Monday, March 15, 2010

SHELBY COBRA DAYTONA: AMERICAN RACING ICON!

Through a lurid series of events worthy of a TV soap opera, CSX2287 resides in Fred Simeone’s museum.
 When Shelby decided to build a Cobra coupe in 1964, he had already been out of sports car racing for some four years after winning Le Mans in 1959. After building the Cobra roadster he recognized that it was the easiest platform on which to build a world championship GT car quickly. Pete Brock, a graduate of the famed Art Center School of Design, was given the assignment to design Shelby’s new racecar. After the closed Cobra (CSX2287) was built, five additional chassis were sent to Italy to be bodied as Daytona Coupes.

In 1964 the GT Championship was barely won by Ferrari over the Daytona Coupe. However in 1965 Shelby won the Constructor’s GT World Championship. In addition, the Coupes had class victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1964 and 1965, as well as other important races plus a record-setting session at Bonneville. The complete story of Shelby’s Bonneville adventure is documented (The Salt: Last Dance For a Champion) in Daytona Cobra Coupes, by Peter Brock, David Friedman
and George Stauffer.