore, at auction for $825,000, the proceeds going towards the restoration of Henry Fords Fairlane Estate.
Models of the Shelby Concept as might be expected appeared in the few years following the real cars appearance. Auto Art gave us no less than three quite different models, a big 1:17 scale diecast and much smaller one in 1:64 and in between a plastic slot car in 1:32. Mattel also produced the model in two sizes, their Hot Wheels examples came in at least eleven versions and in many cases almost being little models rather than pure toys. Their larger 1:18 diecast were excellent despite coming in a variety of colours, the real car was only ever silver.
Matchbox also issued a small diecast Shelby that looks very like the Hot Wheels version and it came in at least six versions. Minichamps issued their 1:43 Shelby in a three part “The Ford Power Trilogy” set in 2005 along with 2005 Mustang and 2005 GT, all finished in the silver/white stripe colour scheme. The Shelby was then issued separately for a couple of years.
|Auto Art||China||13101||slot car||1:32||plastic|
Illustrations 2004 Ford Shelby Cobra Concept
Mattel Hot Wheels 1:60 diecast from Malaysia: G6687, in authentic colour scheme.
Minichamps 1:43 diecast from China: 146430, also came in set 402 058000 “The Ford Power Trilogy”
Rear of Minichamps
Interior of Minichamps
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