HomeNews and EventsShelby Dragonsnake Cobra Strikes Again

Shelby Dragonsnake Cobra Strikes Again

One big-block was built. Now choose from three!


Check your calendar because it’s time for another Shelby continuation model! In this case, Shelby American announced at the recent Carlisle Ford Nationals that three aluminum 1965 Shelby Dragonsnake roadsters will be available through a partnership with Legendary GT.

Images courtesy of Legendary GT

“Last year, we worked closely with Legendary GT to return the small-block Shelby drag racing Cobra roadster to production,” says the president of Shelby American, Gary Patterson. “After introducing those cars at the Carlisle Ford Nationals, we received many requests for a big-block version since only one was factory-built in 1966. Three of these amazing tribute cars will be available and it felt appropriate to introduce that reimagined 427 Shelby Dragonsnake roadster at Carlisle this year. The improbable just became possible for those who dreamed of owning one.”

If your inferential skills are up to snuff, then you know that both small-block and big-block Dragonsnakes were built during the Shelby Cobra’s original run to exploit the roadster’s strengths on the drag strip. Alas, most Cobra customers preferred driving on the street and twisty courses. Six  260 and 289s, and one 427 were built, plus several others prepared by customers using Shelby’s drag package. Worcester, Massachusetts’ Harr Ford famously campaigned a prepped Dragonsnake successfully, then purchased the sole factory 427 Dragonsnake. Best ET was 10.02 at 146 mph in A/Sports Production.

“Our founder, Barry Smith, has a significant history drag racing a 427-powered Shelby car,” says Parker Shepley, business manager at Legendary GT. “While Barry wanted a big-block Cobra as a young man, he could only afford a 1967 Shelby GT500 Mustang. He replaced its 428 street engine with the same 427 motor in the Shelby Cobra. Memories of quarter successes with the Shelby GT500 inspired Barry to put the drag racing Shelby Cobra roadster back into limited production. With modern technology, we almost doubled the horsepower to deliver mind-bending acceleration.”

Three Dragonsnakes have been produced. The red-hued CSX3085 is nicknamed King Cobra and features KC emblems in the rear window. It is powered by an aluminum, fuel-injected 496 with dual quads and twin superchargers putting out 910 horsepower. CSX3365 is painted blue metal flake and features a Shelby 427 engine. The third of the bunch, CSX4500, features a polished, dual-quad 427 with polished dual superchargers inside a polished aluminum body.

All have authentic chassis features including four-inch round tube main rails, with the original-style suspension featuring adjustable Penske shocks, rack and pinion steering, 1965-style disc brakes, SW gauges, dash-mounted tach, three-inch lap belts, black leather seats and door pulls, and more. Authentic 15-inch custom wheels with Mickey Thompson rubber (with 28 x 10.5-inch M/T Drag tires out back) complete the package.

The Dragonsnake starts at $750,000 and goes up from there, depending on configuration. Of course, all three cars will be documented in the official Shelby American Registry. Built into the prices is a donation that will go to the Carroll Shelby Foundation.

Diego Rosenberg
Diego Rosenberg
Lead Writer Diego Rosenberg is a native of Wilmington, Delaware and Princeton, New Jersey, giving him plenty of exposure to the charms of Carlisle and Englishtown. Though his first love is Citroen, he fell for muscle cars after being seduced by 1950s finned flyers—in fact, he’s written two books on American muscle. But please don’t think there is a strong American bias because foreign weirdness is never far from his heart. With a penchant for underground music from the 1960-70s, Diego and his family reside in metropolitan Phoenix.


  1. It was ugly then and it’s ugly now.
    Mona Lisa was a famous paintiing and ugly broad.
    I don’t see any replica’s..


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