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For Sale: 1965 Shelby Cobra in Charlotte, North Carolina


Vehicle Description

Want a lot of performance for not a lot of money? How about this: take one custom, tube-frame chassis, wrap it in high-quality Antiques & Collectibles composite, and plant a 505 horsepower, twin turbo small block up front to incite whiplash-inducing acceleration. Priced for less than the cost of building one yourself, this exclusive Cobra is a car you can keep, drive and enjoy for years to come. In fact, this one-time prototype is so well engineered that it appeared in both Hot Rod Magazine and Kit Car Builder Magazine. And, when you factor in the added convenience of firing it up and driving it right out of our RK Motors Charlotte showroom, it becomes the ultimate classic for any enthusiast who wants a complete, road-ready package!


When Corky Bell set out to build the world's most high tech Cobra, he assembled a talented cast of gearheads and began what would eventually be called Project Mongoose. A career engineer turned SCCA racer, Bell had acquired quite a reputation captaining brands like Japanese GT Cars, CarTech and the Bell Experimental Group. And that reputation, perpetuated through vast involvement in many different facets of automobilia, created plenty of contacts with top designers and engineers. Work primarily focused on creating athletic mechanicals that bettered the classic Cobra driving experience, and creating a cockpit that would actually sell to someone over average height. Ultimately, the build combined many high quality aftermarket components with a twin turbo V8, 11 custom cast parts and a slick Antiques & Collectibles composite body. And today, decked in a screaming combination of Bright Yellow and black, the car rolls as a virtually timeless hot rod that looks like a 10 and drives like an 11!


Tilt the louvered hood and you'll find a professionally built Ford Windsor block that's been bored and stroked to 385 cubic inches. Churning 505 rear wheel horsepower into 540 lb./ft. of pavement-scorching torque, that proven mill wraps an Eagle crank, Eagle rods, forged JE pistons and a Crower hydraulic cam in a full array of track-ready ancillaries. Conical air cleaners whip 7.5 psi of wind through stainless, TIG-welded tubes and proven Garrett T4 turbochargers. Fossils flow from twin Pierburg pumps to 52 lb./hr. fuel injectors. At the top of the Cast Silver mill, billet throttle bodies front a custom Bell Experimental Group upper intake and Trick Flow lower intake. The aforementioned air and fuel make their way to aluminum Canfield cylinder heads, which hide Crower aluminum rockers and Crower hydraulic lifters under monochromatic valve covers. When those heads flood the cylinders, Electromotive TEC3 engine management sequences fire through high quality Electromotive coil packs. As combustion is sparked, resultant gases are jettisoned through waterjet-cut, Heliarc-welded headers into 3-inch, Mandrel-bent side pipes that were supplied by Burns Stainless. That combustion's cooling is provided by a custom Ron Davis radiator, which stores water in front of quick-spinning electric puller fans. And high quality componentry, like a MOCAL oil cooler, a Canton Road Race oil pan and TiAL wastegates, paints a concise representation of a very skilled, systematic approach to defining "the world's most high tech Cobra".


The best thing about this high quality, expertly built roadster is its ability to run circles around almost anything at the track. Take a look under the car and you'll find a rigid 2-inch square-tube frame that, in addition to providing 14-15K lb./ft. of deflection, places 57% of the car's weight over its rear axles. Numbers like that aren't mere coincidence, as Bell hired Ron Nash, the whiz formerly associated with Buick, Roush's Merkur program and Newman & Sharps Nissans, to design Project Mongoose's foundation. That monocoque-reinforced foundation makes good use of a Porsche G50/50 5-speed transaxle, which has been reversed, inverted and mounted between a custom driveshaft, a Porsche limited-slip differential and a familiar Centerforce clutch pack. Aside from providing excellent feel, that relatively modern transmission enables the car to achieve 60 MPH in first gear while being mild-mannered enough to chase freeway traffic in fifth. That incredible drivetrain rides on a fully independent suspension, which is fitted with Heim joints, Aldan coil-over-shocks and Woodward power rack-and-pinion steering. At the corners of that suspension, Baer 4-piston calipers clamp big, slotted rotors to provide consistent, sure-footed stops that are all day strong, all day long. And power meets the pavement via 17-inch Team III alloys that spin fresh 245/40 BF Goodrich g-Force T/As in front of 275/40 BF Goodrich g-Force T/As.


Cobra interiors have always been simple, and one look inside the Mongoose reveals just how serious the car's aspirations are when it comes to being track-focused. Chopped Miata buckets stretch tight leather hides between 5-point Simpson safety harnesses. In front of those seats, a textured dash founds Racepak Data Systems telemetry above billet foot pedals that can be adjusted to the height of the driver in roughly an hour. At the sides of that dash, lightweight doors frame steel intrusion bars in custom hinges and custom handles. Below those doors, clean carpet frames direct-mount seat brackets, which lower the driving position enough to accommodate operators up to 6'9" tall. That operator stays connected to the asphalt thanks to a leather-wrapped billet steering wheel and beefy Bell Experimental Group shifter. And the passengers' cargo stows in an aluminum-lined trunk that's fitted with an integrated battery cut-off.


A couple of component manuals

A copy of the car's feature in Kit Car Builder Magazine

A copy of the car's feature in the April, 2006 edition of Hot Rod Magazine

With its high quality build, killer small block and track ready drivetrain, this vivid Cobra wraps an unmatched driving experience in spectacular good looks. When it comes to replica cars, craftsmanship is the number one issue; and quality engineering on both the manufacturer and assembler side is crucial for a product that can persevere as long as you want to tear up the road. If you're looking for a reliable, fully sorted thrill machine that's just as happy on Main Street as it is on the race track, you've found your next car!


2005 build conducted by Corky Bell / Prototype for limited production Mongoose roadsters

Featured in Hot Rod Magazine and Kit Car Builder Magazine

385 cubic inch twin turbocharged Windsor V8 / 505 rear wheel horsepower

Porsche G50/50 5-speed manual transaxle

Monocoque-reinforced 2-inch square-tube frame

Composite Antiques & Collectibles body / Cockpit fits drivers up to 6'9" tall

Sale includes: Kit Car Builder Magazine feature / Hot Rod Magazine feature

Fully independent suspension

Woodward power rack-and-pinion steering

Baer 4-wheel disc brakes

Vehicle Details

  • Listing ID:CC-750816
  • Price:$74,900
  • Location:Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Year:1965
  • Make:Shelby
  • Model:Cobra
  • Exterior Color:Yellow
  • Interior Color:Black
  • Transmission:Manual
  • Odometer:2425
  • Stock Number:135080
  • VIN:CB1P0001