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by Jay Traugott
Although it's not one of the six originals, this Pete Brock Shelby Daytona Coupe is as close to the real thing as you can get.
In his quest to beat the Ferrari 250 GTO at Le Mans, Carroll Shelby knew he had to make some changes to the open-topped Cobra. The problem, as with any convertible, was outright speed and the original Cobras simply weren't capable of beating the more aerodynamic and rigid 250 GTO. For example, the Cobra's top speed at the Mulsanne straightaway at Le Mans was about 157 mph while the GTO could do 186 mph.
So Shelby got to work on a solution by having Pete Brock design a more aerodynamic coupe body, essentially a Cobra coupe. A new suspension was also designed. To experiment, Brock actually utilized a Cobra chassis that crashed at the 1963 Le Mans by first removing the old and damaged bodywork. He then began working on the proper seat and steering wheel placement as well as coming up with a proper windscreen design. Shelby was keen on making sure the new coupe would have the necessary aerodynamic qualities to guarantee victory.
He then brought in an outside consultant who claimed that the rear end of the car needed to be around three feet longer. Brock, however, was adamant about his design and requested for Shelby to leave it as is. Shelby listened and agreed. With this basic working model, Brock then set about building the first prototype, chassis #CSX2287. For those who don't know the history, this particular Daytona Coupe was the so-called "lost Cobra." After its extremely successful yet short racing career (it won at Sebring, Daytona and set 25 land speed records at Bonneville), CSX2287 was sold to some private collectors including the reclusive record producer Phil Spector.
He ended up selling it to his bodyguard for $1,000 who then passed it on to his daughter, Donna O'Hara. Long story short, O'Hara put the car in storage in the early '70s and never confirmed to interested buyers, including Shelby who wanted to buy it back, that she still owned it. It wasn't until after she killed herself back in 2000 that it was discovered still sitting in storage and was valued at approximately $4 million. Fortunately, it's since been restored and is now on display in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. All told, only six Shelby Daytona Coupes were built because Shelby's time was soon needed to develop the Ford GT40.
In 2003 Pete Brock teamed up with a company called Superperformance to design and build the "Brock Coupe", the only Shelby Daytona Coupe replica officially licensed by Shelby himself. It's also eligible to be included in the official Shelby Registry. Only around 130 of these ended up in the US and now one is for sale on eBay. Powered by a Ford 427R with 550 horsepower and 535 pound-feet of torque, it has just 8,500 miles on the odometer and is fully street legal with a clear New York title and 1965 model year registration. This example, #0039, was built in 2004 and has been meticulously maintained ever since.
The interior features black leather upholstery and Alcantara headliner and dash as well as four-point racing harnesses and a properly reinforced and functional steel-mounted roll bar. With an asking price of $79,900, this is truly a historic piece of American automotive history. It is a Shelby, after all.