Silverstone Classic: Cobra-palooza

Cobra 12a If you are any kind of hoon, then you know that the Cobra has a storied racing heritage. This beautiful example of British styling and American horsepower turned in a win in the 1964 24 Hours of LeMans, and then went on to great success in Europe and stateside. In the process, Shelby put an end to Ferrari’s sports car racing dominance. So, it only makes sense that the Silverstone Classic, a festival of classic automotive racing, would feature plenty of Cobras, both on the track and on display. Cobra 3a Cobra 1a The cars participating in the racing action were authentic Cobras. There were something like a dozen of them at the track. An assembly of actual Cobras of that size is a rare treat, indeed. The black #94 car above features a sweet fuel-through-the-roof system. Cobra 11a The Cobras participating in the races did not fare well, only the Martin Hunt and Blakeney-Edwards car finished on the podium in third place by virtue of a last-lap pass. The racing was pretty civilized in general, but as you can see in the photo above, the cars were up to three wide in some corners. Cobra 5a Off the track, this GT40 sat alone in a car park, while spectators sat with their backs to it. This car would be the darling of most any other show. Here, it was just one of the crowd. The Ford GT below wasn’t drawing much attention either.  (Though, it was absolutely stunning, as GTs tend to be.) Cobra 9a In the street car display section of the Classic, there were plenty of Cobras to go around. They all appeared to be replicas, but we won’t hold that against them. The Cobra is near the top of the short list of cars that deserve to be flattered by imitation. Cobra 4a Cobra 8a Happily, there was also a group of MKI replicas on display. The oft-ignored “slab side” or “flat side” early Cobras featured a 260 CID, then the famous 289 CID Ford small block. A general abundance of 427 replicas makes the MKI seem like a rare treat. These cars retain more of their AC Motors body design and look much more British. Cobra 13a It could be argued that the slab side is a better looking vehicle than the later, wide-bodied cars. Cobra a For me, the real highlight was the #65 MKI pictured above. With its wire wheels and early styling, it was easily my favorite Cobra at the event.  It was authentic and it participated in the racing action. Picking a favorite Cobra is much more difficult than picking your favorite child, but I managed. All images: ©2014 Hooniverse/Scott Ith, All Rights Reserved

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