Serious car collectors never needed an excuse to add a Shelby Cobra to their garage, but Shelby has provided some extra incentive by celebrating the 50th anniversary of its FIA Cobra small block race car with the limited-edition Shelby Cobra 289 FIA.

Shelby introduced the 50th anniversary special edition at the Barrett-Jackson Auction in Scottsdale, Arizona last month. The car recognizes the 1964 introduction of the FIA racing-spec small block Cobra, which competed in the 1964 World Manufacturers Championship series against cars from Aston Martin, Chevy and Jaguar. The original car was powered by a competition-spec Ford 289 small block engine and included widened front and rear fenders, cut-back doors and racing wheels.

"The 289 FIA Shelby Cobras were among the most important cars in American racing history," opines John Luft, president of Shelby American. "The FIA Cobras built during that period were piloted by racing legends including Ken Miles, Dan Gurney, Phil Hill and Bob Bondurant. Thus, some of the most revered drivers in the sport put the 289 FIA Cobra into the winner’s circle. Combining a robust, powerful American engine with a lightweight chassis was sheer brilliance."

The 50th Anniversary FIA Cobra is based on today's CSX7000 Continuation Shelby Cobra 289 FIA, which is sold as a rolling chassis without powertrain. The models stay true to the original look of the 1964 FIA Cobra but keep up with the times thanks to safety and performance updates like a reinforced frame and disc brakes.

The anniversary edition comes in Viking Blue with white FIA stripes and roundels, a black FIA interior, billet anniversary badges and original-style FIA wheels. It also comes with a complete exhaust for a small block Ford V8 and a fitted 50th anniversary car cover.

Like the standard CSX7000, the 50 special edition models will be sold without powertrains. They can be purchased through Shelby American's dealer network for US$94,995 for the fiberglass body and $159,995 for the aluminum.

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