• This Shelby Cobra Replica Is So Good, You Can’t Tell It Apart from the Original

Can a well-executed replica really be a worthy substitute to the million-dollar Shelby Cobra?

LISTEN 03:37

The Shelby Cobra is one of the most iconic and sought-after American muscle cars. Despite it being based on the British AC Ace, the Cobra became its own thing thanks to American racing driver and car builder, Carroll Shelby. While every car enthusiast wants a piece of this American automotive history, not everyone can afford the seven-figure price of an original Cobra. Because of this, the Cobra is the most replicated car in the world. But just how close can a replica get to the original? Hagerty gives the answer in an episode of the Appraiserwhere a top-of-the-line continuation car is being featured, in order to determine its market value.

This Shelby Cobra Replica Is So Good, You Can't Tell It Apart from the Original
- image 1088783

Between 1961 and 1968, a total of 998 examples of the original Shelby Cobra were assembled. These include 655 units of the 289 cubic-inch, leaf-spring Cobra and 343 units of the coil-sprung, 427 cubic-inch Cobra, and their various derivatives. Some of the rarer examples, like the Shelby Cobra Super Snake, Dragon Snake, or Slalom Snake of which very few were made, can already fetch a few million. The same is true for the 2004 Shelby Cobra Concept, which aimed to recapture the essence of the original Cobra.

This Shelby Cobra Replica Is So Good, You Can't Tell It Apart from the Original
- image 1088782
Well worth the price
While most replicas are only an approximation of the real thing. High-end builds such as this continuation car can easily fetch 6 figures

This is where replicas like Superformance and Factory 5 come in. They offer approximations of the original for, sometimes, even less than $100,000, depending on what equipment you order it with. However, today, we are talking about not just another replica but a top-of-the-line continuation car. Not an approximation, but a perfect recreation of the original Shelby Cobra. The reason it’s so accurate is that it’s a CSX4000 continuation car, built by Shelby American.

This Shelby Cobra Replica Is So Good, You Can't Tell It Apart from the Original
- image 1088785
The snug, Competition interior is period-correct, down to every detail
The dominating features are the wood-rim steering wheel and shifter for the 4-speed Top Loader

This particular Shelby CSX 4000 series 427 S/C was commissioned during the 1990s, but all finished up in the early 2000s. This appraisal makes for a perfect comparison with the original 427 Cobra, featured in the third episode of the Appraiser. Shelby American offering the bigger, 427 cubic-inch (7.0-liter) Ford V-8 in 1965. Those are known as the CSX 3000 series. The 4000 series, like this one, were the product of a joint-venture between Shelby American and Kirkham Motorsports and were built in the 1990s.

This Shelby Cobra Replica Is So Good, You Can't Tell It Apart from the Original
- image 1088788
Still powered by a 427 V-8
However, this one is a modern engine with fuel injection, made entirely from aluminum

This is the most accurate replica of the original Cobra as the chassis and body were built to the exact specifications of the original cars. Carrol Shelby himself said that “Nobody is as good at making the cars as Kirkham is, but nobody is as good at selling the cars as Carrol Shelby.” This particular CSX 4000 comes with the more desirable aluminum body, which is 200 pounds (91 kg) lighter than the fiberglass variant. The same goes for the 427 V-8, which is a modern fuel-injected variant, entirely made of aluminum instead of cast iron, further reducing the weight, compared to the original Cobra 427.

This Shelby Cobra Replica Is So Good, You Can't Tell It Apart from the Original
- image 1088786
Not just a replica, but a Continuation car
The CSX 4000 is a continuation car, built by Shelby American, in conjunction with Kirkham Motorsport

Naturally, an appraiser does its inspection before giving its verdict, after which the owner of the car is sold. Good-condition continuation cars can easily fetch a six-figure price. This one is no exception, as the video shows, even though the owner does not plan on parting ways with this CSX 4000 Cobra 427 anytime soon. We understand.

Dim Angelov
Dim Angelov
Born in 1992, I come from a family of motoring enthusiasts. My passion for cars was awoken at the age of six, when I saw a Lamborghini Diablo SV in a magazine. After high school I earned a master’s degree in marketing and a Master of Arts in Media and Communications. Over the years, I’ve practiced and become skilled in precision driving and to date have test driven more than 250 cars across the globe. Over the years, I’ve picked up basic mechanical knowledge and have even taken part in the restoration of a 1964 Jaguar E-Type and an Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint. Lately, I’ve taken a fancy to automotive photography, and while modern cars are my primary passion, I also have a love for Asian Martial Arts, swimming, war history, craft beer, historical weapons, and car restoration. In time, I plan my own classic car restoration and hope to earn my racing certificate, after which I expect to establish my own racing team.  Read full bio
About the author
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: