Model: 1965 Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe
Release: Shelby Collectibles 50th Anniversary 2012 (blue)
eBay link: Shelby Collectibles Daytona Coupe
Why I am featuring it: After rediscovering my Shelby Aston-Martin DBR1 for a recent post I decided it was time to get a 1:64 Daytona Coupe to go with it. I have a version of the well-known Hot Wheels casting but it’s a bit cartoony. This Shelby Collectibles version is more like the real deal.
The Daytona Coupe was designed by Peter Brock when he was still working for Carroll Shelby, pre-BRE. It was built to take on Ferrari at Le Mans, where the regular Cobra was hamstrung by poor aerodynamics.
Through my work I’ve been fortunate to meet Peter a few times. He’s always generous with his time and full of great stories. He told me that, with Ford immersed in the GT40 by 1964, it was actually Goodyear that put up the money to build the first prototype of the Daytona Coupe. It was only after Bob Holbert and Dave MacDonald won the GT class at Sebring that Ford backed the team to complete the ’64 season, which included a GT-class win and fourth overall at Le Mans. The following year, with the help of Alan Mann Racing, the Daytona Coupe took the International Championship for GT Manufacturers – the first for a US manufacturer.
The Shelby Collectibles model shown here depicts the #26 car raced to class victory (5th overall) by Bob Bondurant and Jo Schlesser at Reims in 1965. The casting detail is perhaps not quite as crisp as the Aston’s, but it’s still pretty good. The opening parts are well executed, too, although on mine the hood doesn’t quite sit flush to the body.
The Shelby model is available in other colours and there are are other versions of this car in 1:64, too, notably from Johnny Lightning and Kyosho. I don’t have them to show here but I took a shot with the good-looking Hot Wheels Circuit Legends version so that you can see the difference. Thanks for reading!