Shelby Mustang: mystical spell of the 'snake charmer'
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Shelby Mustang: mystical spell of the 'snake charmer'

By MarkOastler - 07 October 2019

When Carroll Shelby shoehorned an American Ford V8 into a British AC roadster in the early 1960s and called it Cobra, the straight-talkin’ Texan created much more than just a wickedly fast Corvette-crushing sports car – he also created a high-performance legend.

With fangs exposed, Shelby’s Ford V8-powered Cobra roadsters dominated US sports car racing and a more streamlined version called the Cobra Daytona coupe famously defeated Ferrari in the 1965 World Sports Car Championship – the first American constructor to achieve this feat.

The Shelby and Cobra names became inseparable and inexorably tied to the Ford Motor Company, which backed the Texan all the way as part of its global ‘Total Performance’ strategy.