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LAS VEGAS – August 18, 2017 – Shelby American will finish the “secret weapon” program that Carroll Shelby envisioned for the 1964 24 Hours of Le Mans with a limited production series of big block Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupes. Six aluminum cars will be built to Shelby’s specifications for the original race car. The first in the series of the limited production build (CSX2603) will be introduced to the public during Monterey Collector Car Week in mid-August.


“We’re taking care of some ‘unfinished business’ for Carroll Shelby,” said Joe Conway, Co-CEO of Carroll Shelby International and CEO of Shelby American. “It was sometimes called the ‘car that never was’ because a lone big block Daytona prototype was built but never raced. We plan to complete this amazing program by offering six turn-key 427 powered Daytona Coupe racecars, which is the same number as the small block versions built in the 1960s.”


In 1964, Carroll Shelby asked renowned fabricator John Ohlsen to lengthen the chassis of one of the six Daytona Coupes (CSX2286) to replace the 289 c.i.d. Ford engine with a NASCAR inspired big block. The experimental racecar was supposed to be Shelby’s “secret weapon” for the 1964 Le Mans race.


One of the development drivers for the big block car was Bob Bondurant. He stated that the Cobra’s tremendous torque allowed him to burn rubber and get sideways in any gear. He noted that the Shelby “went like stink” and speculated that it could have topped 200 miles per hour at Le Mans. Weighing about 2,200 pounds with world class aerodynamics and the power of a big block, the car had tremendous performance potential.


However, destiny intervened. The truck carrying CSX2286 to Le Mans was involved in an accident that damaged the Shelby too much to be repaired in time for the race. It never ran a lap in anger with the 427 and was returned to small block configuration by Shelby American. Dan Gurney and Allen Grant drove CSX2286 at Le Mans with the 289 engine the next year, but the Cobra did not finish the race.


The continuation big block Daytona Coupes follow the same specs as the Ohlsen modified racecar. All Daytona Coupes will feature an aluminum body that can be painted in any race livery. Each continuation Coupe will feature a 3-inch lengthened chassis and hood to accept a powerful aluminum 427 medium-riser big block motor, which will be supplied by the Shelby Engine Company. The powerful 550+ horsepower engine will be mated to a period-correct 4-speed manual transmission. Each will be assigned a Shelby CSX2000 series serial number for documentation in the official Shelby Registry.


“This is an incredible opportunity to own a very rare collectible Shelby heritage race car,” said Gary Patterson, president of Shelby American. “Like the six small block cars built in the 1960s, these 427 powered Daytona Coupes will be a lasting tribute to another innovative Shelby racecar that would have caught the racing world off guard. These Coupes will be every bit as much a ‘secret weapon’ as Carroll had hoped for in 1964.”


CSX2603 will debut in polished aluminum bearing the number “4” and sporting a pair of white stripes with a single blue between them. This is the number and stripe scheme that CSX2286 would have worn for the 1964 Le Mans. It will be displayed at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion located at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca from August 18-20, 2017. For more information or to learn how to order one of the six continuation Daytona Coupes, please call visit www.Shelby.com or call (702) 942-7325.


About Shelby American, Inc.

Founded by legend Carroll Shelby, Shelby American manufactures and markets performance vehicles and related products. The company builds authentic continuation Cobras, including the 427 S/C, 289 FIA, 289 street car and Daytona Coupe component vehicles; it offers the Shelby GTE, 1000, GT500 Super Snake and Shelby Terlingua Racing Team post-title packages for the 2005-2017 Ford Mustang. Shelby American also offers the Shelby Super Snake F-150 and Shelby F-150 muscle trucks. For more information, visit www.shelby.com.


Media Contact:

Scott Black

TimePiece PR


(214) 520-3430 x. 303

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Forget the big block I would either use a Whipplecharged Coyote or the 5.2 out of the GT350. Imagine a Cobra Daytona Coupe that can scream to 8,200 rpm's!

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Forget the big block I would either use a Whipplecharged Coyote or the 5.2 out of the GT350. Imagine a Cobra Daytona Coupe that can scream to 8,200 rpm's!

They are doing a heritage/recreation and trying to stay as true to the original as much as possible by using a big block of that era. They arent doing a restomod. The whippled coyote may not fit under the deep draw style hood. The 5.2 FPC is probably not feasible without extensive modifications to aerodynamics to provide air flow to keep it cool , as well as proper engine mounting to keep it from vibrating to pieces or rattling the fillings out of your teeth, then combine that with coming up with an effective exhaust to fit under the Daytona coupe and manage exhaust gases properly would also be a challenge. The 5.2 isnt an engine you just drop in to any car you want to.


Speaking of Heritage, I do find it a bit odd that they are saying in the press release that the old big Block Daytona Coupe CSX#2286 had a 427 and that they are using a 427 in the newer version because if I recall correctly the big block Daytona coupe CSX#2286 actually had a special Ford Aluminum 390 stuffed in it.

Edited by mhr1961
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