The original Shelby AC Cobra was introduced at the 1962 New York Auto Show and this compact high performance vehicle has become one of the most collectible vintage cars in the history of American automobiles. The Shelby Cobra made a name for itself around the world – beating some of the biggest names in auto racing with the help of a Ford high performance engine mounted in the amazingly light (2,020lb) sports car. This helped the Shelby Cobra obtain its legendary status as it remains as one of the highest performance American cars ever built…even by today’s standards.
As Shelby American recognized the interest in these vehicles (as there are nearly endless examples of non-Shelby issued “kit cars”), Shelby began reproducing the Cobra in 1996. The modern Cobra comes without a drivetrain so that racers and enthusiasts can pick the engine and transmission pairing that best fit their needs. To commemorate the 50th birthday of the Shelby Cobra, the Las Vegas-based company announced that they would produce just 50 examples of a special 50th Anniversary Edition of the Cobra and like all Shelby Cobras produced since 1996, the limited edition AC Cobra comes with no engine or transmission but it does come with a handful of badges to help it stand out from the “normal” production Cobras; along with better quality materials to make the 2012 Cobra even more special.
Each of the 50 2012 Shelby Cobra special edition models are custom built with either a fiberglass or aluminum body wrapped around a tube steel chassis. High performance Baer brakes are added in the front and back although the 2012 Cobra retains the same independent leaf spring design found on the original Cobras that dominated the world racing scene. Inside, the 2012 Cobra offers a very similar look to the 1962 models but instead of 1960s era carpeting and seating surfaces, the 50th Anniversary Edition features carpeting and leather that you would expect to find in some of today’s most elite luxury vehicles.
All things considered, the 2012 Shelby Cobra is more likely to become an instant collectible than something you would see tearing around a race track and having one of these rare, legendary Shelby Cobras comes with a cost. The fiberglass versions carried a price of $69,995 and for the aluminum shell buyers shelled out $134,995 – hefty prices for vehicles with no engine or transmission but when you consider that you are acquiring a piece of American automotive history the press seems less significant. When you also look at the current value of both vintage and modern Shelby Cobras, it is no surprise that the 2012 50th Anniversary Edition Cobra saw all 50 units sell out in less than 2 days.
Check out the gallery below for a closer look at the special 50th Anniversary Edition Shelby Cobra and click here for full details on the new Cobra from the Shelby American website.