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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 04-23-2012, 09:43 PM
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Default 1967 King Cobra, Shelby's last Comp Cobra from the 60s, photos, info and Film wanted

Hi,
I am searching for any photographs, info or video of Shelby's King Cobra back in the 1967 Can Am race at Riverside or Las Vegas. The #55 yellow car is #1 and I have the last Shelby comp Cobra from the 60's, #3 of the 3 car team. Any period information would be appreciated!!

Thanks in advance!
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 04-28-2012, 09:08 AM
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I think you may be referring to the Cougar. A Japanese model car
company made a model of it calling in the King Cobra which leads to the confusion.
I think Titus made a grand total of 3 laps in it. It is still out there, in vintage racing.
There were three chassis laid down by Len Terry. I would check Autoport Nostalgia Bulletin Board forum to make sure you have the name of the car right.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 04-28-2012, 12:14 PM
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Historybuff refers to this car:

Shelby Can-Am Cobra
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A beautiful car, precisely assembled. Unfortunately I don't fit. Sold it after four hundred miles. Well, at least now I know a Cobra is not a car I can own.
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 04-28-2012, 12:30 PM
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A period photo:
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A beautiful car, precisely assembled. Unfortunately I don't fit. Sold it after four hundred miles. Well, at least now I know a Cobra is not a car I can own.
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 04-28-2012, 04:28 PM
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Hi,
The early cars were Coopers, built for Shelby in 1963 and/or 64. Officially these early cars were called Cooper Fords and it was an article back on September 28, 1963 that used the term King Cobra for it. The Shelby team never used the term King Cobra for this car, but the nickname stuck. Shelby reference to the cars back in the day for the entries etc. were Cooper Fords, not one entry with the name King Cobra.

In 1967, as Shelby and Ford were separating, he had a three car Can Am team and these cars were officially called King Cobras. every Shelby reference to the cars, entries etc. called them King Cobras. Jerry Titus did an article of his own and referred to the car as Cougar Cobra and that is where irony kicked in. The official Cooper Ford was nicknamed king Cobra and the official King Cobra was nicknamed Cougar Cobra. The 67 Cobra is the King Cobra and the 63 cars are the Cooper Fords. When Mr. Shelby was reunited with my #3 chassis years back he stated "its my King Cobra" and wrote it on the chassis for clarity.

The King Cobra was designed by Terry and Phil Remington was the constructor for Shelby. Gurney was involved because of AAR and it is the only Cobra with Weslake heads sporting Cobra valve covers. Eagle suspension, wheels and parts were used making this the only joint Shelby Gurney Cobra. There were no Shelby American Comp cars after these three, (known to me) and my car #3 is the last. I'm documenting every aspect of the King Cobras (67 Can Am cars) as it is a fantastic Cobra and being the last of that era's breed the history needs to be accurate hence my request for help. The yellow #55 king Cobra is the one I seek info on!

Thanks! and I would love to talk car anytime!!
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 05-03-2012, 08:53 AM
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Default Re: Shelby comp cars: In '68 there were three turbine cars for Indy

..which didn't make the field. One has been restored to Botany 500 (sponsor) livery and was recently displayed at an indoor show of Shelby cars--don't know if they have it running tho.

Is Len Terry still alive?

Is your car still running the unorthodox originally designed suspension?
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Old 05-03-2012, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Historybuff View Post

Is your car still running the unorthodox originally designed suspension?
The one with the single, transverse coil spring? I don't think that got past the initial testing stage before the coil over type set was reverted to. The "King/Cougar/Cobra" used Eagle uprights and wheels as I recall but was not a joint AAR/Shelby project.
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Old 05-03-2012, 05:41 PM
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Hi,
I should have been more specific about its being the last Shelby American Comp car, King Cobra #3. I believe that Shelby American evolved into Shelby Racing after my car and post Shelby American saw Can Am, Trans Am and possibly other series as well for many years. I am trying to nail down #1 the few days after the Stardust race when it went from the track to Mr. Titus's shop. I feel there is film or documentation out there!

The King Cobra is so rare that finding information has been tedious to say the least but it is fairly nailed down and any help over this few day period would be great. Mr. Terry is alive and well and the suspension he designed could be used either way, single spring or a conventional set up on the cars. In both outings the King Cobra, as it was officially called, did qualify at both races, in fact faster than the P4 Ferrari entries.

