Classic Cars

Shelby Daytona is a Race Track God

It was even owned and driven by Phil Spector back in the day.

When Carroll Shelby and crew realized that the Cobra roadster wasn’t aerodynamic enough to beat Ferraris in the GT class at Le Mans, they went back to the drawing board and created this, the Shelby Daytona. The problem with the Cobra was that its open-cockpit didn’t allow for the car to have a slippery enough surface, thereby allowing the Ferrari 250 GTO to kick its ass on the Mulsanne straight. Shelby, of course, couldn’t accept Enzo Ferrari laughing all the way back to Italy after watching the Americans lose.

Enter Pete Brock, who was tasked to design a more aerodynamic body for the Cobra’s chassis. The result was the Daytona, which went on to win Le Mans and several other major races. Just six were built, and the original prototype, chassis #CSX2287 is on display at the Simeone Automotive Museum in Philly.

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