This is a nearly-new version of a decades-old classic
Carroll Shelbyâ€™s classic take on the AC Cobra is an iconic global legend, but the price you pay for such fame is infamously unaffordable sums. Which makes the one weâ€™re looking at here seems a relative bargain: all you need to do is remortgage a house or two to buy it.
Why so â€˜affordableâ€™? Because the car weâ€™re looking at here is one of the AC continuation cars, which use official Shelby serial numbers that begin where the original cars left off in 1967.
Shelby itself built 50 of them in 2015 to mark 50 years of the Shelby Cobra, a car that started out in the 1960s as an English AC Ace that was shipped over to the US and treated to a monster Ford V8 engine conversion.
It was, surprisingly, a creation that met with official Ford approval. The blue oval even gave Shelby increasingly powerful V8 engines, and cash injections to further develop the concept. After starting out in the early 60s, a MkII Cobra offered improved steering and the iconic 1965 Cobra MkII launched with a 7.0-litre â€˜427â€™ V8 engine, a beefed-up chassis and all-round coil springs.
Only 260 were originally made and, because it was a bit of an animal, even fewer still exist today. Thatâ€™s why, today, theyâ€™re among the most expensive of all classics on sale in the US â€“ that is, provided you can get an owner to actually part with their cherished machine.
Enter the continuation cars. Shelby sold them as rolling chassis, in aluminium or fibreglass, to which buyers would then add a suitably large V8 engine. Done well, and with a few tweaks approved by Shelby before his death in 2012, theyâ€™re today getting on for being as sought-after as an original.
Which is why this US-based SuperVettura Sunningdale car costs half a million pounds, or Â£600,000 once youâ€™ve added on the VAT. Then again, it does have a 600bhp 7.0-litre V8 engine, and it does have a mere 200 miles on the clock. Once run in, it guarantees an exciting drive, for anyone brave enough to take it on.
Shelby set out to create Americaâ€™s first hypercar, and the Shelby Cobra certainly did exactly that. Equipped with the biggest of big-block V8s, they were demons that wowed the world in 1965, and still rouse gasps of approval even today.
So if you really want to be different, steer clear of the archetypal limited-run supercar and invest in this instead. Itâ€™s not cheap, but prices can only go one way, and the sheer spectacle of experiencing it in action is one of motoringâ€™s greatest highs.