A Shelby Cobra Mk1 with Hollywood history set to appear at Salon Privé
A Shelby Cobra Mk1 with big screen history and a wild, twin-turbocharged Ferrari supercar are destined to wow the judges at the Chubb Insurance Concours d’Elégance at Blenheim Palace on Thursday 30th August. The former, the fifth Cobra ever made, has a fantastic backstory. The car’s first owner traded it back to Shelby American in August 1963 for a different Cobra, and the 260cu in, Ford V8-engined roadster was subsequently repainted prior to its appearance in Don Siegel’s brilliant 1964 revenge thriller, ‘The Killers.’ This celluloid gem starring Lee Marvin, John Cassavetes and Ronald Reagan (in his final acting role before concentrating his energies on politics), saw the Cobra feature prominently in a memorable on-track scene involving Cassavetes and femme fatale, Angie Dickinson. It also appeared in ‘race’ footage which underscored the plot.
Once production of the film wrapped up, Universal Studios returned the car to Shelby American with some damage. The Cobra was repaired and then employed as the ‘trainer car’ at the Shelby School of High Performance Driving. This Anglo-American hybrid was recently restored by California’s Mike McCluskey who went to extraordinary lengths to return the car to period perfection. Remarkably – and unusually, this fabulous machine still employs its original engine.