There aren't many cars that you can say will be an instant collectible before they're off the showroom floor, but this is one of them. Most petrolheads know the legend of Carroll Shelby and the big block Cobra he created in January 1965 – now there will be 50 more of the iconic roadster created for the 50th anniversary. Each will be documented in the "World Registry" alongside the original 343 built by Shelby American in the 1960s, and the 50th Anniversary 427 Cobra will be available with either a fiberglass body for US$120,000, or an aluminum bodied car (pictured) for $180,000.

Those prices are both quoted without drivetrain, and to retain the lines of the car around the bonnet area, (not to mention the spirit of the beast), you'll need to fit a normally-aspirated big block engine which will run from around another $50,000 for a 400 horsepower set-up, through to over 700 hp at around an extra $70,000. In other words, a 700 hp 427 Shelby Cobra, with full paperwork will set you back $250,000 and will probably begin appreciating in value before you get your hands on it.

The anniversary Shelby Cobras will be sold as component vehicles that can be finished by a customer or an authorized dealer. Each car is built to order and delivered as a rolling chassis, less drive train, with a 1965 MSO. The 427 Shelby Cobras retain everything from the authentic style suspension to the graceful body lines, but are upgraded to contemporary standards. Shelby American uses the same leather that one would find in high end cars, modern brake discs and a stronger frame.

The 50th Anniversary Editions will carry serial numbers CSX4500 to CSX4599 though there will be unique differences. Special badges on the exterior and interior signify the model. Premium materials are used on the seats, carpets and dash. A 23 gallon racing style fuel tank, powder coated frame, racing brakes and custom gauges are standard. The paint/stripe schemes are unique and a special optional engine package is being developed by the Shelby Engine Company.

Each continuation Cobra will be painted Guardsman Blue with Wimbledon White stripes, equipped with a premium black leather interior and other special touches and the car will make it's public debut at the Barrett-Jackson Auction in Scottsdale, Arizona on January 12, 2015.

"The big block Shelby Cobra changed the way the world viewed American manufacturers when Carroll Shelby introduced it in January 1965," says Joe Conway, Co-CEO of Carroll Shelby International and CEO of Shelby American.

"While the small block cars were successful, the all new FE-powered Cobra took everything to the extreme. Far more powerful and sophisticated, the big block Cobra represented the bold American spirit. Shelby American’s goal was to create the world’s first hyper car and the Cobra lived up to its potential."

"Shelby American built the big block Cobras specifically to conquer all other sports cars, both American-made and European. With an all new coil spring independent suspension, larger passenger compartment, upgraded brakes, wider track, fatter tires and a big block Ford engine, the Cobra rocked the world."

"In its first year of production, the big block Cobra captured the SCCA’s coveted 'A Production' championship. The Cobras also ran rampant in sanctioned drag racing series nationwide."

"The 427 Cobra is the purest expression of Carroll Shelby’s vision of a performance car," said Akos J. Feher, Shelby American Vice President of Operations. "He believed in combining big horsepower with inspired engineering. The big block Cobra featured an all new coil over suspension that would allow the lightweight frame to handle a powerful American big block engine. The car just exudes masculinity. The Cobra’s ‘no holds barred’ attitude is still part of the DNA of every car we build today."

"Genuine Shelby Cobras are very rare and desirable," said Gary Patterson, Shelby American Vice President of Strategic Sales and Media Relations. "We wanted to honor Cobra’s unique heritage, while incorporating a few upgrades that Carroll personally approved before his death in 2012. These 50 limited edition cars keep the flame sparked by the race-winning Cobras burning bright. There just isn’t anything like a real Shelby Cobra."

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