So, you’ve reached the point in life where it’s time to fulfill your dream of owning a Shelby Cobra – Congratulations! And yes, these cars really are Shelby Cobras. Superformance cars are made to be aesthetically and dimensionally accurate to the original cars of the 1960’s. Superformance is the only company making cars that have been personally blessed by and manufactured under licensing by Carroll Shelby himself.
SELECTING A MODEL
In 1962 the first Shelby Cobras came on the seen powered by a 260ci V8, followed soon after by a 289ci V8. These cars were narrower, had very little fender flares, leaf spring suspension, and under car exhaust, rather than side pipes. These early cars are known as MKII’s, Slab Sides, or 289 cars and are the street version of the original Shelby race cars. The racing version of this early model is known as an FIA car.
By far the most popular version is the MKIII body, which replicates the wider bodied model that came out in 1965. 348 cars of this model were made between 1965 and 1967, but most people refer to this body as, “The 65 Cobra”. The MKIII S/C body is the single most iconic car in American history. While well known for its side pipes, it has a lesser known, more gentrified brother. While still all Cobra, the MKIII also comes in a version known as the Roadster, which has standard under car exhaust, no roll bar and typically no hood scoop.
Each of the 4 versions of Superformance Cobras are very close in price.
SELECTING YOUR OPTIONS
The option selection process is both difficult and easy. The first thing is selecting the color. Perhaps you already know the color car you want? If not, I can direct you to websites with hundreds of Superformance cars to view. Your car can be ordered in literally any color you want. Just provide the paint code for the color you want, and that color will be mixed for your car. Do you want stripes or not? Most people do, but there are a lot of different stripe options to choose from. Again, I can direct you to pictures of different options and colors that have been done in the past.
Aside from simply looking at the order sheet, there many nuances to be considered. For example:
Look at the picture of this hood. The rivets you see along the edges of the hood and around the hood scoop are esthetic and are there to replicate the look of the original cars.
Now look at this picture of a hood without the rivets. If you prefer this look, you can order your car without the rivets leaving your car with a clean smooth surface.
Likewise, notice the snaps on the rear section of the car. These snaps are needed for both the use of the soft top and the tonneau cover. One could order their car without those if desired.
Wheels can be ordered from Superformance as shown on the order sheet, or from VintageWheels.com. 15”, 17” and 18” rims are available in the appropriate pin drive configurations for Superformance cars. If one uses the original style rims which are 15”, there are 3 tire choices to choose from. BF Goodrich Radial TA’s, Cooper Cobra Radial GT’s, and Avon xxxxxx. The BF Goodrich and Cooper’s are similarly priced at $850 mounted and balanced. The Avon’s are the only V rated tire available in the correct sizes for these cars and are superior in every way. A set is $3,200, but they are well worth it! Don’t place yourself, others, or your car at risk because of having low performance tires on a high-performance car.
Click the link below to down load a pdf of the MKIII S/C order sheet to start building your car. The pdf has internal links to photographs to view some of the options. The application of Clear Bra, ceramic coating of paint, or a stereo would be done locally by a professional of your choosing.
PLACING YOUR ORDER
If I do not have something in inventory or on order that interests you, this is the ordering process. Submit your order sheet and send a wire payment of $10,000 to secure a build spot in the factory’s schedule. While technically this deposit is non-refundable, as long as I’m able to resell what you ordered I would work with someone having and unexpected emergency in life.
The time frame from order placement to a completed car has been getting longer and longer. There was a 6-week factory shut down due to the pandemic, followed by social distancing that reduced production capacity. Meanwhile, between the pandemic and the movie, “Ford vs Ferrari” there has been a huge increase in demand for these cars. Just a year ago, if you placed an order on a given day, roughly 2 – 3 weeks later the production of your car would begin. As of February 1st, 2023, for an order placed today, it is approximately 12 months before productions starts on your car, then 2 months to build it and 2 more months to ship it here to the United States. That’s a total of 16 months from order placement to seeing your car.
One of the many benefits to working with New England Cobras, is that I purchase build spots on a regular basis so that I have cars arriving every three months. Typically, an order placed with me fills a build spot that was purchased several months before. Basically, I’ve already been standing in line on your behalf to shorten the time frame from the submission of your personalized order to the delivery off your new Cobra.
An important item of clarification, as a Superformance dealer I sell the “rollers” that Superformance makes. I do not sell “turn key” ready to drive cars. Following the purchase of a Superformance roller, you need to decide what components to buy to complete your car and whether you want to do the work yourself or hire an installer. I can provide knowledge and advice, as well as refer you to several experienced installers for the completion of your car, but ultimately it is your decision how to complete your car.
COMPLETING YOUR CAR
A common question is, what does it cost to finish one of these cars? Well, where do you want to be on the scale of mild to wild?
Big blocks, fuel injection, Coyote and other custom installations take more time and thus a larger labor bill, not to mention whatever the parts might cost. Going main stream involves a small block ford engine, which includes Dart blocks bored and stroked to 427’s. Labor and miscellaneous parts to complete this installation would be $9,000. The typical Roush 427 engine and transmission package comes in right about $22,000, so it’s $31,000 plus the price of the car.
That figure could be lowered by $9,000 by going with a Blue Print 302ci making 235hp from Summit Racing versus the Roush 427 making 500hp. And 235hp in a 2,400 pound car is still a faster car than the average person has driven. Or, raise that price by $20,000 by going with a fully polished Roush 427IR with Borla stack injection making 560hp. Note – Engine packages are sold and installed by an installer of your choice. I only sell the rolling chassis, but can help arrange their completion through several experienced installers.
And remember, these cars basically don’t depreciate. 10 to 15-year-old Superformance Cobras are typically selling in the $80 to $85K range, which is what one cost new back then. A lightly optioned car with a Roush engine will probably never sell for more than $10,000 less than new. Look at the prices of used cars on CobraCountry.com. Aren’t they awfully close to the cost of choosing your own colors and options and having a brand new car?