The original Shelby Cobra wasn't exactly a heavyweight. Its tube frame carried an aluminum body, and with the 427 cubic inch engine installed in the Mark III Cobras, weight checked in around 2,400 pounds. When fiberglass-bodied Cobra kit cars began popping up, the weight dropped to around 2,200 pounds, depending on the engine.
Now, there's a carbon-fiber Cobra coming from Classic Recreations. The company has permission from Shelby to build official CSX-numbered Cobra continuation cars, and while we don't know the total weight of this new car, we know the bare carbon fiber body weighs just 88 pounds. That's the entire body, which per the photos includes the hood and doors. And we must confess – it looks absolutely stunning.
Gallery: Carbon Fiber Shelby Cobra Race Car
Officially, this is called the Diamond Edition Carbon Fiber Shelby Cobra Race Car. The key word in that sentence is race, though the official press release from Classic Recreations doesn't actually call it a track-only vehicle. For that matter, it also doesn't label the special Cobra as street-legal. It does say the Diamond Edition Cobra will rival modern hypercars while offering more comfort and a better driving experience compared to previous cars.
"Carroll Shelby taught me the significance of pushing the envelope through innovation and passion," said Jason Engel, founder and vice president of design and engineering at Classic Recreations "A dream of Carroll’s was always to place the highest horsepower engine possible in the lightest, most agile car imaginable and it is our honor to have met that challenge."
The carbon-fiber Cobra will use a completely new chassis with modern engineering – no tube frames here. Under the hood will sit a third-generation Ford Coyote V8, and with an optional supercharger, it generates over 800 horsepower (597 kilowatts) for the rear wheels to handle. Shifting duties fall to a Tremec T56 six-speed manual transmission. When it comes time to slow down, six-piston Wilwood brakes at all four corners come into play. It sounds like this Cobra is indeed a very serious machine.
As such, it commands a very serious price, and even if you can afford it, getting one won't be easy. Only 10 are planned for production, and each one starts at a cool $1.2 million.