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An Ode To Carroll Shelby’s “Secret Weapon”

Shelby Cobra Cammer Concept

Shelby American has recently unveiled the “Cobra Cammer” concept, a 427 SOHC V8 powered continuation Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe. The car was unveiled at the Carlisle Ford Nationals presented by Meguiar’s in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The concept car follows Carroll Shelby’s original vision for a racecar to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Shelby “Cobra Cammer” Concept: Details

Gary Patterson, president of Shelby American, stated that back in 1964, “Carroll Shelby wanted to fit a massive Ford big block engine into the Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe for Le Mans.” Many people know that the one-off car built had a 427 ‘wedge’ Ford engine, but that wasn’t what Carroll Shelby hoped for. Instead, he “wanted to pair the sleek aerodynamics of the Peter Brock designed body with an aluminum single overhead cam version of the FE motor.”

Shelby American Cobra Cammer Concept Carlisle Ford Nationals

In 1964, Carroll Shelby tasked fabricator John Ohlsen with lengthening the chassis of one of the six Daytona Coupes. Shelby had planned to replace the 289 cubic-inch Ford engine with what is often called “Ford’s greatest engine,” the Single Overhead Cam (SOHC) V8, one of the most powerful engines to come out of Detroit during the ’60s. The experimental racecar was meant to be Shelby’s “secret weapon” for the 1964 Le Mans race. However, they couldn’t secure the SOHC motor in time, and instead, they used a reliable, high-performance NASCAR 427. The vehicle weighed around 2,200 pounds with world-class aerodynamics and the power of a big block. The car was thought capable of reaching speeds over 200 MPH at Le Mans. However, the car didn’t make the race and never ran a lap with the 427 SOHC.

This is where the Cobra Cammer Concept comes in.

This continuation big-block Shelby Daytona Coupe follows the same specs as the Ohlsen-modified racecar. It features an aluminum body over a 3-inch lengthened chassis, with a hood modified to accommodate the aluminum 427 SOHC big block motor. The 650 horsepower engine is mated to a period-correct 4-speed manual transmission. The car was assigned Shelby serial number CSX2623 and will be documented in the official Shelby Registry.

Shelby Cobra Cammer Concept

Written by Zac Quinn

Zac's love for cars started at a young age, after seeing the popular Eleanor from Gone In 60 Seconds. From there, fascination and enthusiasm blossomed and to this day the Ford Mustang remains a favorite. His first job started out detailing cars, but also provided the opportunity to work on restoration including an 1968 Ford Mustang, Pontiac Firebird, and a C3 Corvette, though he left that job before further work and experience could be had. From there, he was a detailer at a car dealership before quitting that job to try and finish college.

Much of his free time while studying was spent watching YouTube videos regarding new cars, or off-roading. 4WD247 is a personal favorite channel which rekindled a dying flame in car enthusiasm, now tailored towards trucks and SUVs and the fun that can be had building up an overlanding rig, and going on adventures, though, that chapter remains unwritten for the time being.

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