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						Princess Blue Superformance
Princess Blue MkII on BaT

Princess blue Superformance MkII Cobra up for online auction

By Dean Larson

Photos: Seller, BringaTrailer.com

What is it really that makes the Shelby Cobra an icon? Is it the races it won, the performance or maybe just its looks? In a way, it’s all of those things — a perfect combination of potent performance, historic motorsport significance and perfect curves. A stunning example of the small-block Cobra, this princess blue Superformance MkII on BringaTrailer.com proves the Cobra’s soul is more than just fender flares, side pipes and hood scoops.

As a certified Cobra nut, you already know the particulars of how retired racer Carroll Shelby arranged the creation of the Ace Cobra by marrying an AC Ace with the new Ford 260 ci Windsor engine. AC had made it easy by modifying much of the Ace’s front end to accommodate the 2.6-liter Ford Zephyr engine, and a new Salisbury rear differential promised to take the increased power over the original E.N.V. differential. A quick relocation of the steering box for clearance, and the AC Cobra was nearly finished. Famously, CSX 2000 (the first AC Cobra) came together in just eight hours at Dean Moon’s shop.

And that’s how the first 75 cars in the CSX 2000 series scampered out of Shelby’s facility, sporting 260 ci Windsor engines and transverse leaf spring suspension. The following 51 MkIs built received the new 289 ci Windsor V8 for a total of about 126 MkIs.

The new MkII cars, built from 1963 to 1965, were very similar to the MkIs. The folks at AC Cars swapped the old worm-gear steering assembly out in favor of rack-and-pinion steering, while retaining the original transverse leaf spring suspension. Steering parts were adapted from the MGB, and a new steering column was borrowed from the VW Beetle. Shelby dished out another 528 cars in this configuration.

Immediately recognizable by the wire wheels, narrower hips and under-car exhaust, the MkI and MkII Cobra appeal to a different aspect of our Shelby obsession. Where the big-block Cobra is the obvious choice for lapping the track, the small-block Cobra is the one you want to arrive in. It’s elegant, sporty and makes you look as though you’ve just taken the long way there — and you probably have.

It’s for this sort of distinguished customer that Superformance designed their MkII “Slab Side” Cobra continuation. The hand-laid fiberglass body features narrower fenders and flares, a center-mounted fuel filler, scoopless hood and early-style grille opening. But it’s more than just looks, as the Superformance MkII is based on a 3-inch tubular chassis that emulates the original Tojeiro-designed AC chassis with transverse leaf spring suspension. As an interesting side note, Superformance states that the round-tube main rails in the MkII chassis come with a piece of square tubing running though them to prevent flexing.

In a Superformance MkII, you’d be hard pressed to beat the example seen here on BringaTrailer.com. It’s finished in princess blue with an optional red leather interior. Power comes from a Ford 331 ci stroker small-block from Carroll Shelby Engine Company, and a TREMEC five-speed handles gear shifts. The car was finish assembled by Cobra Performance in Martinez, California, in April 2019, and the car has only logged break-in miles.

The Cobra market on BringaTrailer is strong, but every once in a while we see a good buy sneak by. The book on these cars is somewhere around $80,000 to $90,000, and we’d expect this one to come in between $80,000 and $85,000. The big pluses driving its value are brand recognition, professional finishing and its specification. But I wouldn’t totally discount it if you’re after a deal, as a few Cobra’s cross BaT’s block every month, and every once in a while someone gets lucky.

See the princess blue MkII here on BringaTrailer.com.

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