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Shelby 427 Cobra Price, Specs, Photos & Review

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Shelby 427 Cobra Price

If you want a car that is capable of winning the world’s toughest races, the Shelby 427 Cobra price is one of the most affordable. When new in 1966 it was priced well above any other American car. This served to cover the intense engineering costs and keep it away from inexperienced drivers. Today, an unrestored original Shelby 427 Cobra for sale will start at over one million dollars.

Modern updates keep the Shelby Cobra safe & fun

Shelby 427 Cobra Review

The Shelby 427 Cobra began life in England as the AC Ace in 1953. It was initially offered with leaf spring suspension and an anemic straight-six. Carroll Shelby was a racer who was looking to take on the world. Ford supplied their 289 V8 and the combination was christened the 1965 Shelby Cobra.

Small block Cobras are fun, but there was a limit to their power. So after a few experiments with the 390 Big Block, Ford realized the potential of the427 Shelby Cobra horsepower. Starting from scratch, the chassis was made of 4″ steel tubing instead of 3″. Coil springs replaced the leaves and a massive radiator was used to keep the beast cool.

Imitation is the best flattery when it comes to the Shelby Cobra

For a proper Shelby 427 Cobra review, imagine incredible power, sound, heat, and vibration in one package. It turns well for an old car, but you really feel the 600-lb engine as the center of gravity. Being so nose-heavy, plan your maneuvers well in advance, and be ready for adversity. A 5-point harness and a helmet are recommended.

Don't get burned, the Shelby 427 Cobra has hot side pipe exhaust

Shelby 427 Cobra Specs

Nothing beats the feeling of a Shelby 427 Cobra specs. That is because it has a massive engine while only weighing 2,355 lbs. Depending on differential ratios, the nominal Shelby 427 Cobra top speed is 160 mph. Surprisingly quick for the era, most Shelby 427 Cobra 0-60 is 3.4 seconds.

  • Price: $1,500,000
  • Engine: Ford 427 (7-Liter) V8
  • Transmission: 4-speed Manual
  • Horsepower: 360hp
  • Torque: 419 lb-ft
  • 0-60: 3.4 seconds
  • 1/4 Mile: 12.2 seconds @ 118 mph
  • Top Speed: 160 mph
The air box around the  Shelby 427 Cobra carburetor kept it cool

Shelby 427 Cobra Engine

When purchasing a Shelby 427 Cobra for sale, you receive a capable chassis wrapped around a monster engine. The Shelby 427 Cobra engine was designed for racing and heavy-duty environments. Known as the “Side Oiler” Ford added an oil gallery on the driver’s side to feed the crank bearings first and cam bearings second.

Known as priority oiling, it kept the bottom end cooler than competitors. While the Shelby 427 Cobra competition models used aggressive camshafts, the showroom model was very conservative. It is a hydraulic flat tappet with 500 lift and only 78 degrees of overlap. This allowed the Shelby 427 Cobra mpg to be on-par with other exotics of the era. The engine and its condition can make or break the 427 Shelby Cobra price. So make sure the numbers match those stored in the Shelby Cobra CSX registry.

Mr. Shelby in a promo shot for his 427 Cobra

Shelby 427 Cobra Transmission

Much like most performance car of the era, the Shelby 427 Cobra was only available with a manual transmission. Ford’s Top Loader 4-speed is nearly indestructible, and the hydraulic clutch linkage was easy to modulate. Beefy synchros can be felt through the shifter, and the close ratios make it easy to drive without using the clutch. Why can’t cars be this good again? It is doubtful that a modern manual gearbox could withstand the 427 Shelby Cobra horsepower.

Cobra 101: A Brief Breakdown of the Shelby Cobra’s Lineage

A simple dash shows a signature of the maker. Carroll Shelby liked to autograph each Cobra.

Shelby 427 Cobra Interior

Aside from adding carpet, the original Cobra interior was carried over from the AC Ace. It offers two leather seats without headrests, a massive wood steering wheel, all necessary gauges, and an ignition switch. A rollover hoop was optional for the driver. Designed for the average Englishman in the early 50’s, it is a tight squeeze for many. An offset pedal box and lack of a roof are common grievances.

Behind the center lock wheels are Girling disc brakes on the Shelby 427 Cobra

Shelby 427 Cobra Brakes

Prototypes of the AC Cobra all had inboard brakes. This offered the lowest unsprung weight possible. It was a costly system, so Carroll chose traditional disc brakes by Girling. Much lighter than drums of the day, it allowed the Shelby Cobra weight to be under 2,400 lbs. Given the Shelby Cobra top speed of 160 mph, it was nice to know you had world-famous brakes at each corner.

All real & authentic Shelby Cobras have this CSX plate

Shelby 427 Cobra Standout Features

Perhaps the most copied car of all time, there are a dozen companies that offer reproductions of the Shelby 427 Cobra. One reason is that the price of an authentic Shelby Cobra is unreachable by the average enthusiast. Every original Cobra has a unique 4-digit code.

First Cobra Ever Heading to RM Sotheby’s Monterey Auction

Starting with the first production car “CSX 2000”, every authentic car is known as a CSX Cobra. Carroll Shelby and his team kept incredible records of each car, so validating a Shelby Cobra CSX number is as easy as a phone call. A real Shelby Cobra is worth a fortune in any condition, while replicas rise and fall with the market.