Shelby America will finish the “secret weapon” program that Carroll Shelby envisioned for the 1964 24 Hours of Le Mans with a limited production series of big block Shelby Daytona Coupes. Six aluminum cars will be built to Shelby’s specifications for the original race car. The first in the series of the limited production build (CSX2603) was introduced to the public during Monterey Collector Car Week.
“We’re taking care of some ‘unfinished business’ for Carroll Shelby,”said Joe Conway, Co-CEO of Carroll Shelby International and CEO of Shelby American. “It was sometimes called the ‘car that never was’ because a lone big block Daytona prototype was built but never raced. We plan to complete this amazing program by offering six turn-key 427 powered Daytona Coupe race cars, which is the same number as the small block versions built in the 1960s.”
In 1964, Carroll Shelby asked renowned fabricator John Ohlsen to lengthen the chassis of one of the six Daytona Coupes (CSX2286) to replace the 289 c.i.d. Ford engine with a NASCAR inspired big block. The experimental race car was supposed to be Shelby’s “secret weapon” for the 1964 Le Mans race. The truck carrying CSX2286 to Le Mans was involved in an accident that damaged the Shelby too much to be repaired in time for the race. It never ran a lap and was returned to small block configuration by Shelby American. Dan Gurney and Allen Grant drove CSX2286 at Le Mans with the 289 engine the next year, but the Cobra did not finish the race.
“This is an incredible opportunity to own a very rare collectible Shelby heritage race car,” said Gary Patterson, president of Shelby American.
“Like the six small block cars built in the 1960s, these 427 powered Daytona Coupes will be a lasting tribute to another innovative Shelby racecar that would have caught the racing world off guard. These Coupes will be every bit as much a ‘secret weapon’ as Carroll had hoped for in 1964.”
Founded by legend Carroll Shelby, Shelby American manufactures and markets performance vehicles and related products. The company builds authentic continuation Cobras, including the 427 S/C, 289 FIA, 289 street car and Daytona Coupe component vehicles; it offers the Shelby GTE, 1000, GT500 Super Snake and Shelby Terlingua Racing Team post-title packages for the 2005-2017 Ford Mustang. Shelby American also offers the Shelby Super Snake F-150 and Shelby F-150 muscle trucks. For more information, visit www.shelby.com.
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