The Rarest Shelby Cobra 427 Ever Built Goes Out for a Spin, Flexes Angry V8

When it comes to American performance cars from the 1960s, people are usually looking at legends like the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Corvette, and Dodge Challenger. And there's nothing wrong with that, but no muscle car is as wild and fast as the Shelby Cobra, especially if the latter is fitted with a 427-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) V8.
one-of-one 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 7 photos
Photo: Legendary Motorcar/YouTube
one-of-one 1966 Shelby Cobra 427one-of-one 1966 Shelby Cobra 427one-of-one 1966 Shelby Cobra 427one-of-one 1966 Shelby Cobra 427one-of-one 1966 Shelby Cobra 427one-of-one 1966 Shelby Cobra 427
When Carroll Shelby began importing AC Ace shells in the U.S., he went with 260- and 289-cubic-inch (4.3- and 4.7-liter) V8 engines for power. It seemed enough since the British roadster tipped the scales at only 2,019 pounds (916 kg). But when Shelby decided to take the racing crown from Ferrari in the GT glass, a bigger 427 V8 showed up under the Cobra's hood.

Built from 1965 to 1967, the Cobra 427 was a tad heavier than the 289 at 2,355 pounds (1,068 kg), but the big-block FE-series engine was quite the monster at 425 horsepower and 480 pound-feet (651 Nm) of torque.

The tremendous power-to-weight ratio sent the Cobra 427 flying from 0 to 60 mph (97 kph) in less than 3.5 seconds and toward a top speed of more than 160 mph (257 kph). In 1965! And I'm not even going to talk about the semi-competition (S/C) 427, which came with 485 horsepower on tap.

On top of being one of the quickest and most powerful vehicles of its time, the Cobra 427 is also a rare collectible. Shelby built only 260 of them and many left the factory in even rarer configurations. This 1966 example that was recently featured by Legendary Motorcar, for instance, is a one-of-one Cobra.

What makes it unique, you ask? Well, it combines a factory roll bar, a hood scoop, and dark green paint. It's one of only two Cobra 427s delivered with roll bars from the factory and one of only five that got a hood scoop as a dealer-installed option.

Shelby actually finished around 56 Cobra 427s in green, but this appears seems to be the only one fitted with both a roll bar and a hood scoop. Not only that, but this Cobra went through a thorough restoration and it's one of the best-looking Shelby roadsters in existence.

It's one of those cars that you may never see in the metal, so the fact that the folks over at Legendary Motorcar took it out for a spin and recorded the whole thing is fabulous. But needless to say, they also did because they're trying to find a buyer for this car.

Having spent some 46 years with its original owner, this Cobra arrived at the Shelby American museum in 2012. It was sold to a new owner who restored it to brand-new condition and operated a few upgrades under the shell. Now a mind-blowing classic, this Cobra is worth more than $1 million. How much more? Well, Legendary Motorcar hasn't disclosed pricing, so you'll need to send them a message if you're interested.

If your piggy bank isn't fat enough for this car, hit the play button below to at least see it in action on public roads. That 427 V8 roars like there's no tomorrow.

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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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