At the time AAR was owned by Mr. Shelby and Mr. Gurney and AAR did the machine work on the XE 351 used in the King Cobra. Mr.Remington was the constructor of Len's design and Eagle is all over it. Of note are the Gurney Weslake heads sporting Cobra valve covers, the only Cobra like it making for a neat blending of Shelby and Gurney and I don't think there is another Cobra with this group of guys behind it.

With and on my Chassis, there was a reunion of sorts of nearly all of the original guys involved. Mr. Shelby, Mr. Gurney, John Collins, Jim O'Leary and Phil Remington. Nice interviews, photographs, video, and documentation. When I asked Mr. Shelby about 'Cougar Cobra' he said no it was the "King Cobra" and wrote it on the tub. It has been exciting researching it and the more that is found out about it the more unique and fantastic it is! for me at least.

Thanks!!
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 05-05-2012, 04:17 PM
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Default Rick Titus has a radio show, maybe you can reach him

He has writen many stories for car magazines.
maybe has his father's shop records
don't know the name of the show but I am
sure if you write Rick Titus- radio into google you can
find him.

Also try photo dept. Las Vegas Review Journal
maybe they still have negs from covering the race
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 05-06-2012, 01:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 67 king cobra View Post
Hi,
The early cars were Coopers, built for Shelby in 1963 and/or 64. Officially these early cars were called Cooper Fords and it was an article back on September 28, 1963 that used the term King Cobra for it. The Shelby team never used the term King Cobra for this car, but the nickname stuck. Shelby reference to the cars back in the day for the entries etc. were Cooper Fords, not one entry with the name King Cobra.
Hello, I’m Dave MacDonald’s son Rich.

Congats on obtaining the car and I wish you well on the restoration.

You’re right in that during 1963 & 1964, Shelby American never referred to the Cooper Fords as King Cobras. For promotional reasons the cars were always listed in official race entries and press releases as Cooper Fords. Ford was financially backing the entire Shelby Cobra movement and considering the car’s blockbuster success you can understand why they wanted their brand associated with the car. I can tell you though that the race team, my father & mother included, did like the King Cobra nickname and in fact commonly referred to it as that.

Yes the first King Cobras were called many things, Cooper-Cobra, Cooper Cobra Monaco, Cooper Monaco, and in the Aug ’63 issue of Sports Car Magazine they called it the “Super Cobra”. But clearly it was the media's use of the catchy term “King Cobra” that stuck … like glue. Like you my research shows the first King Cobra media reference was Sep 28, 1963, in Competition Press. They ran a headline titled “New King Cobra” along with a photo of my father running Riverside tire tests for Goodyear. Sports Car Graphic ran their Oct 1, 1963 issue also calling it the King Cobra.

My family attended the recent Shelby-Ford-Cobra 50yr Reunion and Bill & Eveylyn Hartman displayed their King Cobra that my father won in at the ‘63 LA Times GP, 63 Monterey Pacific GP & ’64 Augusta US Road Racing Championships…and what Bill didn’t know it until I told him that day was that his King Cobra also won the 1963 Hawaiian GP…it’s a special car. Donn Vickrey also brought his King Cobra that Parnelli won in at the ’64 LA Times GP. We talked Cobras the entire weekend and it was always “King Cobra”. I think it will always be referred to as that.

Here’s some shots of it at the event:
Shelby Cobra racer Dave MacDonald - Shelby 50yr Reunion


Sincerely,

Rich

Last edited by Daveymac; 05-06-2012 at 01:06 PM..
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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 05-06-2012, 04:17 PM
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Hi,

Historybuff, thanks for the comments! I have spoken to Rick titus and he is providing an accounting of his time with car #1 and is also sharing his fathers comments. After the Stardust race, up until the delivery to the Titus shop little is known and I feel there are photographs and information from that brief time. A crashed Shelby from the Can Am must have been photographed in las Vegas. Your idea about contacting the Las Vegas Review Journal is a good one, I'm off to see what I can find.

Rich, pleased to hear from you and I hope to cross paths. Glad to know that I am on track with my research. What memories your family must have of such a special time in racing history and I might have some original photos of your Father. I would love to hear more about the Hawaiian GP as I have been searching for a Porsche that raced there long ago.

Have you spoken to Chuck B***** about the Cooper Fords? he is doing a book on them and you would be invaluable to his research. Do you know anything about my car?? Do you know anything about AAR the XE 351 blocks and how they went to the GT 40's, the Honker and the King Cobras?

