The Iconic 1965 Shelby Cobra

The 1965 Cobra could be categorized as a very unique American import. This was the high performance sports car assembled by Carroll Shelby automobile innovator and race car driver. The Shelby Cobra is truly an historic high performance sports car designed for maximum speed. by an internationally famous racer.

1965 Cobra

1965 Cobra

The Cobra chassis was a product from AC, a British special automaker also known as AC Cars Ltd and Auto Carriers Ltd. The Cobra chassis was from the company's AC Ace model. That's about the only similarity between the Cobra and the Ace.

Carroll Shelby had a strong working relationship with the Ford Motor Company. This relationship had Shelby installing a Ford V-8 in the Cobra. The first Cobra in 1962 had a Ford 260 horsepower engine inside a 2,100 pound sports car. This combination made for a powerful little car. While the car was a combination AC chassis and Ford engine, the Cobra's were built under the Shelby name. While the car itself was not a Ford product it did have a Ford V-8 engine and an insignia saying "Powered by Ford". Good promotion for Ford Motor in the high performance market.

The 1965 Shelby Cobra

The 1965 Shelby Cobra had tremendous power with a Ford big block 427 cubic inch V-8 engine delivering 510 horsepower. This is 510 horsepower in a 2,100 pound car.

Cobra Race Car

Cobra Race Car

To accommodate the big block V-8 several alterations had to be made to the Cobra's frame. This included a larger tube frame and five inches added to the width. Flared fenders were also added to accommodate the larger wheels.

Three hundred and fifty eight Cobra 427's were built from 1965 to 1967. About 100 of these had a 355 horsepower engine. The Cobra 427 was a true sports car racer. Some of the original Cobra models produced could get to 100 MPH and then back to zero in about 14 seconds. Truly incredible performance.

The $400,000 Challenge

The 1965 Shelby Cobra competed directly against the high performance Ferrari. One of the most interesting events between these to sports cars occurred in 2011 in a $400,000 Challenge. This was a winner take all and pitted the 1965 Cobra against a 2011 Ferrari 458 Italia.

The challenge between these two legendary high performance cars, one American and the other European, was which would be the fastest on a quarter mile run. This was basically a drag race between the two famous cars and also two friends at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. In this particular challenge the 1965 427 Shelby Cobra was about eight tenths of a second faster than the Gerrari 458 Italia.

2012 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion

Another significant racing event featuring the Shelby Cobra was held in 2012 at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion in Salinas California. One hundred and sixty nine Cobras were on display at this event which celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Shelby Cobra. The winner of this featured race was a 1964 Cobra 289. A special exhibit at the California event was the very first Shelby Cobra production model built.

1965 Shelby Cobra cockpit

1965 Shelby Cobra cockpit

Cobra Replicas

The Shelby Cobra was a car in demand. Any sports car enthusiast who wanted the power and performance the Cobra offered wanted to obtain one. As a result there was great demand for Cobra replicas starting in the 1970's.

Today you'll find Cobra replica kit cars priced in a range from the high $20,000's to the low $40,000's. depending on the exact model and condition. We've also seen asking prices for 1965 Cobra 427 replicas in the high $40,000 area. Most Cobras offered today are totally completed but you'll also likely find a few that need more work. Cobra replica kits were all over the market during the 1970's meaning there's enough to choose from.

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Shelby Cobra classic racing stripes

Shelby Cobra classic racing stripes

1965 Cobra Factory Five

The 1965 Shelby Cobra featured in this article is a Factory Five replica car. factory Five is a well known manufacturer of quality roadsters and coupes. The company is known for it's cutting edge technology which produces excellent recreations.

The 1965 Cobra Collector Car

The Shelby Cobra is an iconic American high performance sports car. The originals are some of the most expensive high performance cars of the 1960's. The highest priced original Shelby Cobras have had auction prices above $1 million.

Shelby Cobra rear

Shelby Cobra rear

The highest priced Cobra's would be the 427 Competition models. These would typically see prices above the $1 million mark. Lower on the price scale for original Shelby Cobras would be the CSX 4000 and the 289 Cobra. These two models would still be the several hundred thousand dollar range.

The Shelby Cobra's are iconic American high performance sports cars that have not lost their popularity over the decades. They remain one of most popular collector cars to this day.

(Article and photos copyright 2013 AutoMuseumOnline)

The 1970 High Performance Ford Mustang

The 1970 Ford Mustang featured in this article is a sleek looking car as well as a muscle car.Since the car's introduction it's performance was enhanced greatly especially with the engine work that Carroll Shelby did with his famous Cobras.

1970 Ford Mustang

1970 Ford Mustang

The Ford Mustang was first introduced to the car buying public with what may have been the largest if not most glamorous advertising campaign of any automobile.

