The Shelby Cobra is unquestionably one of the most iconic and most feared vehicles ever to pound the pavement. Among these various Cobra variants that Carroll Shelby crafted over the years, none is more famous than the all-mighty 427 V8-powered machine. A classic example of the “no replacement for displacement” mantra, these 7.0L V8-powered coupes were quite potent. Original examples of these Shelby Cobras are few and far between, but several companies have made a business out of recreating them. Among these kit car creators is Superformance, who craft some of the highest quality Cobra kits in the world. In keeping with Carroll Shelby’s ethos, the shop recently decided to stick a 7.3L Ford Godzilla V8 crate engine into one of their Superformance MKIII R models.
The Godzilla V8 engine is an oddity in today’s world of downsizing and turbocharging. Measuring in at a massive 446 cubic-inches, Godzilla is a genuine big-block V8 born in the modern era. And while this engine was designed for use in Ford’s Super Duty lineup of pickup trucks, the automaker has released the motor as a crate engine offering. In factory spec the engine produces 430 horsepower and 475 lb-ft of torque, but it is capable of four-digit power output in the right hands. The folks at Superformance clearly couldn’t pass up the opportunity to mirror Mr. Shelby, and decided to stuff the largest engine Ford makes into one of their new Shelby Cobra MKIII R models. The end result looks about as mad as you’d expect.
According to The Drive, the engine install wasn’t all that difficult to accomplish, thanks to the Godzilla V8’s compact design. Despite measuring in at 7.3L, the V8 isn’t any wider than an LS engine. It is a bit taller however, which required the team to adjust the intake manifolds. Of course if Shelby American could stuff an old school big block under the hood, we aren’t too surprised a modern lump fits in there without too much trouble. The engine is mated to a five-speed manual gearbox from Tremec, which is always a welcome touch.
The Superformance MKIII R is a mashup of old-school and new age tech in its own right. While its based on the same platform design as the original Cobra, the MKIII R features improved aero treatments, six-piston brakes, a push-button start, and LED lighting elements. Combined with this modern engine, this is what the folks at Shelby American would have built if the Cobra was designed in 2021.
Because Superformance Cobra kits are sold without powertrains, you could consider this car a proof of concept for potential customers. Now that Superformance has done the heavy lifting, we’re sure some folks will opt for the Godzilla V8 over other available powertrain options. All that remains is for the company to create the install kit for this particular motor, like the ones they offer for Ford’s 302, 351, 460, 427, and 428 V8 engines. Based on the response this thing is getting, we don’t think that’ll take too long. Below is a clip of the Superformance Shelby Cobra replica fitted with the Ford Godzilla V8. Being a pushrod V8 and all, the sound this engine produces couldn’t be more appropriate for this retrolicious roadster.