This is What It’s Like to Drive Vintage Shelby Race Cars
We’ve all seen the hallowed cars in print before, icons like the Shelby Cobra, Shelby Daytona, and Ford GT40. Their likenesses have become unmistakable and their stories legendary. But what are these vintage racing superstars actually like to drive? Our friends at The List recently found out, and I’m not sure they wanted to give the keys back… The List’s Jessi and Patrick met up at the track with these three living legends from the ‘60s, and gave them a thorough exercise through the bends and along the straights. And no, don’t worry. They’re not originals. Instead, they’re meticulously reproduced Superformance models that offer the same seat-of-the-pants thrill for a fraction of the price. So how did Jessi and Patrick get on? Take a look and find out. RELATED: This 2010 Shelby GT500 Has Driven Just 21 Miles... Ever
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From a historical standpoint, the Shelby Cobra was the car that kicked off this legendary Ford and Shelby partnership. With one part lightweight AC Ace clothing and another part bombastic Ford V8, the Cobra dominated the racing scene in its day and established Carroll Shelby as the go-to man for American sports cars. A “Corvette beater” it was, and it’s still delighting today, seen here with a modern Ford Coyote V8 under its hood (à la the current Mustang GT).
The Cobra wasn’t perfect however, in fact, it lagged behind the faster Ferraris on the Mulsanne straight at Le Mans. So Shelby gave its beast a lid and the Daytona coupe was born. You’d be frankly nuts to blast one of the originals around a track (just six were build). Here we have one of Superformance’s Daytona replicas, which swallow a Shelby Roush 427ci IR V8 engine, making in the region of 500 plus horsepower.
The big daddy of them all is the Ford GT40 though, and what a legend it is. With a proven 427ci V8 under its rear deck, the GT40 Mk II stormed to the Le Mans finish line in 1966, taking first, second, and third. Amazingly, it would repeat its Le Mans winning tradition for the following three years as well. And as Jessi and Patrick show, it’s a serious race car through and through, capable of hitting 207 mph… and just as many smiles per hour.
Thinking of dropping a cool $1,000,000-plus on a vintage Shelby or GT40 you can’t really drive? You might want to check out one of these first.
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