15 Reasons They Need To Bring Back The 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 ASAP

Mustangs have been known as fast and powerful cars. However, the Shelby Cobra is a modification of the Mustang that took the main idea and added to it. Shelby has been here almost as long as Mustangs.



The first car was produced in 1965 and became one of the fastest vehicles in the world. There are many variations of Shelby, but one thing that they all have in common is a blend of race-inspired looks and performance features. From 1965 till this day, Mustang and Shelby have interwoven their histories.

The 1966 version of Shelby got multiple exterior and performance upgrades. You can easily tell the difference between the ’66 and previous-gen cars by looking at brake scoops. The 1966 Shelby had the unique variation, the GT350H, with a distinctive black and gold paint scheme. Here are 15 reasons they need to bring back the 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 ASAP.


15 Ford 7.0L FE Engine

The Cobra got the Ford 7.0L FE engine and a lightweight AC Ace body that made it the wildest car in America. It was rated at 425 hp and 6,000 rpm and 480 lb-ft of torque. The car could go as fast as 164 mph. The more powerful 485 hp version was produced later.

14 Competition models

The competition version was produced at the end of 1965. Two prototypes have been sent to the US and were finished in Shelby’s workshop. The car missed the homologation for the racing season. Moreover, only 56 out of 100 units were made. This makes the competition model one of the most expensive Cobras.


13 11 different gauges

Inside the car, you could find 11 different gauges. 3 of them were placed right in front of the driver. Others were mounted in the middle of the dash. With so many gauges, the dash looked crowded. But since it was a race car for the road, nothing looked redundant.

RELATED: Drag Racing Trio: Camaro ZL1 Vs Shelby GT500 Vs Challenger Hellcat

12 Simple interior design

The little doors of the 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 were flat. The simplicity of the interior can be explained by the desire to make the lightest car possible. The center tunnel didn’t have many details either, just a shifter and a hand-brake lever. The seats were also simple and didn’t even have proper seatbelts.


11 0-60 in 4.5 seconds

The car got a 3-speed automatic transmission that sent all power to the rear wheels. The 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. The official top speed was 165 mph. However, the rumor has it that the car could almost hit a whopping 200 mph.

10 The Rarest Snake

The 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 reached its peak performance in 1966 when the Super Snake was launched. It was the rarest modification of the bunch, called the “Cobra to end all Cobras.” This model holds the title for the priciest car in the US sold at auction. It was driven by Carroll Shelby himself.


9 Recirculating Ball With Power Assist Steering

Back in the ’60s, the recirculating ball was an innovative mechanism that Ford kept until the ’90s. The main benefits were strength and durability. The ball had a worm gear inside it. The gear cut into the sector shaft that moved the Pitman’s arm. The steering wheel was connected to the shaft.

RELATED: At The Track: Hennessey Races 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500 V McLaren 720S

8th The overhead valve engine

The overhead valve engine had a camshaft located in the block. The motion of that shaft was transferred using pushrods. The main benefit of the engine was the smaller overall size, compared to OHC engines of that time. Besides, it had fewer lubrication requirements due to the lack of certain bearings.


7 Bucket seats

Bucket seats were a relatively new thing in the ’60s. They were available for race cars and could keep you and your passenger in place at high speeds. However, you couldn’t adjust their angle or make them more comfortable. The seats offered advanced lateral support and were lighter in weight than stock bucket seats.

6 Four Way Hazard Flashers

The 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 had only basic safety features, such as the 4-way hazard flashers. These lights will flash to warn other drivers that the car is a temporary hazard. For example, when you have to stop your car quickly and there is a chance another vehicle might not see you.


5 Front disk brakes

Compared to drum brakes that were popular in the ’60s, front disc brakes had much better stopping performance. Therefore, they were less prone to the brake fade and had a reduced risk of overheating. Besides, drum brakes were less effective when water got to them. This wasn’t a problem with disc brakes.

RELATED: How’d You Like To Win A 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500?

4 3-spoke steering wheel

Most cars of that time had 4-spoke steering wheels, only luxury sports car could get a 3-spoke option. Besides, additional spokes could add unnecessary weight. The spokes were amazingly thin and hard as a rock. There were 3 of them – because one or two spokes weren’t strong enough in a crash situation.


3 Headlight dimmer switch

The headlight dimmer switch was a convenience feature that the 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 had. The switch allowed you to control the headlight functions manually, such as to switch between low and high beam headings. The switch sat in the steering column. The Cobra 427 didn’t have interior lights and only basic light indicators.

2 Collapsible Steering Column

The collapsible steering column was part of the passive safety system that reduced the risk of injuries during a head-on collision. The column had a tube within a tube that could fit into each other. During car-to-car frontal impact accidents, the tubes would collapse and absorb the energy of the impact.


1 New Exterior Materials

Always searching for ways to improve performance, Carroll Shelby fitted the Cobra with a fiberglass nose and 4 side vents. He said that “when I built this dual supercharged 427 Cobra in 1966, I wanted it to be the fastest, meanest car.” Even now, the car can kick the tail of many modern vehicles.

NEXT: Shelby Cobra CSX2000 Bondurant Tribute 289 In Focus

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.