As the 39th annual vintage racecar festival on California’s Monterey Peninsula, the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, unfolded this past August, more than 500 historic racing cars crowded into the paddock at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on a warm and sunny weekend to take part in the show. Included among them as part of the featured marque’s 50th Anniversary celebration were nearly 50 competition Cobras—289s, 427s and Daytona Coupes—as well as 10 sibling Shelby GT350 Mustangs, one of the legendary Cooper-Ford King Cobras, a Shelby-built Sunbeam Tiger and the team’s original Fiat transporter, all on hand to honor the marque founded half a century ago by the recently deceased Carroll Shelby.
In addition to the real Cobras actually racing were a dozen significant examples—including CSX2000, the first Cobra, CSX2001, the first production car, and CSX2287, the first Daytona Coupe, and the only one built in the USA—in the central Heritage Display, and many, many more real Cobras, “continuation” cars and replicas scattered around the paddock and in nearby corrals.
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