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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Shelby, Part 1: Welly 1:24 1965 Shelby Cobra 427/SC




Normally i'm not into the Cobra's as much as others are.  I have quite a few, most from Hot Wheels, but mostly I ignore the many faces of this popular roadster, until one day I ran across this fantastic Welly 1:24 version that was too hard to ignore and really brought interest in me back to the Shelby Cobra.




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Hot Rodding a British Roadster

That's nothing new: Caroll Shelby has done this before by placing a Ford V8 into a Sunbeam Tiger.  Now it was the AC Ace's turn as the struggling automaker was trying one last time to save their classic Ace sports car, and no other person was perfect for that role than Caroll Shelby.  Using his past racing experience he turn the British roadster into something fantastical.  Start with getting the right to use the 289 CID V8, and stuff it into the  modified engine bay of the Ace roadster.  Other enhancements included a larger rear axle, tube frame, coil spring suspension all-around, wider fenders, and a larger radiator opening.  The next size up was the 427 CID Iron Block V8 that was squeezed in place and required dual electric fans for the radiator and side exiting exhaust.  It was rated at 425 hp. with a curb weight of 2,355 Ib's, and a top speed of 164 mph.  The transmission was a 4-speed manual with a forward-facing shift handle.  Though after a while the cost of making the bodies and exporting them to the US was more than what was sold, and by 1967 the Shelby Cobra ended production.  That didn't stop many kit builders to replicate the Cobra body, making it one of the most iconic kit car automobiles around today.






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Pipping-hot Welly

Two colors are offered: blue with white stripes, or this smooth red with white stripes.  It's a looker!  The wheels have gray inner spokes with chrome three-spoke spinner center caps, larger rear tires, and a mixture of smoother slicks and treads on the tires.  The front has the round headlights, signal lights, hook bumpers, and a deep grille with visible electric twin fans.  The hood has a functioning hood scoop, the windshield is a separate piece, allowing the curvy body and stripes to poke through, the rear fenders are round and large, the exhaust coming from the front  headers before exiting out to the sides, and the 427 fender badges.  The rear has the rounded rear fenders with integrated taillights, Shelby 427 plate, bumper hooks, rear gas cap, and driver's side roll hoop bars.  The small doors, which are hollow and only open with an inner latch, opens up to reveal a spartan interior with plenty of details.  The seats are buckets with a fire extinguisher behind the two seats, the extinguisher is chrome just like the reverse shifter and parking brake.  The large transmission tunnel allows minimal footroom to driver's side pedals where I added a little silver to enhance the looks.  The 3-spoke wheel has the silver spokes and wooden rim, the dashboard has detailed silver accents around gauges and switches, the body cowl also has a rearview mirror, while the windshield has side flaps and visors that I wish was detailed and not part of the clear windows.






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Open the hood and look underneath to view the detailed inner hood scoop, then look down.  Now it seems like just an engine tray in chrome, but in reality it is a 3-D look with the engine block below, though the drive belt is missing.  The chrome top of the engine may seem like too much and flat, but has all the right details, including the 427 badges on the valve covers.  Finally the base shows off most of the drivetrain and tube frame it can, but all of it is in stark black.  With the magic of a silver Sharpie I enhanced the look by making the frame, suspension, brackets, and some of the drivetrain stand out from the black, and it looks amazing!




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While there may be other, better Shelby Cobra 427/SC's around, no one can beat the level of details and size of the Welly 1:24 Shelby Cobra.  Sure the engine bay could've been executed much better than this, but otherwise it's one fantastic Shelby Cobra that I would recommend to anyone's collection.  Just as long as it's red!


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Shelby, Part 2: M2 Machines 1:24 1966 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350S



If I was to find a good large-scale first-generation Mustang for my collection, it would be a fastback in green with mag wheels just like the Mustang in the movie "Bullitt".  After a few failed attempts, I found the perfect one, with a few more cool features:  The Shelby GT350S Mustang.






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One rare GT350

In 1965 Carol Shelby came to Ford to not only use Ford engines in AC Ace roadsters, but also help turn a secretary's car into a bonafide track machine.  In the end he created the 1965 Shelby GT500.  In that year, all GT350's are Wimbeldon White with blue stripes, rear seat delete, rear vent covers over the rear side windows, fiberglass hood, and special track-focused R models.  In 1966 the GT350 was designed more for the street with more colors offered, rear seats, rear side windows, and a very limited power enhancement.  First, the engine is the 289 CID V8 with hi-rise intake, Cobra valve covers, and dual rear exhaust.  If you're the one of 11 who were lucky got the Paxton supercharger, which is a compact round unit attached with the drive belts to add more power; only one has the GT350S stripes on the sides in Ivy Green.  Other modifications include relocated front A-arm suspension, optional limited-slip differential, and 5-spoke wheels with Goodyear white letter tires.  The 1965-66 was considered the lightest and best-handing Shelby of that era as future Shelby Mustangs would move more toward heavier GT cruisers.  Only a prototype with a supercharger was considered in 1968, along with one that had independent rear suspension, but both were cancelled at the last minute.  It wasn't until 2007 that the Shelby Mustang got a supercharger full-time.






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One fantastic M2 Mustang

This casting looks great, after I cleaned up the white haze with water and a polishing cloth.  The Dark Green with side white stripes look good and accurate.  The front has the detailed round headlights, chrome grille surround with mesh grille and pony logo, chrome bumper, and signal lights.  The hood feels light and features the functioning hood scoop and chrome hood pins.  The side scoops are good, if a bit loose, chrome trim on windows, and 5-spoke wheels with Goodyear lettering that doesn't look cheap, though the wheels could benefit from snug attachment with the central screw since some models have more play in the wheels than the others.  The spokes have a white look and front disc brakes, but the calipers do not float.  The rear has the chrome gascap with Shelby snake, chrome trim around the tri-taillights, and the chrome bumpers, though missing is the reverse lamps below the bumper.




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The interior has seating for four with detailed door panels, chrome handle cranks, shifter with T-handle, twin-plane dashboard with silver gauges, 3-spoke wheel with wooden hand grip, radio, and only for Supercharged models a dash-mounted tachometer even though there are no numbers on the gauge.  The interior is basic, but has all of the right details.  The trunk opens up to show off a full-size spare, but how will you manage to get it out of that narrow slot is a different story.





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The hood opens up to reveal a detailed motor with the Cobra valve covers, the hi-rise intake, blue engine block, strut braces, distributor and spark plug wires, battery, drive belts, fan, and front radiator with dual horns, all in 3D form.  Then again everything's not perfect as the brake booster and master cylinder is missing from the firewall and the drive belt does not reach the supercharger; a major oversight!  Finally the base below shows off even more details:  The lower part of the engine has the detailed orange oil filter and oil pan that flows down to cooling fin pan, while the transmission carries on with the blue color of the engine block.   The front has the detailed lower control arms, though the steering radius does not move much and looks disconnected from the steering wheel (can you say slow turn-in?).  While out back shows the detailed rear axle (which is from a Ford Galaxie 500XL) with leaf springs, gas tank, and dual exhaust that has a nice goldish tint to the silver.



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Compared to the M2 '59 GMC 4x4 and '69 Camaro's (i'll review those at a later date), this Shelby Mustang is by far the best and almost accurate version of a M2 1:24 scale model, and looks right at home with the two other Shelby's in 1:24.







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