*In 1964, Carroll Shelby asked renowned fabricator John Ohlsen to
lengthen the chassis of one of the six Daytona Coupes (CSX2286) to
replace the 289 c.i.d. Ford engine with a NASCAR inspired big
block. The experimental racecar was supposed to be Shelby's "secret
weapon" for the 1964 Le Mans race.
*One of the development drivers for the big block car was Bob
Bondurant. He stated that the Cobra's tremendous torque allowed him
to burn rubber and get sideways in any gear. He noted that the
Shelby "went like stink" and speculated that it could have topped
200 miles per hour at Le Mans. Weighing about 2,200 pounds with
world class aerodynamics and the power of a big block, the car had
tremendous performance potential.
However, destiny intervened. The truck carrying CSX2286 to Le Mans
was involved in an accident that damaged the Shelby too much to be
repaired in time for the race. It never ran a lap in anger with the
427 and was returned to small block configuration by Shelby
American. Dan Gurney and Allen Grant drove CSX2286 at Le Mans with
the 289 engine the next year, but the Cobra did not finish the
Continuation Series: The Secret Weapon
*The continuation big block Daytona Coupes follow the same specs as
the Ohlsen modified race car. All Daytona Coupes will feature an
aluminum body that can be painted in any race livery. Each
continuation Coupe will feature a 3-inch lengthened chassis and
hood to accept a powerful aluminum 427 medium-riser big block
motor, which will be supplied by the Shelby Engine Company. The
powerful 550+ horsepower engine will be mated to a period-correct
4-speed manual transmission. Each will be assigned a Shelby CSX2000
(CSX2620-CSX2625) series serial number for documentation in the
official Shelby Registry.
"This is an incredible opportunity to own a very rare collectible
Shelby heritage race car," said Gary Patterson, president of Shelby
American. "Like the six small block cars built in the 1960s, these
427 powered Daytona Coupes will be a lasting tribute to another
innovative Shelby racecar that would have caught the racing world
off guard. These Coupes will be every bit as much a 'secret weapon'
as Carroll had hoped for in 1964."
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