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The Man Behind The Cobra: What You Didn't Know About Carroll Shelby

Every great thing has a beginning and the AC Cobra replica car kit is no different. Without the original muscle car, there would be nothing for a kit to replicate. You can thank a man named Carroll Shelby, who made his dream of creating a racing roadster a reality. Learn about Shelby and his beginnings to truly appreciate your very own AC Cobra replica kit.

The Early Years

Eloise and Warren Shelby had Carroll on Jan. 11, 1923 in Leesburg, Texas. When he was just seven years old, Shelby developed a heart condition that kept him in bed for much of his early childhood. Luckily, he started showing improvements by 14 and his doctors gave him a clean bill of health.

Although his father was a rural mail carrier and his mother was a homemaker, Shelby had plenty of automotive influences in his adolescence. His father often took him and his friends to dirt bike races and car races. When he was old enough to drive himself, Shelby started to travel to events like the IMCA sprint car events in Iowa to see more advanced racing. Shelby would even take apart and rebuild small go-carts to learn about the operation of internal combustion engines.

His Time In The Army

The Second World War broke out when Shelby was only 16 years old, and once he was eligible he enlisted in the Army Air Corps. He remained in the armed forces until the war ended in 1945, although he never saw any action in the field. Instead, Shelby worked at military bases in Texas and Colorado as a flight instructor, teaching young men how to fly bomber planes.

While he didn't use his aviation skills to fight during this time, he did use them to win over his future wife. Shelby did it by taking an unguarded plane and flying it over the home of the girl he liked, Jeanne Fields, to drop a letter in her yard. He was never caught for the slight plane theft and the letter seemed to work, as he ended up marrying Jeanne in 1943.

Post-War And The AC Cobra

After unsuccessful stints at a dump truck business and chicken farming, Shelby drove in a racecar for the first time in 1952. This started a world-traveling racing career that lasted for eight years until his heart condition wouldn't allow him to continue.

However, this led him to start a new passion, developing the racecar of his dreams: the AC Cobra. Shelby originally designed the AC Cobras to be "Corvette-Beaters," despite the model's weight clocking in at nearly 500 pounds less than the Chevrolet Corvette. What the car lacked in weight it had in speed and design, resulting in the wild success of Shelby's racecar empire.

Shelby's long journey has now allowed you to have the AC Cobra replica kit that you've always wanted. Contact Backdraft Racing today to emulate Shelby and the racecar he worked so diligently for.

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What to Know Before Building a Kit Car

build a kit carOwning a classic car is something anyone can take pride in. But building your own custom roadster is something most car enthusiasts only dream of. If you've been dreaming of owning your own Shelby Cobra, now is a good as time as any to build a kit car. After all, with an AC Cobra Coupe reaching 186 mph in 1964, who wouldn't want to own one of these famous cars? However, building a Cobra replica is no easy task, so here are a few things you should know before you get started.


Buy a reputable kit: Before you decide which kit car you're going to invest in, it's important to do some research. You don't want to invest your money into a kit car that's going to give you nothing but problems. Make sure the kit car is of high quality. You should understand the process that goes into the car and the parts so you can ensure it's worth the money. You should buy a kit from a reputable seller and know which parts you'll be provided in the kit. Doing your research ahead of time will help you decide which kit is the best one for your wants and needs.


Have the right tools: While it may be tempting to save a few bucks and use whatever tools you already have, it's important to use high-quality tools. It won't be worth saving money when you're using cheap tools and they break or cause damage to your car. So before you get started, invest in some high-quality tools. Splurging on a few good tools will be worth it when you don't run into issues down the line.


Stay organized: When you choose to build a kit car, you're going to be dealing with a lot of parts. This is especially true since you're going to be working on this project car for a long time. With that in mind, it's important to stay organized. You should try to move parts around as little as possible to minimize the risk of losing something important. For smaller parts, consider putting everything in bags and labeling them. This way, you know what's what. Organization is key to your project going smoothly.


Building your own kit car is something most car lovers don't get the chance to do. So if you are tackling the task of building a kit car, keep these tips in mind for the best experience possible.

