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Hagerty Employee

The most insane 427 Cobra ever built is about to strike at Scottsdale | Hagerty Media

Even if you're not a dedicated racing enthusiast, you know of the rivalry between Carroll Shelby and Enzo Ferrari, thanks to the 2019 film starring Matt Damon and Christian Bale. You're probably less familiar with the less-formal Shelby versus Ferrari competition that played out on the U.S.

" because I can..."
Advanced Driver

Nothing exceeds like excess.
Advanced Driver

The truly insane part is the automatic transmission. Real sports cars have three pedals or, at least, dual clutches.

I was in complete agreement with you, until you said “at least...”

Typically I'd agree, I'm a gear jammer to the core but this might be one of the very few instances where there's always an over abundance of power and both hands, and all concentration, needs to be on steering.

If you've ever driven an original, genuine four speed Cobra, you'll recall that the length of the drivetrain required the shift lever to be installed backwards. The leverage dynamic doesn't allow for super quick speed shifting so installing a shift-kitted C6 meant quicker gear changes and a slight calming effect of the blown FE's power. It was all still there at WOT, so win-win.
New Driver

Excuse my ignorance. What does WOT mean?
Community Manager

WOT is Wide Open Throttle! 

Hagerty Fan
Not applicable

No DCs were around back then neither the electronics to operate them. This animal most likely recreated for 1/4 mile fun is why the C6 was used. Most likely the valve body modified for quick shifts and manual shift operation. It's also easy to modify the clutch drum to be able to stuff more clutch disks into it.
Advanced Driver

That blue is truly beautiful! Ford certainly got a lot of use out of that auto shifter design! It's shown up in everything from Mustangs to Pintos! It seems that a car of this magnificence deserves a not so dinky shifter!! 🙂
Intermediate Driver

Is the ex-Cosby car CSX3303 or 3305? Both numbers appear in this article. Either way, I’m sure at some point in time the second duel supercharged 427 Cobra will miraculously be discovered. Then it will be treated to a “complete restoration” (new body, chassis, engine, drive gear and interior), and offered at auction for big money....

From a web search - "What remained of it was hauled off to a junkyard, only to be retrieved by a wise car collector who shipped the remains to A.C. Cars in England, where it began life and where it received all the born-again parts, including a new frame (but no superchargers). It now resides in a private collection."
New Driver

The Cosby car was CSX 3303. After its wreck, it went to a scrapyard and its engine, transmission, brakes, suspension, etc. were used in the construction of a hot rod. The bare chassis was later sold to a Cobra specialist who sold the VIN to Brian Angliss of Autokraft in the UK. It was initially reconstructed as a typical 427 Cobra, but later the original engine, transmission, and other parts were acquired, and the new 3303 was rebuilt as the second Super Snake.
Hagerty Employee

@jcav48, thanks for the close read. the ex-Cosby car is CSX 3303, not 3305, and we've since fixed the typo.

Also might want to fix the reference to the blowers feeding the car's carburetor - it clearly has two 4bbls.
Community Manager

Good catch, fixing that now! 


What a nutty car and what a beautiful blue color. I'll take it.
Pit Crew

discogs has some decent images of the susan webb long player.

I have something in common with Caroll Shelby! Dymo labelmaker!!

Watch the Jay Leno clip after. It is much funnier. (and shorter)


While I totally understand why the new Corvette has, and should have, an automatic transmission, I was stunned to see that this car is a pedal short. I can only guess that the car was built to go one quarter of a mile at a time.

Shelby actually converted his own personal Cobra to automatic later in life, so he could continue to enjoy it as his health deteriorated.
Intermediate Driver

great stories ,we used to call S&C Ford ,screwy and crazy . The other cobra went over the cliffs on highway 1 .In High school we called it Devils Slide .When cars went over the side they were left at the foot of the cliffs as a warning to neer-do-well hot rodding teenagers .
Intermediate Driver

In my view it would be extremely hard to own this car and not drive it like it wants to be driven, what I mean is really turn it loose. I assume those are Holley 780s. Nine mpg, I was surprised to read that the car gets that much.
I would think this car will be sold again. The owner should be pleased with this Grace Houghton Article. It has plenty of sizzle!
Pit Crew

If I could choose one Cobra it would be a 1964 289 with slab sides, wire wheels and a deep blue with no boy racer side pipes or fender flares.

I would have guessed double pumpers not vacuum secondaries but with the AT its makes sense, probably why it still gets 9mpg, I think that's what I got with my Cleveland Mustang and a double pumper. I don't think 800hp is too far off the mark at the flywheel.

Very few cars ever produced have such an evil looking persona as this vehicle. Drop dead gorgeous.
Intermediate Driver

I have that album (still) and remember that story. It still makes me laugh (just listened to it and also a Tonight show with Leno in which Cosby tell its). I always thought it was a made up piece of very funny comedy. Now I know different. Who knew!

Try to keep your facts straight. You refer to the car as a "competition coupe" in the text. It looks a lot like an AC modified by Shelby. In the land of it's birth it's an open two seater, here it would be a roadster. Correct me if I'm wrong.
Intermediate Driver


C6 auto; plenty strong to take whatever that beast of an FE plant can dish out. Auto tranny; the best setup for a trip down the strip, no doubt. I still have a 52,000 mile original 428FE with it's original, never un-mated C-6 still attached to it sitting in my garage awaiting use in the next Ford car project (67-69 Mustang fastback?).
The Super Snake gets 9 MPG? That's pretty good... My 427SC with a 520 inch 385 series stroker motor and TKO 5 speed gets slightly worse than that in the city. My "worst" mileage day was one that I had at O Reilly Park with my friends. We did autocross, road course, high bank oval and then the strip opened up in the evening.
That day I averaged 2.4 MPG!
Stick that in your blender and mix it Mr. Prius!

fairwell and adieu to you fair Spanish ladies...

the 1930s-tech AC ladder chassis was never meant for a 500-1000bhp truck motor;

the only worse widowmaker of the era ( not counting Lotus GP and other kit cars like the Europa) was the Cheetah, another American kamikaze this one designed out the back door of the General;

While the value of an automatic transmission for the drag strip is undisputed, Automatic Transmissions typically keep mechanically boosted cars (centrifugal methods) making more power over three pedal cars, RPM range is critical's why:

Nut shell: Useable efficiency range of the compressor

The science: Every impeller design has a speed range where it’s highly efficient at moving air. With today’s computer-aided design (CAD) and automated profile machining, these RPM ranges tend to be fairly wide, but that wasn’t always the case.
Within the sweet spot of an impeller’s efficiency range, the dynamic sealing between the blades and housing improves to the point where the system begins to seriously tax the inlet airflow characteristics and whatever might follow the supercharger in the sequence of intake components. This means that when the blower starts to get in its performance curve, anything in the rest of the intake tract that can’t handle the flow will seriously compromise the net effect of the supercharger. While this is true regardless of the general type of supercharger installed on an engine, it is particularly true with the centrifugal types because of the remarkable change in airflow that can take place with a very small change in engine speed.

Where I got this from:


Good article. Cool car.