The original Shelby Cobra was an automotive masterpiece, it was the ultimate creation of legendary American car builder Carroll Shelby and British automotive manufacturer AC. When Shelby needed a body to put his Ford engine in, he called on AC to supply him with their two-seater sports car.
With it’s sophisticated British styling and a rebellious American V8 under the hood, the Cobra dominated road racing and captured the imagination of gearheads across the globe. It inspired a generation to get interested in racing. Due to their rarity and legendary status as race cars, original Shelby Cobras have skyrocketed in price, frequently bringing in six-figures at auction.
So how is an average Joe suppose to get behind the wheel of America’s most famous sports car? One affordable option is to buy a kit car and build a replica. Many replicas capture the performance of the original, but one truly lives up to the spirit of it: the 2005 Weineck Cobra 780. This German-engineered monster is powered by a massive Donovan Engineering 780 cubic inch V8 engine and has the styling of a Cobra MK III.
This 780 cubic inch monster of a mill was hot rodded by Weineck to produce 1,100 bhp and 1298 lb-ft of torque, enough to rival the Saturn V rocket. It’s capable of launching from naught to 60 in just three seconds, doing so in a manner that’s guaranteed to force the driver back into the seat. For those brave enough to stay on the throttle, the Cobra heads into what seems like hyper-drive and claims to reach 186 MPH in 10 neck-breaking seconds.
To handle all of this power the car was built around a MIG welded, self-supporting four-inch diameter tubular frame to absorb very high forces generated by the engine. To make this massive engine beast glide around corners like it’s on rails, a single wheel suspension with continuously variable coil spring system was installed. With its combined power and handling the Weineck Cobra’s performance rivals that of European Super cars.
Only 15 Weineck Cobra 780s were ever built making them rare like the original Shelby Cobras. One of them recently sold for a mere 61,000 Euros ($68,000). Do you think Weineck’s take on the Anglo-American classic captured and improved the spirit of the original?