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Hagerty Employee

Your handy 1965-67 Shelby 427 Cobra buyer's guide

You can't just pull a Shelby 427 Cobra out of a barn like you can with most cars of its era. That's because legitimate 427 Cobras-not the numerous reproductions-are extremely rare, unbelievably desirable, and priced accordingly. So rest assured: We are not here to convince you to buy a 427 Cobra, especially since you need no such motivation.

Obviously, these are highest-level collector cars, but without any raison d'etre but to go very fast. Uncomfortably too.
Without a full windshield or even a top, your local weatherperson better be damned good.

For 97% of the human population, we'd need the "Handy Guide to Inheritances and Lottery Winning".

I concur with audio. Fun article, but mostly irrelevant to us humble humans. Now where is my returnable bottle bag?

Before you commit to buy, have your mechanic check it over and be sure it has a clean Carfax.
New Driver

Why not do an article on the clones? At least the majors. There is a bewildering amount, Superperformance, Backdraft Racing, etc. An article on the various clones, their strengths and weaknesses, etc. would be much more helpful.

I've loved Cobras for as long as I can recall, even tried to get daddy to by one outta the back of R&T for 10k way back in (IIR) '72.
Thanks for the article and folks that want a fun read look up Tony Hogg's article in R&T from a LONG time ago about owning and living with one.

That dark green one is so much better looking and attractive than the usual blue with big white stripes and giant side exhaust. Some good fantasy material in my mind while reading this article. Good one.

A car you are highly unlikely to see in person, let alone get a chance to purchase. Thankfully there are replicars to get a good approximation or a more "modern" version of these cars.
Pit Crew

In 1973, there was an Exotic Car dealership in Reading, Shappell Motor Sports. As a traveling musician, I got to know the owner, Dutch Shappell who invitee over. Aside from the numerous Ferrari’s, Morgan’s and Corvettes, there was also a 427,low mileage Shelby Cobra.
Price? $9500 out the door. Why didn’t I buy it? Well, like I can’t afford one now, I couldn’t afford one then either 🤣
There was also a Corvette dealer in Reading (Stout?) where you could buy a ‘67 Corvette 427 Coupe for $4200.
Anyone familiar with these dealerships?
Intermediate Driver

Don't remember Shappell Motors but dealt with Stoudt in Reading. They closed their doors late last year, a few months after they worked on my car.
Intermediate Driver

Just because one will never be able to afford buying such a car doesn’t mean you shouldn’t/wouldn’t want to learn more about them. The world is full of cars that I can afford to buy, but could care less about or have no interest in.
I could say the same about some of the cars I’ve owned. Would I rather read about authentic, in-era Cobras or mid-90’s Honda Civics and 00’s VW Golfs? A very easy choice.
Being priced beyond my eternal reach is not a disqualifier for interest, fascination, adoration, or possession of a longing desire that will forever go unfulfilled.
New Driver

A good car is worth good money --- but an original Shelby Cobra is more of a LEGEND than it is a vehicle. And legends can be very expensive. Sort of like a P-51 Mustang fighter airplane or a Ferrari 250 GTO. Its worth the cash to own one - and its also a good investment. Of course these exotics are out of my price range - way way out - my collector car is a 74 Camaro that need a paint job - but I saw the old Cobras run at Sebring and Daytona and that is priceless.
New Driver

I met a guy named Carter Gette around 1961. He lived in Westport CT. I had an Austin Healey 3000 then, he had a hopped up Ford roadster. We became good friends, and roommates in College. We were both into cars, I suppose more than studies. He bought a Healey, I got a 64 GTO. I think in time he shoehorned a 289 Ford engine in the Healey .Carters Dad was an executive recruiter and had some ins with Ford., especially Lee Iacocca. Around 1968 Carters Dad heard of a Ford Dealership for sale in Millbrook NY. They bought it, and Carter had a hunting ground for Ford performance. He had a 427 Cobra, and a Shelby Mustang in his stable. I recall the Mustang has a tach built-in to the top of the Dash. Long story short, I drove that Cobra a number of times in some time trials, it was a beast!! Carter truated with the Beast, he never realey gog in anything but a straight line. I believe Carter went on to make modifications in the engine, like it really needed to go faster? In time the Dealership was sold, Carter was more interested in the cars than the sales, but Carter still had the Cobra, and I think the Mustang.. He had a need for speed. He sold the Cobra, I don't know when , but he is mentioned in some of the Cobra History sites. He was badly injured in a Motorcycle crash near Millbrook, hitting a Mustang that was backing out onto the road. I went to the hospital immediately to see him, he was a mess. His first words to me were that he would be "Out in a week". he never was the same physically. After that he got into boats, he took me for a ride in his Donzi, Carter was at my daughters wedding, driving a Porsche. I will never forget that Cobra, and am really glad I had the chance to drive it at speed. In those days no one ever thought the car would become that valuable.We drove our cars like they were replaceable. Carter is gone now, but he was ,and still is in spirit., a friend who created great memories.

Nice to have all the pertinent information you can trust.
Pit Crew

My Cobra replica has a very special motor which is correct 427 side oiler with a very limited procuction tunnel port intake with dual quad Holleys. It is soooo viceral!! The car is the dark blue with white strips...I LOVE IT!!!