Story by Steve Temple - Photos by Steve Temple and George Halleck

Judging purely by its name, the London Cobra Show might sound like a stuffy British affair, with tweed coats, proper etiquette and the Queen’s English as the order of the day. No way.

It’s not only a rip-roarin’ roundup of replisnakes, one of the largest in the U.S., with big V8s blasting out their sidepipes down Main Street USA, but also a festive gathering of enthusiasts looking to win a raffle Cobra. The Ohio Cobra Club is the organizer of this fun and friendly celebration, all to raise money to help find a cure for a cystic fibrosis. This year’s Cobra was a Superformance MkIII roadster, powered by a 515 hp Roush 427 and a Tremec TKO 600 five-speed transmission.

The event culminated at the Saturday night gala June 24 with a $100,000 donation check to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and announcing the winner of the drawing. (Mrs. Jackie S. of Montgomery, Ohio, initially thought she’d won a scale model of a Cobra instead!) But this bundle o’ snakes actually takes months of work and preparation, mostly by local volunteers. Leading up to the show, club members build a replica of a Shelby Cobra roadster and tour the country to sell raffle tickets for a chance to win the car. The club sells raffle tickets for $20 each, both online and at various car shows. Total donations over the years have amounted to more than $1.2 million, an impressive achievement.

All are welcome to attend the show at no charge, with several activities taking place prior to the finale, such as cruises, parades and a gala dinner, from Thursday through Sunday of the event. Prior to the show, a number of participants enjoyed some hot laps at the Mid-Ohio track.

Some of the local excursions were rained out Friday, but that didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits, and sun smiled on everyone by Saturday. The pavement was dry for a police-escorted drive from the Speedway truck stop into downtown London, where the thrill rides were held on the main drag (literally), available to anyone for just a $10 donation.

For those shopping for a Cobra or related upgrades, a number of vendors displayed their wares at the other end of Main Street. Other highlights of the event included speakers such as Cobra racer John Morton and Rich MacDonald, son of famed race-car driver Dave MacDonald. Both shared many colorful stories from the world of motorsports, and on Carroll Shelby, as did your editor.

All around, the event was a huge success, and we look forward to attending the next year from June 21 to 23, where a Backdraft Cobra powered by a Craft Performance Engine will be given away. So plan ahead, and don’t miss out on all the London fun!