1965 Shelby Cobra Daytona 427 Super Coupe
Above Images ©Russo and Steele Collector Automobiles
Prepared for the 1965 season, Shelby American's new large block 427 Cobra was built to replace the small block versions that missed the 1964 World Manufacturers Championship by a just a few points. These small block Cobra Daytona Coupes performed particularly well that year, motivating Ford to assist Shelby with their new 427 Cobras. At that time, Ford was dumping massive resources into taking the World Championship from Ferrari - our feature 427 Super Coupe was built as part of this initiative.
As Shelby's efforts turned toward the production of the 427 Cobras, Peter Brock, Director of Shelby's Special Projects, turned his talents to the second version of the Daytona Coupe. After completing the necessary drawings and a one-quarter-scale model, Brock was convinced that 215 miles per hour seemed possible. Brock then got the 'green light' from Shelby and together they chose the famous LeMans circuit to debut the new 427 Super Coupe.
A special competition chassis was built by AC Cars Ltd and Ford was then convinced to construct a low drag body for it. Final assembly was to be completed by Radford on chassis # CSB3054 (Carroll Shelby Britain), but Brock became understandably frustrated with Radford after they showed little competence to complete the car. At his suggestion, the incomplete chassis and body were shipped to Shelby American in Los Angeles for final installation of the drive train and completion.
Unfortunately, as the date rapidly approached for the required minimum of 100 Cobras to be completed for homologation, Shelby fell short of this requirement and was forced to once again field the previous year's small block 289 Daytona Coupes. Regardless, work continued on Peter Brock's 427 Coupe designated the Type 65 Super Coupe.
With the 1965 Race Season already underway, Ford's GT40 program was starting to show promise and all available resources were diverted to its success. Ford was planning to win LeMans with the GT40 and Peter Brock, along with his Super Coupe, eventually became casualties of the vendetta to unseat Ferrari.
Post Season History
Ultimately, the Type 65 Daytona Super Coupe was sold as part of a package deal when Shelby American was liquidated. After being purchased by a Kansas collector, master fabricator Mike Dopudja completed the project with guidance from Peter Brock Unveiled at Riverside Vintage Races in 1981, it was driven on numerous occasions.
The 427 Daytona Super Coupe was later purchased by George Stauffer who continued to refine the car to the exacting standards of Brock's original specifications. Since this time, it has received a comprehensive restoration.
As another chapter in CSB3054's history, Russo and Steele will offer the car at their upcoming sale in Monterey. More details can be found at http://www.russoandsteel.com.
Story adapted from Russo and Steele Collector Automobiles for Supercars.net