If you think that you’re an authority on the Shelby Cobra, then you probably have never met Lynn Park, the man many regard as the most well-versed historian of the iconic American sports car. XCar Films was able to spend some time with the man people call Mr. Cobra, giving us a close look at what it really means to be a Cobra historian. Park’s stature isn’t unfounded. He’s owned well over 50 Cobras at one point or another in his life and one look at his garage shows that he’s got a whole lot more registered to his name.

Clearly, Park didn’t get nicknamed Mr. Cobra by a happy accident.

His fascination with Cobras started at an early age, even at a time when he couldn’t afford to build one. So he built his first makeshift Cobra using an AC body and a Ford engine, and later moved to restoring models that he picked up on the cheap. Since then, he’s been a one-car guy, even making it a life mission to espouse his passion for the Cobra to anyone who shares it, including Carroll Shelby himself. The two actually fostered a friendship that lasted until the day Shelby passed away, forged by a shared obsession with a car that still turns a lot of heads wherever it goes.

During the course of the episode, Park also shows us some of his prized possessions, including some of the rarest Cobras in the world today. He has “16,,” which he describes as the first of five FIA cars Shelby built. It’s also one of the rare Cobras with a significant racing history, having been wrecked by Bob Johnson at Sebring in 1964. Naturally, Park got his hands on the wreckage and with the help of some of his friends, he managed to return it back to its pristine form. Park also has one of five Dragonsnake factory-built Cobra drag racers he bought from Shelby himself, signed pink slip and all.

The man’s passion for Cobras isn’t just evident with all the Cobras he has in his garage. You can see it in every corner of the room, whether its press clippings, books, or whatever memorabilia that’s associated with the American sports car. So the next time somebody tells you that he knows a lot about the Shelby Cobra, bring up the name Lynn Park and tell that someone to look him up.


Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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