One of the most legendary American sports cars of the 1960s has returned.
The Shelby "Dragonsnake" Cobra was a version of the iconic roadster that was developed for drag racing.
The V8-powered two-seater first hit the track in 1963 and found great success on the country’s quarter-mile tracks, claiming dozens of victories over the next few years, including titles at the U.S. Nationals and World Championship.
"The 1960s Shelby ‘Dragonsnake’ program began when a small group of young Shelby American production employees developed and drag raced a pair of the roadsters to amazing success," Shelby American president Gary Patterson said.
"Carroll Shelby was so impressed that he approved three more to be built for customers."
Shelby American has now resurrected the car with the help of Pennsylvania’s Legendary GT, which builds certified "continuation" replicas of the Cobra, which are built to the original specifications and are considered "new" cars.
Five all-new cars will be produced with authentic tube frame chassis and aluminum bodies.
The first wears the purple paint job and graphics of an original car that was first raced by Bruce Larson and went on to claim the most victories of any Shelby.
"Pennsylvanian Bruce Larson was a rock star in the 1960s with his drag racing Shelby Cobra," said Parker Shepley, business manager at Legendary GT.
"His contributions to the Shelby legend were incredible. We consulted him while developing this car to ensure as much authenticity as possible."
The 2,100-pound car is powered by a 364-cubic-inch Ford V8 equipped with Weber carburetors, just like in the old days, that pumps 500 hp to its rear Mickey Thompson drag slicks through a modern five-speed manual transmission.
The suspension uses the original design, but is equipped with adjustable Penske shocks, and the car features rack and pinion steering and 1963-style disc brakes. A hardtop has been added for improved aerodynamics, just like Larson’s car.
Pricing starts at a jaw-dropping $750,000, but that’s less than you’d have to pay for one of the original five cars. A yellow one that was built in 1965 was auctioned in 2022 for $1,375,000.
Each car takes about a year to build and a portion of the sale of the price paid for the new car will be donated to the Carroll Shelby Foundation, which helps children facing life-threatening illnesses.