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Looking For A Great Holiday Gift? The AC Cobra Car Kit Is Here

cobra kit car for saleThe holiday season is just around the corner and, if you're still looking for the perfect gift, an AC Cobra kit may be just the right thing.

It's no secret that muscle cars have a strong following. If you have a friend or family member who wishes they could go back in time to get their hands on a Shelby Cobra, a Cobra replica could be right up their alley.


Not quite convinced just yet? Here's why a Cobra kit car is a great choice for your car-loving family member or even yourself this holiday season:


  1. It's a better option than getting the real thing. Sure, you can imagine the glow in their eyes if you were ever to gift someone with their actual dream car. But a classic muscle car like a Shelby Cobra would cost you more than an arm and a leg.

  2. Cobra kits are customizable. If you were ever to gift someone with a classic ride like a Shelby Cobra, there would be no chance of customizing it and making it their own without reducing its value. But when you invest in a Cobra kit, they can really make it their own.

  3. Cobra car kits aren't as heavy. The original Shelby Cobra roadsters weighed as much as 3,400 pounds. A replica Shelby Cobra weighs significantly less, giving you more control on the road.

  4. You can meet new people. When you choose to gift a Cobra replica, you also give the gift of community. A lot of people love replica cars so your loved one (or you) will have the chance to meet with like-minded people.

  5. You'll be able to drive your dream car. Even if you or your loved one was able to find an actual Shelby Cobra, there's no guarantee the vehicle would actually be safe to drive. But, when you invest in a replica, you're giving yourself or your friend the ability to actually drive your/their dream car.

Where can I find a Cobra kit car for sale?

Caroll Shelby built up to 654 small-block Cobras from 1962 to 1968. Since then, these sports cars haven't lost their popularity.

If you're looking for the best kit cars for beginners or you're interested in a Cobra kit car for sale for yourself this holiday season, Backdraft Racing has what you need. To learn more about our replica car kits, contact Backdraft Racing about our Shelby Cobra kit cars today.

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3 Tips for Success When Building Your First Kit Car

replica car

Do you have a dream car that you always hoped you would own someday? Well, why not make that dream a reality and build your own kit car! Building your own car is an accomplishment of a lifetime and can be a really fun hobby too. But before you get started on building your first kit car, let's take a look at a few important tips to keep in mind.

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Your Questions, Answered: Replica Car Kits FAQ

replica car kitWhether you’re a collector of classic cars, or just learning to love them, you may be thinking about purchasing a replica car kit. Yet with so many styles, kits and companies to choose from, starting this hobby can be a confusing process. Whatever model you might want to add to your garage, here are a few of the most common replica car questions answered.

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Be Prepared: 5 Essential Tools To Carry In Your Hot Rod Kit Car

hot rod kit carYou're traveling from roadshow to roadshow, and suddenly your newly built hot rod kit car breaks down. To avoid the disaster of being stuck with no way to repair your custom roadster, make sure to have some of these essential tools in your trunk. 


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3 Hobbies to Consider Trying Out This Summer

replica car kitAh, summer. With the long, sunny days and warm, star-filled nights, summertime is the perfect time to try new things. But more often than not, people find themselves glued to their couch in their spare time, simply because they don't know what to do. So to help you make the most of your summer, here are a few ideas for new hobbies you can give a try.

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Is a Replica Car Kit Right for You?

ac cobraAlmost everybody has their expensive, drool-worthy dream car. And while it would be nice to own your dream car, that's often not a possibility due to the high cost of really nice cars. Fortunately, you can own your dream car with a replica car kit. With the right tools and parts, you can be the owner of your very own custom roadster. But while many people are hesitant to build replica cars, this article is going to discuss a few great reasons to build your own replica car.

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Don't Let it Die: How to Make Your Car Last a Lifetime

If every vehicle that gets produced is meant to perform, why do some do so better than others? Well, besides parts, manufacturing processes, and a few other things, it leaves the driver.

Part of performance is also how long your car lasts. As a driver you want your car to live forever, yet the biggest deciding factor is your actions. If you want to see your car hit a quarter million miles and counting, use these tips to get there.

