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HomeCar CultureShelby to Offer Five New 1963 Cobra Dragonsnakes

Shelby to Offer Five New 1963 Cobra Dragonsnakes

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Shelby American will offer five newly built 1963 Shelby Cobra Dragonsnakes, each priced from $750,000, the company announced last week.

Original Dragonsnake Cobras are among the rarest of the competition Cobras built by Shelby during the 1960s. Developed exclusively for drag racing, only a handful were built, and one of them sold last year for almost $1.4 million.

Each of Shelby’s five reproduction cars will honor a distinct original, with a prototype shown during last week’s 2023 Carlisle Ford Nationals in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The prototype honors the Cobra 289 Dragonsnake bearing chassis no. CSX2093 and raced by Bruce Larson, who dominated NHRA competition in the Northeast in the mid-1960s. He was on hand at the recent Ford gathering to help unveil the reproduction, which like the original features a bright coat of Fuchsia Metallic paint.

Ed Hedrick would end up purchasing the car in 1966 and continuing its winning streak. He won every national-level NHRA competition he entered, helping to cement chassis CSX2093 as the most successful drag-racing Cobra of all time.

Bruce Larson with his 1963 Shelby Cobra 289 Dragonsnake

According to Shelby, chassis CSX2093 started out life as a road-going Cobra and was later turned into a Dragonsnake. Among the modifications made were the addition of rear fender flares, American Racing wheels, drag radials, a roll bar, a Sun tachometer, and various chassis tweaks. The car was also fitted with a hard-top roof to help improve aerodynamics.

“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,” Gary Patterson, Shelby’s president, said in a statement. “We reopened Dragonsnake production so fans can experience the thrill of launching a new Shelby Cobra down the quarter mile.”

Shelby won’t actually build the new cars. Tasked with that duty is Pennsylvania company Legendary GT Continuation Cars, which has previously built cars for Shelby. The five cars will feature aluminum bodies and an authentic chassis with 4.0-inch round tube main rails, and at least one of them will also honor Larson’s car.

The suspension and brakes will also be the same used in the 1960s, while the wheels will be a custom set of 15-inchers in the original style, and wrapped in Mickey Thompson drag radials. Other touches will include an aluminum radiator, electric cooling fan, 3.0-inch lap belts, and a tach and rearview mirror both mounted to the dash.

Under the hood will sit a 364-cubic-inch aluminum V-8 topped by a Weber carburetor system and mated to a Tremec 5-speed manual transmission. According to Shelby, the engine will develop 500 hp and only have about 2,100 pounds to hustle.

The production time for one of the reproduction cars will take approximately one year.

HIGH-RES GALLERY: 1963 Shelby Cobra 289 Dragonsnake reproduction

This article was originally published by Motor Authority, an editorial partner of ClassicCars.com

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