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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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