Shelby has created a car paying tribute to the legendary racers that forged its name in the 1960s. Just 15 examples of the new Sebring Tribute Roadster will be made, each designed to remind owners of the CSX2128 driven at Florida's Sebring International Speedway by Dan Gurney in 1963.
Based on the Shelby American CSX7000 Continuation Shelby Cobra, the Sebring Tribute features all the design cues that have made Shelby famous over the years. With a stumpy wheelbase, broad shoulders and simple lines, there's no mistaking the Sebring for anything other than a Cobra.
But it's not just the car's styling connecting it to the 1960s. Just like the racer piloted by Dan Gurney, the Sebring Tribute will feature swollen wheel arches and fenders, cutaway doors, extra oil-cooler scoops and racing wheels on the outside, while under the skin there's revised dampers for improved performance on the track.
Although Shelby hasn't released details about the full suspension setup on the Sebring Tribute, the company does say it will have "authentic style suspension." On more regular versions of the CSX7000 Continuation Cobra, that means the car sits on transverse leaf springs, so we expect the Tribute to run with a variation of that setup.
Considering how exposed to the elements you are in the Cobra, it's also reassuring to know modern Shelbys are fitted with a stronger frame and modern disc brakes. Although the racers of the early 1960s were brave enough to hustle their cars around at maximum attack using period technology, we'd rather a few modern touches were added to make the whole thing that little bit safer.
The other modern touch on this car is the fact it's a turnkey option. Rather than selling you a body and engine separately, the whole car is ready to hit the track direct from the factory in one neat, ready-to-drive 2,100 lb (953 kg) package. In fact, the car will be Shelby's first turnkey vehicle to be offered worldwide.
"The Sebring Tribute Cobras will incorporate safety and performance improvements made over the years but retain the originality that made the Cobra so exciting," says Vince LaViolette, senior designer and head of R&D at Shelby American. "With an aluminum motor from the Shelby Engine Company propelling around 2,100 lbs. This turnkey car will offer the kind of power-to-weight ratio that will allow drivers to pass on corners and then run away on the straights. It is the perfect track day toy."
So far, there's no information about pricing or power for the Sebring Tribute, but Shelby will do a full reveal of the car later in the year, and order books will open at the end of June.