While one can argue that any Shelby Cobra model is something truly special, the Shelby Dragonsnake Cobra is a bit more so, as just five were ever produced in total. On the rare occasion that one pops up for sale at auction, they routinely rake in more than a million dollars, as one might imagine given the model’s rarity and historical prominence, not to mention collector fervor over vintage Shelby vehicles in general. Thus, it’s truly notable that production of the 1963 Shelby Dragonsnake Cobra has been revived, with five continuation models set to be sold to honor these original factory-built dragsters.
“The 1960s Shelby ‘Dragonsnake’ program began when a small group of young Shelby American production employees developed and drag raced a pair of the roadsters to amazing success,” said Gary Patterson, president of Shelby American. “Carroll was so impressed that he approved three more to be built for customers. We reopened Dragonsnake production so fans can experience the thrill of launching a ‘new’ Shelby Cobra down the quarter mile. While only a few could order a new Cobra roadster personally from Carroll Shelby 60 years ago, five people have the chance to do so through his company today.”
The very first Dragonsnake in this five-car run pays tribute to the most successful drag racing Shelby Cobra of all time – NHRA champion Bruce Larson’s car, which began life as a regular production model that was later converted for drag racing. It – along with the other four new samples – will be assembled by Legendary GT in Pennsylvania, which builds continuation Shelby cars for Shelby American.
Each of these five special Cobras will begin life as an aluminum CSX2000 series car with a tube chassis – helping it weight just 2,100 pounds – plus adjustable Penske shocks, rack and pinion steering, 1963 factory style disc brakes, 15-inch custom FIA style wheels, Mickey Thompson drag radials, and a 364 cubic-inch aluminum Shelby V8, sending around 500 horsepower to the wheels via a Tremec five-speed manual transmission. Each car will take around one year to build, with a hefty price tag of $750,000 – minus options. However, given how rare the Dragonsnake is, both new and old, this isn’t a huge surprise.