In April 1964 Ford Motor Company flooded the television airwaves with Mustang commercials on all three major networks at the same time. The Ford Mustang commercials aired at 9:30P reaching what was estimated to be 29 million viewers. Ford's media blitz for it's new Mustang continued throughout the weekend with ads in over 2,000 newspapers.

Ford Motor advertised two attributes for it's new Mustang. The first was a new sporty design and the second was price. In 1964 a Ford Mustang hardtop could be purchased for around $2,300. Ford Motor hit it right when they tapped the market for lower priced, sporty performance cars that would be attractive to the average buyer. Many new Mustang buyers never owned a sporty looking car before.

1970 Mustang Coupe

1970 Mustang Coupe

Ford ushered in the era of the "Pony Car" with it's Mustang. The name took hold because of the Mustang's equestrian sound. The emblem of course was also a Mustang horse.

These were compact, sporty looking cars with performance. It wouldn't be too long before GM and Chrysler joined their versions of the Pony Car. GM tried to position it's Corvair against the Mustang but the Corvair itself disappeared. Advertising for all of these cars were generally targeted to a young audience.

1970 Mustang Styling

The Ford Mustang's roots go back to the Ford Falcon platform although the body was certainly different. The 1970 Ford Mustang had very little design changes from the prior model year. One such change was going with the dual headlights once again. Quarter panel scoops were emitted and the taillights were recessed.

High back bucket seats became standard and the car's steering wheel was shaped oval. Options for 1970 included chrome styled steel wheels and Magnum 500 chrome wheels.

Ford Mustang's long sleek hood with ornamentation

Ford Mustang's long sleek hood with ornamentation

Plenty of Engines for the 1970 Mustang

In all, there were nine different engines built for the 1970 Ford Mustang. The smallest was the 200 cubic inch six cylinder delivering 120 horsepower. The largest engine available was the 429 cubic inch V-8 delivering a massive 375 horsepower. This was the Mustang Boss engine. The 390 cubic inch V-8 was dropped in 1970. The 351 cubic inch V-8 came in both two and four barrel carburetors. Ford offered something for everyone with it's 1970 Mustang. There were plenty of options available for buyers to individualize their new Mustangs. This was a big selling point.

All during the 1960's automakers were designing and selling plenty of  "performance cars". In addition to the Mustang you had Pontiac GTO's and Cobras. The Dodge Challenger and Plymouth Barracuda were another two models to go against the Mustang.

The year 1970 may have been the biggest year of all for performance car choices. In their favor was the lack of strict emission control laws which would come into play a few years later. Unleaded gas and a host of safety requirements would come along too. Without these laws in effect in 1970 the automakers had free rein with boosting power and performance.

1970 Mustang

1970 Mustang

1970 Ford Mustang Specifications

As mentioned above, depending on what kind of power you were looking for there were nine different engines available. The most common engine was a 302 cubic inch V-8 delivering 220 horsepower.

The two transmissions offered in 1970 were a four speed manual and a Cruise-O-Matic automatic.

The 1970 Mustang had a wheelbase of 109.0 inches, an overall length of 189.5 inches, a width of 74.1 inches and a height of 50.7 inches. Curb weight came in at about 3,200 lbs.

Front suspension were independent coil springs and shocks calibrated to match the model and weight. Rear suspension was longitudinal semi elliptic leaf springs.

Standard brakes were self adjusting four wheel drum. An option available were power front disc brakes.

Total Ford Mustang production for the 1970 model year was 190,700. Out of this figure 77,100 were two door hardtops which were the highest number produced. The hardtop was Mustang's best selling model ever since the car was introduced. The next highest number built was the high performance Mach I Fastback at about 41,000 units.

New car prices for the 1970 Mustang ranged from about $2,700 to $3,700. The highest priced was the Mustang Boss 302. The second highest price was for the Mach I. Both the Mustang Mach I and the Boss 302 were cars for buyers that were looking for performance. A special Boss 429 was also put on the market with a price tag of around $5,000. Some Mustang enthusiasts say that while the Boss 429 had an official rated horsepower of 375 the actual horsepower was closer to 500.

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1970 Ford Mustang grille and headlight arrangement

1970 Ford Mustang grille and headlight arrangement

The 1970 Ford Mustang Collector Car

The Mustang featured in this article is a great looking car and is a popular collector car for Pony Car enthusiasts. The 1970 Ford Mustang is a muscle car in the true sense of the word.

1970 Ford Mustang prices vary widely dependent on the exact model and engine. The highest asking prices will obviously be the Boss 329 and Mach I models. If you find a rare Boss 429 you're looking at six figures. A 1970 Mach I may have an asking price in the $40,000 to $50,000 plus range. For other 1970 Mustangs you'll see prices in the high teens to the $50,000 range depending on condition and originality. A non restored 1970 Mustang Coupe in average condition might have an asking price in the $11,000 to $13,000 range.

