Carrol Shelby joined American V8 power with European styling and chassis to create one of the most iconic sports cars ever. The Cobra was a fast, light, rocket on wheels. With the introduction of the insanely powerful 427, Shelby not only built America's fastest production car - he immortalized the legend of the mighty Cobra.
With a prominent racing career that included a victory in the 1959 24h of Le Mans in an Aston Martin DBR1, Carrol Shelby had always been obsessed with fast cars. After retiring from racing because of a bad heart, Shelby set his sights on a life-long dream of becoming an automaker of sports cars.
An entrepreneur at heart, when Shelby heard the news that in 1961 British AC Cars was stopping production of their nimble and elegant sports car for lack of engine availability, he saw his opportunity. He had AC send him an Ace with the gearbox moved so the engine bay could fit an American V8. The first Cobra prototype took just eight hours to build but the legend was here to stay.
The MkI was introduced the following year. Powered by a Ford 260 V8 and later by a 289 (4.3/4.7L), the revolutionary combination of brute force and lightweight agility took the sports car world by storm. While the Cobra evolved, it found glory at home, where it dominated the U.S. Road Racing Championship series for three years, having lost only one race during that period and all around the world it challenged, and even bested, Ferrari's dominance in GT endurance racing (Ford v Ferrari prequel, anyone?).
In 1964, Shelby started work on the MkIII. Although there's no record of anyone ever complaining about the lack of power on the earlier Cobras, his relentless ambition to build the world's fastest production car and be a real contender against the Maranello powerhouse led him to push the limits. Enter the monstrous Ford big-block 7-litre Cobra 427. It put out 450 bhp and 600 Nm of torque. It did a 0 to 60 time of just over 4 seconds and had a top speed of 164 mph (264 kmh). Although it was wider, stiffer and better in almost every way than its predecessors (though the 289 is considered to be the most balanced package of the lineup) it was, unsurprisingly, a handful to drive for most owners that simply tried driving down the road and found themselves rolling through the adjacent fields. And, if the road was in any way slippery, you were best advised to have your affairs in order before driving off. Not yet satisfied with the monster he had created, in 1966 Shelby embarked on a mission to create the 'Cobra to end all Cobras'. The 'Super Snake' was an even more unhinged version with dual superchargers and a claimed 800 bhp. In a one-ton road car. Before electronics and driving aids. Bless him.
A redesign of one of our first models, the Cobra is a legend we felt deserved a more fitting tribute.
- Condition: new & 100% Official product
- Material: 80% cotton, 17% polyamide, 3% elastane
- Design feature: seamless knitting to create a sock with no stitches
- Design feature: blue with 427 stripe detailing
- Sizes available: L: 41-46 UK (7½-11½) US (8-12)
- Washing Instructions: Wash inside out (40ºC/100ºF max). Do not tumble dry, iron, bleach or dry clean
- Colour: blue
- Team: AC Cobra
- Category: socks Cobra Car design
The Heel tread socks are part of our motorsport clothing range.