Thanks
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Old 05-07-2012, 12:32 AM
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Default Can Am King Cobra Bulkhead

Here's a photo of the rear bulkhead / suspension pick up area for one of the Can Am King Cobras, after speaking with a SAI team member he believes that this was from the #2 car and was replaced during it's restoration.
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Old 05-07-2012, 05:55 PM
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Hi,

This is correct for the car. There are some slight differences in the bracing with my car, but it is correct. I would love to see a photograph from the side as if there are rivet holes in a certain location it would indicate use and if not then it is unused.

I do not believe it is from #2 as there is photo documentation of its life and it never had any rear damage facilitating a change and it is not from mine. Where is this part? Where did it come from? Any more information? Fantastic long lost part part from the wood work!!! Now the big question --- can I get it?? Having it for a spare would be great!!

Thanks!
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Old 05-09-2012, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 67 king cobra View Post

Rich, pleased to hear from you and I hope to cross paths. Glad to know that I am on track with my research. What memories your family must have of such a special time in racing history and I might have some original photos of your Father. I would love to hear more about the Hawaiian GP as I have been searching for a Porsche that raced there long ago.

Have you spoken to Chuck B***** about the Cooper Fords? he is doing a book on them and you would be invaluable to his research. Do you know anything about my car?? Do you know anything about AAR the XE 351 blocks and how they went to the GT 40's, the Honker and the King Cobras?
Haven't spoken with Chuck about his book project but I'm sure he got tons of info from guys like Pete Brock, etc. I'll tell you though; a guy who has retained an incredible wealth of knowledge from those days is Shelby chief mechanic Wally Peat. We spent the reunion weekend reminiscing with Wally & his wife Dora Ann and Wally told some amazing stories.

You can read about the Hawaiian Grand Prix here: Dave MacDonald pilots Shelby Cobra CSX2136 to a 2nd place finish at the 1963 Hawaiian Grand Prix - Racing Legend Dave MacDonald, images, videos, Shelby Cobra, Corvette, Indianapolis 500 NASCAR, Sherry MacDonald (keep in mind, this is a Dave MacDonald tribute site so the content is geared toward my father's accomplishments). But basically the trip to Hawaii was Carroll's way of treating the team after back-to-back wins in the LA Times GP & Monterey Pacific GP. Back in the day those were the two biggest & richest road races in America and the world's best drivers from all genres came to California to run them. Carroll's Cobra movement was in full swing at this time and those two wins provided a resounding seal of approval for his brand … the man was on cloud nine. The Hawaiian GP was a non-championship race and no points were at stake so it was a great place to celebrate and still show off his cars. Craig Lang (Olympia Brewery heir) was a Hawaiian resident and part-time club racer and he had just negotiated with Carroll to purchase a new King Cobra. He, Wally peat & my father would build the car for my father to race, The car would be known as the King Cobra Lang Cooper and while Craig would own it, he'd run it under the Shelby banner. The Cobra movement had complete financial backing form Ford but two new King Cobras were the limit - the Cobra Daytona Coupe was already in development. Carroll realized this as an opportunity to run another team car at no cost to Ford brass. (That car is a whole nother story though).

Anyway they brought two Cobra Roadsters and a King Cobra to the Hawaiian GP and Carroll decided to let Craig drive the King Cobra and put Ken Miles & my father in the roadsters. My mother told the Hawaiian GP story during the panel discussion at the Shelby reunion and she told about the plan my father & Ken concocted the night before the race. She says they decided to let Craig win the race. "I was not on board with this plan” she says, “I always wanted Dave to win…every race"! lol. But Ken and my father knew Craig would be the hometown hero with a win and there was no changing their minds. They planned to drag race to the finish line for second place and as it turned out my father placed 2nd by what news articles described as a "thin coat of paint". It was a tight finish as all three Cobras were within one second of each other as they crossed the line.

Sorry I don't have any knowledge regarding your King Cobra, my research of that era pretty much stops at May 30, 1964. Would love to see any original photos you have of my father, if you come across any please pm me or post them here, it would be much appreciated!

Rich
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Old 06-05-2012, 10:38 AM
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Hello 67 King Cobra,

Austin Craig recently sent me a copy of the 1978 Shelby American Guide written by Richard Kopec. If you can get your hands on a copy pages 81 & 82 talk about your car. I scanned the associated pics, maybe you've not seen them.

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Rich
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