November 1965


AS A NUMBER OF PEOPLE HAVE FOUND OUT, when you have a world beater on your hands, be it automobile or outhouse, you don't just sit back on your laurels and expect people to let you get away with it.

So it was, and is, with Carroll Shelby and the Cobra. In 1964 and 1965. Shelby had the Production car world by the tail with his 289 Ford-powered "snake." Except in very, very rare instances, where all-out effort was coupled with all-out driving ability, the Cobra was unbeatable. It didn't look as though anybody who would, could beat it, and those who possibly could, wouldn't.

Nobody could have blamed Shelby if he had sat back and rested on his and his crew's achievements. But Carroll & Co., including such foxy types as Ken Miles, have been around a good while. As we said, 1964 was strictly "The Year of the Snake", but since the day when we walked into a small stall shop and helped put the finishing touches on totally unpainted Cobra #1, we've made a point of keeping an eye on the ever-growing snake pit.

So it was that at Sebring in 1964, even though we had other fish to fry (somewhat inauspiciously) we made a special effort to be around the Cobra quarters, having heard earlier that the ubiquitous Mr. Miles had shoehorned a monstrous Grand National type 427 C.I. Ford into one of the team cars. Sure enough, he had. He had also managed to mow down the only tree in five acres of open ground when the beast got away from him coming out of the Esses in an early practice session, and was busily pounding out the divots in the car when we made the scene. We decided this was no time for idle conversation and went elsewhere to attend to our own machinery.

The NASCAR 427 Engine

The street version costs $7495 and is just about complete for that use. The competition version - as tested - costs $9500. but options needed for specific types of races -can raise its cost a bit more.  The light-weight version of the powerful 427 used in the race cars has aluminum heads and other parts to make it some 80 lbs. lighter.

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