Reincarnation Magazine

Reincarnation Magazine
Continuation, Reproduction and Replica Automobiles
Rein Car Nation Cover Spring 2020
						Side Oiler Ba T 10
Side-Oiler Continuation on BaT

Shelby Cobra continuation with a 427 side-oiler engine

By Dean Larson

It’s winter here in Northern Wisconsin, meaning there’s half a foot of snow on the ground and the average temperature is likely a single digit. However, the chunky idle of this big block is nearly enough to transport me to my favorite racetrack, Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, on a sunny 68-degree day.

Why the specific and vivid reaction you ask? Well, for one, listen to that big block: The rough idling, yet smooth revving, date-coded side-oiler 427 is quite literally music to the ears. It also might have something to do with the total lack of a windshield that makes this Cobra look ready for the open racetrack.

Track day visions aside, we are looking at an interesting mix with this CSX6000 series continuation Cobra from Shelby American. It’s a one-owner car being sold on BringaTrailer.com, auction style, with a current bid of $51,000 and five days left in the auction. We’ve seen continuation Cobras on BaT before with mixed results. The cars that sell are usually bid to the tune of $115,000-$120,000, while cars bid under $100,000 have gone unsold. There’s been early interest in the car, but this Cobra strongly resembles an earlier continuation that went unsold at $75,000. 

The Cobra has a lot going for it. CSX6000 cars have some practical tweaks for safety, but are otherwise quite faithful to the originals. The owner of this car didn’t spring for the aluminum body, as it adds considerably to the cost, but they did spec the car out with some great options. The car is no 289 FIA, but I’ve never seen a set of FIA wheels on a Cobra that I didn’t like, these included. If the gold wheels and Avon tires don’t suit your tastes, the seller also has a set of white Halibrand-style wheels available.

There are a few other parts of the exterior that you may, or may not, go for. The paint on the Cobra definitely makes it a standout, but most buyers would probably opt to remove the added graphics. The roll bar is also a little outside the norm, and it's actually an aftermarket unit from Olthoff Racing. At first, I found it slightly reminiscent of a truck roll bar, just add a pair of KC Daylighters (sorry, I had to). But on further review, I came to my senses and realized the roll bar fits the car quite well, and I like it a bit more than a pair of individual roll bars.

It’s also plain to see that there’s no windshield fitted on the Cobra whatsoever. The seller claims he prefers the look of the car sans windshield, but it is included with the sale. The car has a track-ready look right now, but I think this competition windshield from Acton Custom Enterprises would look even better.

By far, the best option on this car is under the hood. It’s a treat to find original Windsor and FE engines in Cobra replicas, but finding a legit, 1968 date-coded 427 side-oiler big block is a whole different matter. The engine was professionally built by Southern Automotive in McDonough, Georgia, starting with a NOS (new old stock) side-oiler cast-iron block. (I’d sure like to know where the stash of new 50-year old race engines is …) The mill was finished off with internals from Keith Black, Eagle Specialty Products, Edelbrock and a custom grind camshaft. The completed stroker weighs in at 484 cubic inches and produces 518 hp and 569 lb-ft of torque.

It would be a dirty shame to funnel all that hairy-chested, big-block power through any old transmission, and the Cobra doesn’t disappoint. The bulletproof and period-correct Ford Toploader four speed handles the gear changes, and the listing claims this one is built to NASCAR spec. A quick internet search comes up with this result from David Kee Toploader Transmissions, and their price sheet does show a NASCAR-spec Toploader option for Cobra kit cars. This trans is recommended for large-displacement Ford big blocks and has a beefier 31-spline output shaft and a shorter 24-inch length.

Fia Spec Continuation 6

Overall this Cobra has a lot going for it, but it does remind us a lot of this CSX7000 series 289 FIA car that was only bid to $75,000 on BaT. We’ll be sticking around to see if this big-block variant catches more bids or if it follows suit with its Windsor-powered brethren.

Check out this quick video by the seller and let us know what you think of this side-oiler continuation in the comments below.  


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