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Shelby Is Introducing Continuations of 2 Classic Cars

replicaIf you're a fan of Shelby cars, then you're in luck. Two of Shelby's classics are making a comeback: the 1960s-spec Mustang and the Series 1 sports car. These two models are being reborn once more, but in limited numbers.

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The New 2019 Shelby Mustang GT500: What to Expect From Ford's Most Powerful Street Legal Car

cobraNext year is going to be a year that many muscle car fans are looking forward to, especially if you're a Carroll Shelby fan.

Back in January, Ford announced the release of the new Mustang Shelby GT500 set to hit the market sometime in 2019, but they didn't provide much else about the car. Ford had tweeted that the GT500 would possess an impressive projection of 700 plus horsepower, boasting that it would be the most "powerful street-legal production" that Ford has ever released. The original Shelby Mustang GT500 had a little under 400 ponies, making the 2019 remake almost twice as powerful.

Three months later, Ford released the first glimpse at the beast itself with a cryptic photo of the front of the car. Dimly lit and overall lacking in major details, Ford left a lot of the car's aesthetics up to the imagination. However, the picture does show clean lines and a blacked-out grille displaying the iconic chrome Cobra insignia, along with the quintessential dual racing strips down the middle.

All other details about the car are being withheld by Ford until the release date gets closer. Specifics such as supercharged or turbocharged, automatic or manual options, or if it will continue its cousin the Cobra's legacy of weighing significantly less than most racing cars and custom roadsters -- which can get up to 3,400 lbs -- are still unknown.

While the 2019 Shelby Mustang GT500 might be on the shopping list for many car enthusiasts and Shelby die-hards, it will almost certainly be unobtainable for the vast majority. A brand new 2016 Ford Shelby Mustang GT350 base model with no options included can run you around 55k or more, so it isn't hard to speculate what the GT500 with might cost.

While Ford might be releasing the remake for nostalgia purposes, the car will definitely be a performance driving machine made for both the road and track. The world of muscle cars holds their breath for the next year in suspense.

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Replicas or the Real Thing: Which One is Best for Your Garage

shelby cobra kitAny car enthusiast can answer the question without hesitation: "If you could have any car, what would it be?" It's usually a car from a beloved childhood television show or film, or maybe they saw it cruising down Route 66 with the top down. It becomes a need and a desire to find that one car and to possess it. For a lot of people nowadays, that's becoming harder and harder to do. Most cars from the past century are getting tougher to find because they're just not out there anymore. If they are out there, they're probably in pretty bad shape or worse...too expensive. Try talking to any Shelby collector who's itching for an AC Cobra.

A lot of the desirable classics, especially some of the rare muscle cars, are getting to the point of being unobtainable unless a 7 figure price tag is pocket change for you. Take for instance the legendary Shelby Cobra -- a genuine car from Carroll Shelby is almost impossible to come by anymore. The last original Shelby Cobra 427 Super Snake in existence sold for over $5 million in 2015. Even Shelby Mustangs and AC Cobras are becoming impossible to find or just too costly to consider. 

Fortunately there's a remedy for many of you. You can get a replica car kit for a fraction of the cost of the genuine thing have it look exactly like the originals. Many people opt for kits now for many reasons (especially Shelby Cobra kits). Obviously the prices of genuine rides are outrageous, while something like a Shelby Cobra kit car costs are easily feasible for most. Another reason people prefer kits is because their highly modifiable and generally don't hurt the value of the car. Any grease monkey could tell you that making "improvements" to an original is like watching someone light a stack of money on fire. Keeping the genuine classics stock is the only way to see a return on your investment. A kit car doesn't have to follow the same rules. Most companies will send you the "kit" that includes everything you'll need to build the car minus things like the engine or transmission. That's where customization get's underway. The Shelby Mustang GT 500 was advertised to manufacturers as having 335 horsepower (it was primarily to make insurance companies happy since the real hp was closer to 400), while yourShelby can have as many ponies under the hood as you can handle. It just comes down to what you decide you want. 

