1964 SHELBY COBRA DAYTONA 24H Coupe – Reborn from 1965 Bonneville World Speed Record-Holder

1964 SHELBY COBRA DAYTONAFew better ways to kick off the 2016 Daytona 24-Hour race this weekend than to meet one of the all-time greats!

The Shelby Cobra Coupe had no official name when it took the grid for this grueling 1964 race — then the fastest in the world.  But being designed and prepped for this track earned the Daytona Coupe its forever name the moment it started leading the race.

This car is *exactly* like the Shelby that took the green flag around Daytona, but bowed out after an engine fire. That Daytona Coupe no longer wears the medium blue metallic over white racing stripes, so this brother was repurposed to fill the iconic role.

This exact Cobra Coupe was the 1965 Bonneville World Speed record holder, and built to a very similar spec as the Daytona racecar.  Five years of painstaking work ensures every last detail of this Cobra matches the iconic Florida endurance racer — right down to the masking tape to secure the light shrouds in airtight fashion.

So it is not the VERYSAME Daytona Coupe, but it earned an invite to the 2016 event due to the sheer brilliance of its timecapsule state.

In the flesh, the Daytona Coupe looks almost nothing like its no-roof brethren.  The hood and wheelbase are longer, the car is radically wider, and the entire rear of the machine is wind-honed.  This means an ultra low, almost chopped windshield header and rising roofline a bit like a running shoe. The roof crests lightly above the driver’s head, then falls gracefully to a pure KAMM tail.  Oval in shape, the pinch around the trailing edge of the Daytona Coupe extends to all sides. Integrated vents and ducts live in the outer edges of the oval, as do the cursory brake lights.  Side exhaust pipes keep the entire rear floor perfectly smooth — ideal when shooting for 200-mph!

Please enjoy these 91 photos.