One-Off Shelby Cobra Concept Could Be Worth Millions

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It has a 6.4-liter V10 engine and Carrol Shelby's signature under the hood.

If you're old enough to remember 2004, you might recall the 2004 Shelby Cobra concept car. It was a beautiful roadster, meant to drag the old-school Cobra into the new millennium.

Unfortunately, it never went past the concept phase. Ford's financial woes put an end to an all-new Cobra.

The original Shelby Cobra was actually British. It was made by a company called AC Cars, which equipped it with a feeble six-cylinder engine. Carroll Shelby imported a few and bolted a Ford V8 engine under the hood. Rumor has it, the AC Cobra is responsible for British speed limits. The government decided to limit freeway speed to 70 mph after a Cobra was nabbed for doing 196 mph.

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Fast forward a few years, and you have the retro craze of the 1990s and early 2000s. Volkswagen launched the New Beetle, BMW's first-generation new Mini sported retro styling, and Ford worked on an all-new Mustang with design cues borrowed from the original.

While working on the new Mustang, Ford also produced the Cobra concept. If you look at the old and new car side by side you'll notice the many retro nods. You'll also note a few hints of Mustang in there. It's a stunning design with many cool features, but we're particularly fond of the rear seats located so close to the rear axle. You have miles of hood at the front, but your butt is as close to the rear as possible.

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Most concept cars are nothing more than design studies, but the Cobra concept was a fully functioning car. It used a Ford-sourced 6.4-liter V10 engine, which also never made it past the concept phase. Ford developed this V10 for what would become the 2004 Ford GT. Ford also paid tribute to Shelby by building the Ford Shelby GR-1 concept car.

At the time, Ford was struggling financially, so the GT40 ended up with a supercharged pickup truck engine.

One of the engineers who worked on this project purchased the car for $825,000. It eventually appeared on Jay Leno's Garage, where it caught the eye of an appraiser who put the estimated price at $1.5 million. Though we don't know this for sure, the current owner likely saw this as a huge return on his investment, which is why the car will be the star of the upcoming Mecum Auction in Monterey, California. It's set to take place between August 12-14, 2021.

We can't wait to see how much this one-off masterpiece costs its new owner. Carrol's own Cobra sold for millions, though we doubt this car will beat that record.

Source Credits: Mecum Auctions

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