A Homemade Cobra Replica Is The Ultimate Tribute To Carroll Shelby

At face value, it might seem in bad taste to honor Carroll Shelby with a knockoff of the car that made him a household name in the mid-1960s. But what is it Charles Caleb Colton once said about imitation and flattery?

This week on Big Muscle, Mike Musto drives a "1966" Shelby Cobra replica built more than a decade ago as a father and son (and son) project. Its fiberglass shell is chipped and spider-webbed. The stainless trim is pitted and tarnished, the wheels are coated in a thick layer of brake dust, and haphazard blasts of fire alight from its sidepipes.

And that's the thing. Despite that the car has no connection to the man who conceived and built the Cobra — the man who turned the tweedy AC Ace into a Ford V8-powered knight dragoon — it's the impact of Shelby's philosophy that inspired this home-built family project. That's the ultimate tribute.

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I'd like to propose a #qotd here - what are people's opinions of replica kit cars? On the one hand, recreating a rare but beautiful car allows more people to witness the brilliant design in person, but on the other hand, it's a bit poseur. And what about the Caterham, which is sort of a replica but has gained respect in it's own right?

Personally, I'd love to have something like a Cobra or... say... a Zagato DB4GT but I'll never be able to afford an original. What's a middle-class guy to do?