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						427 Daytona Coupe5
Big-Block Daytona Coupe from Shelby American

427-Equipped Daytona Coupe continuation

By Dean Larson

Images Courtesy of Shelby American

The latest Coupe from Shelby American, CSX 2603 might look like any other Daytona Coupe at first glance, but Shelby aficionados may notice a subtle difference in its dimensions from the doors forward. As the first step in taking care of some “unfinished business for Carroll Shelby,” CSX 2603 is No. 1 of six big-block continuation coupes to be built.

Dubbed Shelby’s “secret weapon,” a lone original big-block Daytona Coupe, CSX 2286, was set to compete at Le Mans in 1966. Its frame and bodywork were specially prepared for Ford’s NASCAR-inspired 427 big-block, having been stretched 3 inches. The 427 coupe was tested by greats like Bob Bondurant, who noted that the car “went like stink,” and could top 200 mph at Le Mans and alleviate Ford’s Mulsanne Straight problem. Unfortunately, CSX 2286 was damaged in transit to Le Mans and could not be repaired in time. The car was later brought back to Shelby headquarters and returned to 289 configuration. 

To honor the potential greatness of the big-block Coupe, Shelby American is set to build six total 427-equipped Daytona Coupes, which is the same number of small-block coupes originally built. 427 Coupes will be built to the same specifications as CSX 2286 with an aluminum body and steel chassis, each lengthened 3 inches. A 550+ hp aluminum 427 medium-riser engine sourced from Shelby Engine Company will power each of the six continuation cars along with a period-correct four-speed transmission.

The first car of the series, CSX 2603, debuted at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca Aug. 18 to Aug. 20. Its aluminum bodywork is highlighted with a polished finish and a pair of white stripes with a single blue stripe between them. Saluting the original big-block Cobra, CSX 2603 wears the same No. 4 that the original was set to in the 1964 Le Mans race.

For more information on the new Coupe and other Shelby cars, visit www.shelby.com.

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