Some people have reservations when it comes to buying kit cars, but if you're one of the many who suffer from FCS (favorite car syndrome) then a kit car could be just what you need to get your dream car in the driveway. So don't let that AC Cobra or Mk4 get away, get a Shelby Cobra kit and start building.

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Surprise! North Carolina Man Has $4 Million Worth of Classic Cars Sitting in Garage

upgrade parts"Barn Find Hunter" host Tom Cotter made a truly astounding discovery recently. Sitting in a North Carolina garage were some incredible cars with an estimated value of $4 million.

It was a normal suburban house and garage set for demolition. The owner of the home and cars was aware that the cars were rather old, but didn't understand their true value. Two of the cars were a truly amazing find; a 1927 Ferrari 275 GTB/2, one of only a few built with an alloy body, and an all-original 1966 AC Shelby Cobra with a 428-cubic-inch V-8 engine. 

Along with these two incredible cars were others such as a 1976 Triumph TR-6 and a 1978 Morgan 8. These cars had been sitting in their owner's garage since at least 1991. This means good news for the cars' odometers. The Ferrari had only 13,205.2 miles on it and the Cobra had just 19,001 miles.

Apparently, the original owner of the cars had a dedicated mechanic who took care of the vehicles. After the mechanic passed away, the owner never found a replacement and eventually passed their ownership to a Warren Cramer, who was the one to show Cotter the cars. 

Unfortunately, we can't all be lucky enough to have a classic Shelby Cobra sitting in an abandoned garage. However, with a Cobra replica car kit, every car enthusiast can have their very own Cobra.

Carroll Shelby was an American automotive designer who changed the automotive world with the creation of the Cobra. The Cobra reputation is based on not only the car's look but its performance. In fact, an AC Cobra Coupe reached 186 mph in 1964. While cars today can go much faster, that was a huge milestone back then. 

Even though the original Cobra design was meant for racing, today's Cobra replica owners have alleviated some of the issues that come with racing cars. That's one of the things Cobra replica owners enjoy -- they get to upgrade parts and make adjustments to truly make their car their own. From the interior materials to installing air conditioning, a Cobra replica kit allows owners to upgrade parts that original Cobras included to more modern features.

So if you're looking to spend less than $2 million on a Cobra, a replica kit is the way to go. You get to enjoy the process of seeing your car come to life while getting to add your own personal touch.

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Humble Beginnings: A Brief Look at the Story of Caroll Shelby

hobbyBorn in Texas in 1923, Caroll Shelby was and is an inspiration to all car lovers out there on the road and track today. Shelby suffered from a heart valve leak by the age of 7, which caused many health complications throughout his life. This, however, did not stop him from turning his dreams into a reality.

Before Shelby started racing professionally, cars were just a hobby of his. He only dreamed of building a racecar in his name someday.

His dreams suddenly became more than just dreams in the early 1960s. He could not race anymore because of his heart condition, so he had time on his hands. And when he got word that the British AC ace model car would no longer be in production in England, he saw his chance. Being an entrepreneur, a spark ignited in him. Shelby realized that the light British car could be a perfect match for a powerful American V8 engine. This would be his first opportunity to construct a muscle car of his own.

According to Hemmings, Shelby "contacted AC Cars and they sent him an engine-less body to his shop in California. With some help from Ford Motor Company and a small team of mechanics, the first Shelby Cobra was introduced in 1962." An estimated 654 small-block Cobras and 350 big-block Cobra's were built by Shelby from 1962 to 1968. But he did not stop there. He knew the Cobra had potential, and he then started working to improve the car.

In 1964, Shelby started his plan for the Shelby Cobra 427. He put a huge engine in it, making it one of the fastest racecars of its time. It was unheard of to put such a powerful engine into such a light car, but that didn't stop Shelby. According to Hemmings, the car went from zero to 60 MPH in "just over 4 seconds," and from zero to 100 MPH in "[an] amazing 10.3 seconds." Calling this car impressive is an understatement.

If you're a car lover with a racing hobby and are thinking to yourself that you want one of these, there's some unfortunate news. According to Road and Track, "there is only one genuine, original Shelby Cobra 427 left in the world, and it just sold for $5.1 million." You can probably find a replica out there, but we all know that it isn't the same.

