Reliving the glory days
French cottages streaming past at incalculable rates of speed. The roar of my 427ci big block is deafening, but I push on. There’s the unmistakable smell of unburnt gasoline emanating from somewhere behind my head, threatening to explode and not only end my race, but also my life. Not to mention the nagging itch coming from underneath my helmet. I begin to zone everything out, my prey—a Ferrari 250 LM—in plain site, and then...
Honk. Abruptly, my fantasy ends as I’m transported back to the present where rather than hurdling down Le Mans’ infamous Mulsanne Straight, I’m attempting to get through Southern California traffic at the peak of rush hour. Yet, my surroundings more closely resemble the year 1965. The Shelby Daytona’s windshield is within a few millimeters of my knuckles. The roar from its glorious 427ci V8 still threatens my hearing, and there’s a Ferrari to my right, though, not a 250LM. The Superformance Shelby Daytona Coupe isn’t a replica or recreation, it’s a time machine—one that you’ll never want to get out of.
It’s No Faux-Rarri Typically with replicas, fit and finish can range in quality from horrid to damn near holy. From a distance, kit cars seem to resemble the original thing, but upon further inspection, most resemble more closely a half-assembled piece of IKEA furniture. The Superformance Shelby Daytona, however, could be, by all respects, the absolute real deal. Trim pieces are fit with an exactness that rivals many new German cars. The exterior panel gaps are impeccable, and nothing in the interior rattles or gives any warning of shaking loose. Inside, there are modern conveniences such as HVAC and a Bluetooth head unit. Moreover, the interior is insulated not only from the titanic roar of the car’s exhaust, but from the rest of the outside world as well. It’s a car that, if so desired, could sparingly be used on long road trips. Something that’s made easier by its comfortable sport seats and progressive shocks that allow for a smooth ride when cruising, but get increasingly stiffer as you cane the car through tight roads.
A Racer Reborn While there are plenty of engine options to spec your Superformance Shelby Dayton Coupe, the one in question featured a 500-plus horsepower Roush V8 that will send shivers down your spine as you climb through gears. Mash the gas from a standstill, and all you’ll get are the rear tires lighting up like Christmas decorations the day after Thanksgiving. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, all turn brand new tires into smoke. The Daytona Coupe’s power can’t be used as a drum with quick successive stabs at the gas, but rather needs to be played like a violin, smooth and precise.
When traction is administered appropriately—something that is solely completed by your right foot—the Daytona Coupe scythes its way through the labyrinthine canyon roads of California with ease. It doesn’t wallow or list like the original, but bounds through corners completely flat, giving it a thoroughly modern feel. Where this Daytona Coupe fell short though, was in steering feel. For the customer who purchased this specific car, they chose an over-boosted steering rack, which felt more like an M. Night Shyamalan movie, filled with vast swathes of ambiguity. Thankfully, Superformance makes a better steering rack that we’re assured, giving the Daytona Coupe replica a more direct driver centric experience.
A $30 Million Experience For Much, Much Less A real 1965 Daytona Coupe will cost you around $22,335,000. That's...expensive. The sad part is, most of those million dollar Daytonas aren't even driven properly, or at all. Most sit in a garage waiting for the next auction block. The Superformance Shelby Daytona Coupe, however, offers a similar experience without needing the bank account of an oligarch. A rolling chassis from Superformance starts at $115,000, but can quickly balloon to astronomical heights given the amount of customization possible. If you want something turn-key, prices start at $165,000, which actually isn’t that shocking when you consider the aforementioned price of the real deal. Likewise, it isn’t outrageous when you consider the amount of performance, feeling of history, and the smiles you get while behind the wheel of this iconic car.
The Verdict Superformance’s Shelby Daytona Coupe is a fantasy that’s been brought to reality. It’s a primeval animal, and presents an experience you’ll never forget. It will continue to call you back, for the noise, for the power, for the history. The Superformance Shelby Daytona Coupe transports you to 1965-era France, racing at Le Mans, head-to-head with Ferrari, pushing for glory. It is, in all respects, an amazing thing. Specs Engine: 427ci Roush V8 Horsepower: 500+ Price: $115,000 (rolling chassis), $165,000 (complete) Positives Engine delivers unbelievable performance Iconic body is aggressive and beautiful Easily customizable Negatives Over-boosted steering rack High cost compared to modern muscle The unwarranted 'kit car' stereotype Photo Credit: Jonathon Klein for BoldRide Follow @jonathon_klein //