(Article and photos copyright 2013 AutoMuseumOnline)

 

 

A Beauty of a 1960 Chevy Corvette

The 1960 Chevrolet Corvette featured in this article is a beauty. Everything about this car looks like "classic Corvette". The lines and trim on this model were what helped make the Corvette so popular with the younger car buyers.

1960 Corvette

1960 Corvette

The two seat 1960 the Corvette was competing against the European import sport cars as well as against the Ford Thunderbird to some degree. Chevrolet gave the third generation Corvettes more ornamentation and used more aluminum in their construction.

Design and Styling

The very first Chevy Corvette ever produced came off the GM assembly line on June 30, 1953. This was a very significant step forward for GM and it's Chevrolet Division in as much as this was their first car ever with a fiberglass body. This was a pretty radical change for the early 1950's. By the same token, while the fiberglass body was entirely new, almost all the parts underneath it were taken from the current Chevrolet parts shelf. The body was actually fiberglass reinforced plastic on a steel frame.

Corvette designing has always been an interesting endeavor for Chevrolet. The original Corvette was designed largely by legendary GM designer, Harley Earl. It was at Earl's urging that GM decided to produce the roadster. Even though the sports car nearly failed  to catch on after it's introduction, designs and mechanics have steadily changed over the decades to make the Chevy Corvette an American icon.

1960 Third Generation Chevy Corvette

1960 Third Generation Chevy Corvette

Harley Earl retired from GM in 1958 and the design team for the 1960 Corvette was led by Bill Mitchell who had worked under Earl.

The third generation Chevrolet Corvettes, of which this 1960 Corvette model is a part were given a new rear end which included a new anti-sway bar. In addition to that the 1960 Corvette shown here has a new cockpit featuring a redesigned dashboard. The entire car however was changed very little from the 1959 Corvette which was also a third generation car. The model year 1960 however was the last for Corvette's heavy teeth grille. This grille was replaced with a mesh screen on the radiator opening.

1960 Chevy Corvette Specifications

The 1960 third generation Corvette rolled off the assembly line with a 283 cubic inch V-8 engine. There were a variety of four barrel carburetors in the five available engines including one with a fuel injector. Horsepower ranged, depending on the engine, from 230 to 290 horsepower. Quite a lot of added power when you consider that the first 1954 Corvette model came only with a 235 cubic inch six cylinder engine.

1960 Chevy Corvette dashboard

1960 Chevy Corvette dashboard

It's interesting to note that for the 1965 model year the lowest horsepower Corvette offered delivered 350 horsepower and the highest horsepower available that year was 425. Quite a move up in power since 1960.

The 1960 Chevy Corvette had a 102.0 inch wheelbase which was the exact same as with the original 1954 model. The Corvette's overall length was 177.2 inches which was up from the 1954's 167.3 inches. The car's height was pegged at 51.0 inches and it's ground clearance was 5.8 inches.

The 1960 Chevrolet Corvettes which were built at Chevy's St. Louis Missouri factory were available with a four speed manual transmission and a Powerglide automatic.

Front suspension consisted of independent coil springs and rear suspension were semi elliptical leaf. Wheel size was 15 inches.

Curb weight was 2,975 lbs.

The 1960 Corvette new base model price was about $3,900.

Total 1960 model year Corvette production was 10,261 vehicles. The split between manual and automatic transmissions was about even.

1960 Chevrolet Corvette

1960 Chevrolet Corvette

You can find the Corvette's serial number left front door hinge pillar. The 1960 Coevette's had a twelve character serial number containing numerals and letters. The letter used signified the factory where it was built. The second and third numbers designated the series. Fourth and fifth numbers were the body style, the letter in the sixth position was the assembly plant and the remaining numbers were the individual vehicle's serial number.

See our additional Corvette photo articles on the links below...

Fourth Generation 1962 Corvette

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The First Corvette

An interesting book that includes the 1960 Corvette is, Corvette: American Legend , 1958-60 ( History Series No. 5) by Noland Adams.

Another interesting publication is The Complete Corvette Restoration and Technical Guide, Vol. 1 : 1953 Through 1962 also by Noland Adams.

1960 Chevy Corvette taillight design

1960 Chevy Corvette taillight design

Corvette Collector's Cars

Many Chevrolet Corvettes are very popular collector cars and the 1960 Corvette is a perfect example. This car is a classic collectible.

As of this writing, asking prices are easily in the $60,000 range plus and don't be surprised to see six figures asked. All depends on the exact model, originality and condition. Certain color combinations are more popular.

If your travels take you to Bowling Green Kentucky don't miss stopping by the National Corvette Museum. The museum is a non profit and celebrates the invention of the Chevy Corvette. The museum also hosts several Corvette events throughout the year. Across the street from the museum is GM's Bowling Green Corvette Assembly Plant which is the only place that Corvettes are now produced. The address for the National Corvette Museum is 350 Corvette Drive, Bowling Green, Kentucky.

(Article and photos copyright 2013 AutoMuseumOnline)

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