If you want to turn your hobby into a dream come true, remember the story of Carroll Shelby and know that you can. The Shelby Cobra is one of the most popular classic cars out there, and the history of its creator is just as rich as the car's own history.

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The Most Expensive Shelby Cars Ever Sold

cobra replicaAfter winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1959, Carroll Shelby began building race cars. In 1962, the Shelby Cobra, the world's fastest production car, was introduced. After the initial Cobra was introduced, many more models were designed, tailored towards those who loved the classic, face-paced lifestyle. This article is going to take a look at some of the most impressive, and expensive, Shelby Cobras sold at auction over the years.

1964 Shelby Cobra Roadster This CSX2281 Original alloy body 289 Cobra was auctioned in 2010 for $478,500. This car featured an older frame-off restoration in Wimbledon White with blue LeMans stripes, a chrome roll bar along with wire wheels.

1968 Shelby GT500 E Convertible With 408 cid/475hp, a V8 engine, and a 6-speed transmission, this classic car was auctioned in 2005 for $550,800.

1966 Shelby Cobra Roadster Auctioned at $594,000 in 2006, it has 427 cid/500hp, a V8 engine and a 4-speed transmission. It was restored with SC upgrades. And while some roadsters can weigh up to 3,400 pounds, cobras are known for being much lighter.

2007 Shelby GT Fastback Serial No. 001 With a 4.6 Liter V8 engine, Shelby performance, suspension, and appearance upgrades, this car was auctioned in 2007 at $600,000.

1969 Shelby GT 500 Convertible This car was Carroll Shelby's personal 1969 GT500, so it's no surprise that it was auctioned for $715,000 in 2008.

1966 Shelby Cobra 427 Roadster This car was completed at AC Cars in September of 1966. After it was done, it was delivered to Ford Advanced Vehicles in England to be used at shows and track events. It was then auctioned in 2007 for $935,000.

1966 CSX 3015 This Super Snake Cobra is only one of two built and the one only built especially for Carroll Shelby. It was auctioned for $5.3 million in 2007.

These cars truly are something special, and that's why they are so expensive. Luckily for us regular folk, Cobra replica kits exist. With a Cobra replica kit, you can own your own Shelby Cobra without breaking the bank. By building your own Shelby Cobra kit car, you'll have the opportunity to experience what performance driving is all about. Not only will you get a classic car of your own, but you can fully customize it to your personal tastes.

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Futuristic Shelby Cobra Wows Car Enthusiasts

cobra kitsThe Shelby Cobra is an iconic classic car that has been appreciated for its powerful engine and ageless look since 1962. One of the most famous events in the car world was in 1964 when an AC Cobra Coupe reached 186 MPH. The classic design became so popular that many car enthusiasts chose to make their own using cobra kits. But one designer thinks that the Cobra could use a makeover.

Benjamin Hogan, an artist from Boston, has rejuvenated the classic car with a crisp, futuristic look. While it still has the original two-seat, open-top design, most of the other classic features found in the original model are gone. None of the cobra kits used today are quite like this car.

The new model features an open grille, LED headlights, and a front splitter so low it almost touches the ground. On either end of the fascia, two additional vents are located for additional cooling. Like the rest of the body, the windshield is dramatically slanted and angled with sharp lines.

The rear of the car includes two thin stips of LED for taillights along with centrally mounted dual exhaust tips, a retractable rear wing, and an aggressive diffuser. If this car wasn't mounted prominently on the five-spoke wheels, people might see this concept as something that came from Lamborghini or McLaren -- definitely not similar to today's cobra kits.

Unfortunately, this is just a design as of right now. Shelby currently has no plans of reinventing the classic Cobra, but car enthusiasts can keep dreaming.

But with the help of cobra kits, you can own your very own Shelby Cobra replica. Classic cars are extremely valuable -- and also very expensive. The chances of purchasing a classic car are usually pretty slim for the average Joe. Luckily, replica cars have been around for decades and can be put together with a little time and patience.

The first cobra replicas began showing up in the early 1970s. Since then, replicas have ranged from accurate duplicates to cars that barely look like cars.

