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Many of you likely don’t know much about the Shelby Loanstar, originally dubbed the Cobra III (Ford had Trademarked Cobra and did not want Shelby using the name). But in 1968 Shelby’s racing contract with Ford was coming to an end, it was in many ways Shelby’s last stand for American performance.

 

Sitting on what was basically a modified GT-40 Chassis, the car was built at John Wyer’s shop in England. The car was engineered to meet 1968 bumper and headlight requirements. The body was aluminum had the same drag coefficient of a modern Ford GT, it performed well with its 289 V8 and ZF trans-axle. Other than some legislation exempting smaller manufacturers from some of the crash and smog standards not passing, it might have been put into production. Sadly the project was scraped and the car was sold . At this point Shelby was reaching the end of his rope with the regulations and soon thereafter would go on hiatus spending the next several years mostly in South Africa

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The car was offered for sale in Autoweek, at the price of $15,000 was steep (Around $99,000 today adjusted for inflation) but the car did sell. Autoweek ran the car on the December 9, 1967 cover of with the heading “New Cobra”. The page one story was titled: “Shelby’s New Street Cobra — U.S. Congress Permitting”. The text began: “This will be the new Cobra if Congress passes the bill exempting small manufacturers from some of the new standards.”

The car is still around, it has been undergoing a restoration for the better part of a decade and we hope to see it out in public soon.
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Check out some more photos of the car below.

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