Few cars have the same iconic status as the AC Cobra. Even if you aren’t a car enthusiast, you have probably know what a Cobra is.
The Cobra legend was born in the early 1960s when American racing hero Carroll Shelby asked British sportscar firm AC Cars to chuck out the weedy motor from its Ace model and shoehorn a V8 into the engine bay. The rest, as they say, is well-documented history.
Cobras, as they were commonly known, went to to challenge the heavyweights of sportcar racing including Jaguar, Ford and Ferrari at racetracks around the world.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 289 model Shelby American has launched the Shelby 50th Anniversary 289 FIA Cobra. The limited-edition model, just 50 will be built, was unveiled at the Barrett-Jackson auction currently taking place in Arizona.
The new car is so named for the stand-out FIA stripes against Shelby’s signature Viking Blue paint. Special billet anniversary badges and Cobra racing wheels are part of the standard kit, though there are many options to be had.
“The 289 FIA Shelby Cobras were among the most important cars in American racing history,” said John Luft, president of Shelby American. “The FIA Cobras built during that period were piloted by racing legends including Ken Miles, Dan Gurney, Phil Hill and Bob Bondurant.
“Thus, some of the most revered drivers in the sport put the 289 FIA Cobra into the winner’s circle. Combining a robust, powerful American engine with a lightweight chassis was sheer brilliance. Shelby’s formula still resonates today and is followed by automakers worldwide.”