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Friday, January 2, 2015

For Much Less, Are Shelby Kit Cars All that Bad?


shelby cobra replica 1965 photo

A few days ago, Shelby American announced a limited 50 car production run of its 50th Anniversary Cobra 427. Dressed in either blue or polished aluminum, the vintage sports cars are quite the sight to behold, though consequently ruinously expensive – starting at $120,000, and that’s without an engine and transmission.
Sure, you want one, but six digits for a 50th Anniversary Shelby rolling chassis isn’t exactly feasible to most. So what is one to do? Well, if you don’t mind vocalizing the following statement, “Yes, it’s a kit car,” to onlookers for the rest of time, you can buy a high quality replica for easily half the price, if not a whole lot less. This minty ’65 Shelby Cobra replica we found at Vintage Wheels fits the bill quite nicely.

shelby cobra replica 1965 photo

Kit cars and replicars span the gamut in terms of body type, from legally hazy Pontiac Fieros turned into Lamborghinis to nut-and-bolt recreations of iconic real world sports cars. Inherently, the biggest fault a kit car has is the fact that it’s not the real thing.

 As a result, countless copies have been built and yours likely won’t be worth anywhere near what a true 1965 Shelby Cobra gavels for, unless you cover it in gold leaf. But buy one from a reputable builder, like industry giants Factory Five, and you’re likely to have just as much fun out on track – if not more – than you would driving the real thing.

This ’65 427 Cobra started life in 1998, built by the Unique Motorcars company. It was originally used as a show car for their reproduction models, and boasts a period-correct 427ci FE side-oiler V8, fitted with an Edelbrock intake, Holley four-barrel carb, 428 crankshaft, Elgin Pro Stock cams, Ford pistons, and funnels power through a top-loader four-speed Ford gearbox.

shelby cobra replica 1965 interior photo

The front disc brakes come from Wilwood and the rear brakes (as well as rear independent suspension) come from Jaguar. Total investment? This quite stunning fiberglass Cobra replica will put you back about $65,000, or about 50 percent less than a rolling chassis Shelby Cobra 50th Anniversary Edition, and at least $1,000,000 less than an original 427 S/C, circa 1965. What say you, Internets?