This story began with a letter wrote by Carol Shelby to the British company AC to ask if they are able to build him a car suitable for V8 engine. The answer was ‘Yes’ and this is how the legendary Shelby Cobra was born.

It wasn’t the first time when British design was combined with American muscle power plant but this one became a legend.

Initially, Carol Shelby asked Chevrolet for a V8 engine but they declined the proposal since GM management didn’t want to create competition for Corvette. Ford wasn’t reluctant like this and luckily they had a brand new V8 engine capable of becoming a Corvette challenger. This way Shelby Cobra was equipped with thin wall 4.2 L V8 Ford engine tuned for high performance. And the car turned out to be a racing success.

Cobra 64 Targa Florio
Targa Floria, 1964 | Photo by Dave Friedman

Shelby Cobra was the most loved, feared and copied American sportscar

Carol Shelby started working on his own car because he was forced to retire from competitions due to health issues as well as because a lot of drivers was killed in racing accidents. His goal was to beat Enzo Ferrari – the dictator like founder of the Scuderia for whom he drove during the 50`s. Even though Shelby didn’t succeed in 24 Hours of Le Mans with the Cobra, he managed to dominate with Ford GT40 competing for his Shelby American racing team. If you are interested in their rivalry, do not miss The Snake and the Stallion, documentary written and directed by Richard Simons.

Well, the story of Carol Shelby and his legendary Cobra sportscars wasn’t as sleek as it seems. During the 90`s, Los Angelis Times found out that Carol Shelby is using a loophole in the vehicle registration procedures in order to cheat customers with new Cobra cars sold as classic builds produced in the 60`s. Later Carol Shelby admitted that the chassis wasn’t built by AC in the United Kingdom. It seems he hired a small local engineering company to do this job.

Now you can own this print dedicated to the American brute Shelby Cobra, beautifully created by Ilya Avakov and carefully issued as poster art print by Simply Petrol.



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Print comes rolled in a cardboard tube with caps on each side. We leave up to 2 inches depending on the size to each side to allow for future framing and matting, if desired or help your artwork “breath” and “glance”. Hang or store ideally at a relative humidity of 35 to 65, between 10 and 30” C (50 - 86F). We guarantee a gallery quality print which will not fade, or yellow even facing direct sunlight and will remain light resistant for up to a century.