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Cars > Iconic

The last Shelby Cobra ever built will be put up for auction

One-off vehicle has a V10 engine (and was tested by Carroll Shelby)

In 2004, Ford resurrected the Shelby Cobra with a concept car named 'Daisy'. PHOTO FROM MECUM AUCTIONS

There have been several attempts to give the classic Shelby Cobra a modern makeover. The Series 1 roadster, for example, was a valiant undertaking by none other than Carroll Shelby to bring the Cobra’s magic into the 21st century. But its anemic Oldsmobile engine and slew of design flaws meant that the vehicle wasn’t quite the ferocious animal that the original was. But just as the Series 1’s production run was ending, there was another crack at reviving the iconic sports car.

Daisy was featured in a documentary and a Hollywood film. PHOTOS FROM MECUM AUCTIONS

Owing to the fact that Shelby Cobras have always been powered by Ford engines, the Blue Oval brand partnered with Carroll Shelby for a design study that saw the creation of the Cobra Concept in 2004. Fondly called “Daisy,” the car was an ambitious project that pushed the limits of automotive engineering at the time while using technology that was being developed for the Ford GT supercar.

Daisy’s exterior is a mix of the original Cobra’s bulbous fenders and Ford’s design language at the time. There are plenty of styling elements from the 11th-generation Thunderbird, like the sculpted headlight covers and the low, elongated stance. The gaping front grille and the rollover bars are unmistakably Cobra. Inside, Daisy has retro-style racing seats and a minimalist cockpit with bespoke gauges.

One can only imagine how the production car would have looked like. PHOTOS FROM MECUM AUCTIONS

Unlike most concept cars, Daisy is a fully functional vehicle. And nestled under the hood is a specially designed 6.4-liter V10 with 605hp, said to be one of just four units made by Ford’s Advanced Powertrain division. Although the exhaust note is noticeably different from the raucous V8 roar of classic Cobras, it’s still very much an aural treat for any car enthusiast. The link to the Ford GT comes from the front and rear suspension, and the six-speed manual transmission arranged in a transaxle layout.

The bespoke 605hp V10 engine is mated to a Ford GT transmission. PHOTOS FROM MECUM AUCTIONS

The Cobra Concept is quite a famous car, and it’s not just because of its rarity. Daisy’s build was actually documented in The Learning Channel’s TV series Rides. Those who were able to watch it saw Carroll Shelby (then 81) having a blast with the car—performing donuts and high-speed runs at Irwindale Speedway. Daisy was also in a starring role as the hero car of the 2005 movie XXX: State of the Union driven by Ice Cube’s character.

Driven and signed by the man himself. PHOTOS FROM MECUM AUCTIONS

While Daisy was planned for mass production in 2007, the looming global financial crisis meant that funds were starting to run tight at Ford. The brand clearly had more important things to deal with, and selling an expensive, retro-look sports car sadly wasn’t one of them. Daisy remains a one-off and is touted as the last Shelby Cobra ever built. The car will go under the hammer via Mecum Auctions this August. To say that it will fetch big money will likely be a massive understatement.



Miggi Solidum

Miggi is the managing editor of VISOR. Professionally speaking, he is a software engineering dude who happens to like cars a lot. And as an automotive enthusiast, he wants a platform from which he can share his motoring thoughts with fellow petrolheads.



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