The record stood since 1967 when a Cobra reached 198 mph.
As prices of the Shelby Cobra have grown into the stratosphere, firms like Superformance have arrived with replicas for providing drivers with the same levels of performance at a much more affordable cost. The firm’s latest Superformance MkIII can even offer customers even more speed than the original, including one recently earning the title of the world’s fastest road-legal Cobra after hitting 201.1 miles per hour (324 kilometers per hour) at the Mojave Air and Space Port.
Owner Ted Taormina calls his Superformance MkIII the Italian Job, and it wears red, white, and green stripes down the body in recognition of the country’s flag. Superformance customers often customize their roadsters, and Taormina’s ride has a wide variety of modifications. Under the hood, there's a Shelby Engines' 427 FE V8 that makes a potent 690 horsepower (515 kilowatts) and 710 pound-feet (963 Newton-meters) of torque. For improved aerodynamics, there's front spoiler and canards for extra downforce and a diffuser for sucking the car down at the rear. There are also aluminum panels sealing the underside of the vehicle as a way to improve stability. A custom tune for the springs and shocks minimize fore and aft motion when accelerating.
Taormina needed months of preparation for getting his roadster to such incredible speeds. In earlier passes, the Cobra reached 169 mph (272 kph) and 190.1 mph (306 kph). By hitting 201 mph, Taormina beat the previous speed record for a road-legal Cobra that stood since 1967 when Dick Smith hit 198 mph (319 kph) in the car with serial number CSX3035.
In addition to offering replicas of various iterations of the Cobra, Superformance's lineups include recreations of the Shelby Daytona Coupe, original Ford GT40, and Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport. The machines are quite impressive.
Photo Credit: Matthieu Chollet Photography