While cobra kits may sometimes not be the easiest to use, manufacturers around the world are available to help get necessary parts and assistance to those who want their own Cobra. 

The replica industry has improved drastically with the advancements in technology. Many replica companies use 3D printing technology in hand with CAD/CAM software. Technology not only makes the replicas more accurate, but also enhances the safety and durability.

While Hogan's futuristic model may not be on the market, you can have your very own Shelby Cobra with the help of a cobra kit.

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Drive Like the Pros: 4 Beginner Tips for Performance Driving

road and trackPerformance driving is one of the coolest hobbies around. Sitting in the driver seat and squealing your tires as you turn around bends at high speeds can feel exhilarating. Driving like this certainly isn’t for anybody, but if you’re one of the people who enjoy skillful driving as a hobby, you’re going to love it. And if you're new to the scene, here are a few tips you should keep in mind in order to drive like a professional. 

Get the perfect muscle car
The type of vehicle you have is extremely important if you are serious about performance driving. You can’t really take turns at high speeds in a minivan, so you better make sure you’re driving the perfect car for the ride. You can even get replica car kits of your favorite muscle cars and take them on the road and track if they are sufficient enough. 

Always practice on the same road or track
Among average races, there are short tracks, speedways, and super speedways that typically range from 0.5 to 2.5 miles long. Although you should eventually branch out on new roads and try a different race track to really perfect your performance driving skills, it’s best to practice on the same road and track while you're a beginner. 

Upgrade parts whenever necessary
It’s one thing to own a high-speed quality muscle car for performance driving, but it’s entirely another thing to have that vehicle functioning properly. If you’re in need of upgraded parts, vehicle maintenance, or any other items for your car in order to perform to the best of its ability, don’t even consider putting it off. Your safety is the most important aspect of driving and using quality parts and staying on top of auto maintenance and safety equipment is essential. 

Get comfortable with your vehicle
You'll never improve as a driver if you don't take your muscle car out as often as possible. You have to get the feel for driving at all hours of the day, in various road conditions, and just put in some drive time. The phrase "practice makes perfect" doesn't just apply for athletics -- performance driving is a skill that requires disciplined training. 

To find out more about how to drive like a pro, contact Backdraft Racing

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A Closer Look at the SFI Foundation: What They Do and Why You Should Care

cobra replica for saleIf you are a fan of race cars, you have probably heard of the SFI Foundation. Whether you saw the ranking when looking for a Shelby Cobra replica for sale or on the side of your muscle car kit. But unless you are a serious fan of performance driving, you might not be familiar with what the SFI is and what it does.

In this post, we will explore the SFI so you have a better understanding of this important organization. With this info, you should be able to make more informed decisions when looking for a Cobra replica for sale.

What is the SFI Foundation?
The SFI Foundation is a nonprofit organization that guarantees products for aftermarket automobiles are compliant with safety standards. They seek to promote fairness in the racing and aftermarket industries. The provide certifications to ensure that equipment meets industry standards and provide specifications for equipment to ensure that other certifying bodies are able to accurately access the equipment used.

SFI also examines driver gear, awarding ratings between 3-2A/1, which offers three seconds of protection, and 3-2A/20, which offers 40-seconds of protections. One of the primary metrics that they use is thermal protection performance, which is determined by how long the equipment can withstand extreme heat.

What is the SFI's History?
The SFI was originally part of the Speed Equipment Manufacturing Association, which was founded in 1963 in order to help address the catastrophic and occasionally fatal part failures that resulted from car racers pushing their equipment to the limits. 

Since the automobile, and specifically racing, was still relatively new at the time, SEMA had to work hard to keep up to date with all of the rapid advancements in racing technology. Additionally, the increased number of government restrictions meant that racers needed to comply with government safety requirements, too.

To meet those needs, SEMA created the SEMA Foundation, Inc., or SFI. This organization was tasked with creating an industry spec program, which was in turn tasked with keeping clear records of the specifications, and limitations, of various parts. 

Eventually, the SFI spun off to become their own private organization, though they still provide the same services. 

