Carroll Shelby (R.I.P.) named his AC-based sports car after a snake that could strike with lightning-like speed. In contrast, today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Python shares its moniker with an asp that best known for slowly suffocating its prey to death. Hopefully this rare one-off's price won't likewise strangle your enthusiasm.
Back when yesterday's Toyota Tercel SR5 4WD wagon was on the dealer lot, the company's tag line was Oh, What A Feeling. Unfortunately for that particular Tercel's seller, the feeling 67% of you associated with its nearly three grand asking price was revulsion, and it tagged a Crack Pipe loss.
Over the years there have been plenty of visionaries who dreamed of becoming the next Enzo Ferrari, or at the very least Steve Saleen, just without the receding hairline. History is littered with the short-lived products of men such as Malcolm Bricklin, John Z DeLorean, and Alvin A. Kelly.
Wait a minute, Alvin A. wutnow?
They say the candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long, and with only 20 cars allegedly produced, and only 12 claimed still remaining, today's Mustang-based Python - the vision of one Alvin A. Kelly - probably requires welders goggles.
This car is so obscure that even Wikipedia can find only 163 words with which to describe it and its maker, and 20 of those are to point out that it's not to be confused with a like-named Australian maker of Cobra replicas. The story goes that Ford wanted a range-topper back in the late seventies and commissioned an outside designer to come up with a shape, and BF Goodrich to build the body dies. The gas crunch put the kibosh on Ford's plans, but Kelly swooped in, purchasing the Goodrich body mold and the rest is short-lived history.
Yeah, I call bovine excrement on that too.
But whatever the true origin story, what we have here is one of what are said to be 12 Python cars remaining, and sadly not a single one is based on the Monte Carlo. Instead, underneath the Python's fiberglass body is the Fox platform from a Mustang, here powered by a 302 H.O. and automatic gearbox. Unlike many production based specialty cars, the Python hides its pony lineage fairly well
The nose looks a little like the old Corvette XP-885, while out back are what are obviously Aerobird tail lamps integrated into an ass that reminds me of that of the Panther 6. Whatever, the Python's styling is pretty slick and you can be assured not to see another at a stoplight pretty much anywhere. The convertible top seems purpose-built as the car appears to have lost its back seats and along with those the Mustang's moveable sidelights. The top looks to be in serviceable shape, as does the car pretty much on the whole.
On the down side, the passenger door looks to have more ripple in it than a skidrow 7-11, and there are no interior shots so who knows what's going on in there, or if it evidences any unique Pythoness as well.
The seller claims the car to have low mileage, and to turn heads like William Peter Blatty. And, while it's a unique piece of history - at least for Fort Collins Colorado where it was built - most all the expensive bits are pure Ford and so easily sourced at your local Manny, Moe and Jack's. Sure there's unanswered questions regarding its provenance and build quality, but doesn't that just add to the intrigue?
Perhaps also intriguing is this Python's $14,300 pricetag. Knowing so little do you feel confident that you could determine that price's fairness? What do you think, is a $14,300 Python something you could wrap your head around? Or, is that just snake oil?
H/T to Bigblockbear for the hookup!
Help me out with NPOCP. Click here to send a me a fixed-price tip, and remember to include your commenter handle.