This concludes our look into the SFI. If you are interested in racing, or simply looking for a Cobra replica kit as a hobby, it is important to keep the SFI rating and specifications in mind in order to avoid pushing your parts past their limits.

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From 1962 to Now: A Brief Look at the History of the Shelby Cobra

Cobra kit car manufacturersDuring the age of muscle cars, the Shelby Cobra was virtually unstoppable. Equipped with Ford's 260 engine, the first model packed a huge punch, and subsequent models packed even bigger surprises for car enthusiasts everywhere.

But what brought the Shelby Cobra to the present, where Cobra kit car manufacturers value original models above all else? Keep reading to learn just a little bit more about the fascinating history behind this iconic muscle car.

The Beginning - 1962

Carroll Shelby may have started as a race car driver, but his career truly began after a health condition forced him to retire from racing and get into something a little bit more technical. And so in 1962, the very first Shelby Cobra was introduced. It changed the way people looked at cars. The combination of a lightweight body -- weighing much less than the average 3,400-pound racing car -- small dimensions, and unrelenting horsepower created a phenomenon that took the sports car world by storm.

Development - 1964

When the first Cobra took off, Shelby knew the car has more potential locked away. So in 1964, he began developing the Shelby Cobra 427, which would be powered with a Ford big block seven liter engine and hold an estimated 450 bhp and over 600 Nm of torque. It may seem strange to pack so much power into such a small frame, but the release of both Shelby's 289 and 427 Cobras were massive successes.


For many years, the Cobra 247 was the fastest American-made car on the market. It could go from zero to 60 MPH in just under four seconds, and from zero to 100 MPH in only 10.3 seconds. Unfortunately, the power and speed of this particular Cobra model were at a level of performance driving that many average car owners couldn't handle.


As the years passed and Shelby Cobras were no longer manufactured, they grew even more popular. Considering that there were only 348 copies created between 1965 and 1967, competition to collect authentic models is fierce. As a result, Cobra kit car manufacturers have cropped up, making it possible for enthusiasts to build their own replicas.

If there's one thing that Carroll Shelby left to the world, it was a love for American-made muscle cars. Who would have thought one of the world's most famous sports cars could have begun as a simple dream from a retired race car driver?

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Drive Through History With Shelby Cobra Kit Cars

cobra kitIn 1964, Jack Sears took his AC Cobra Coupe onto the famous British M1 motorway and changed the racing world forever.

Sears was able to reach the record-breaking speed of 185mph.

"There was an awful fuss," said Sears in an interview with AutoCar in 2014. "But it was all jolly unfair. Many teams were using the motorway for practice -- the Rootes Group, Jaguar, Aston Martin -- so it wasn’t something unheard of. And also, there wasn’t a speed limit at the time. We weren’t doing anything illegal because there were no limits."

Spears, who passed away last year at the age of 86, was transformed into an international superstar thanks to all the media attention following the record speed.

"I remember the engine being so strong. It kept pulling and pulling and I quickly hit 6500rpm and it simply wouldn’t go any higher," he added. "Once I told them [his team], they started working things out. Then they looked up with a smile and said to me: 'That was 185mph.' I thought that was most exciting; it was the fastest I had ever been."

Certainly a lot has changed in the 53 years since Sears took to the British motorway, but the passion and love for Shelby Cobra vehicles has persisted.

Vehicle enthusiasts appreciate a good muscle car, and those muscle car fans have the utmost respect for any Shelby Cobra that speeds past them on any roadway in the world. Unfortunately, only a handful of these custom roadsters exist, the majority of which are locked away in automotive museums. Over a six-year period, from 1962 to 1968, Carroll Shelby built only 654 small-block Cobras and 350 big-block Cobras.

Luckily, replica car kits exist and are nearly as amazing as the originals.

Shelby Cobra kit cars are available and can look and feel like Spears' 1964 original. These Cobra kits are fully customizable, as well, so you can even upgrade any parts as you see fit and install whatever engine, if it's worthy enough, into the replica.

If you want to feel like you're driving a piece of automotive history, contact Backdraft Racing and check out their Cobra kits today.

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