Shelby Cobra – A brutal yet beautiful classic

Categories Classic Cars, Test Drives, Torque Affair

There is something so inspiring about being around so many awesome cars.

Every time I come here I’m walking around in amazement.  Most of these in the picture below belong to Jeff Mosing, the owner of this garage/car dealer, who not only loves cars but is an avid racer.

Mosing Cars

This is like a fantasy dreamland for those of us who are enamored by autos – it’s like being a 5-year old wandering around in the aisles of Toys R Us.

The collection of cars at Mosing Motorcars is constantly evolving and so every time I come here, there’s something new to look at and in my case…dream about.

I show up at Mosing Motorcars so frequently that I’m probably viewed as a nuisance.  I’m that guy that lingers around but never actually buys anything.  Eric, the general manager of Mosing Motorcars, has gotten used to me after he resigned to himself thinking..”this guy will not stop coming here, will he?”

One day, I asked if we could take any of the cars out for a drive.  Lo and behold…he agreed!

It was such a tough decision to choose one of these cars since there were so many to pick from.  I faced the ultimate paradox of choice.  Of course, it wasn’t like we could drive anything – for example,  I’m pretty sure we couldn’t have taken out Jeff’s latest acquisition, an ultra rare Porsche Carrera GT.

After looking around the garage/dealer, this beautiful Shelby Cobra caught my eye; I’ve seen this out on the road every so often and I’ve always thought that it’s one of the coolest looking classic cars around.

The time had come to actually check it out.

Cobra side pipes

Of course, this was a replica since the originals are so rare and hard to come by and are probably worth millions.

This specific replica was built in 2008 and had only 4,000 miles on the clock. The fiber glass exterior was flawless, with long extended side exhaust pipes.  You have to be careful with this – it is actually pretty easy to burn your legs if you happen to touch the burning hot exhaust pipes.

Getting into the car is as tricky as getting out.  The door is extremely small and with the cramped interior, you have to twist your body in unique ways to be able to get in.

Once you’re in, you’re surrounded by analog gauges, flip switches, levers and handles – all operated manually.  You actually have to manually turn on the fan inside the engine – it’s light years apart from the cars of today where you barely have to do anything but turn the wheel.

Shelby cobra interior

To extract the car from it’s parking spot we had to remove the Mercedes 500E and Challenger SRT-8.  I started questioning myself….hmmm should we drive these instead?  Ahhhh…so much awesomeness to choose from!

Challenger and 500EThe 500E was especially appealing since it was a joint project between Mercedes and Porsche in the 90s – there’s a whole wikipedia page dedicated to this in case you’re interested.  I’ll ask Eric if we can take this one for a spin next time (assuming someone hasn’t already bought it).

It was tricky to start up the Cobra and took a few tries.  We should’ve known something was off…

Once we got this car running, we took it out and it was such a blast!  The 427 engine had loads and loads of torque with the car being incredibly loud and brutal.  It’s hard to believe that anyone could race these things back in the day – there’s not much in the way of comfort.  The interior is tight, there’s hardly any visibility and the harsh suspension will continually remind you that you need to stop driving this car because you can hardly think straight!

Actually, it wasn’t that bad.  You do smell like gas though and in our case it was especially bad….another clue…

During the drive, we ran into a slight dilemma.  The car stalled and we couldn’t start it back up.

We just could not figure out what was wrong – did the engine overheat?  Battery died?  Engine seized!??

So we thought we’d try to jump start the thing.  I got behind the car and started pushing….uphill.  I’m known for possessing a tremendous amount of stamina and endurance and so…

…after about 10 seconds I gave up.  I had no energy left and my legs were burning.

Pushing the cobra

Nothing worked!  The car still didn’t start and top of that, the battery started to die after repeated attempts to start the car.  It was getting darker out and we were stranded.  I’m making it sound like this was the end of the world, but, obviously, it wasn’t.

Eric started calling to get a tow…so we waited around.

With the sun going down, the car looked even more beautiful.  Even though the Shelby Cobra was originally designed so many years ago, is truly a stunning piece of art.  Nothing quite like it out there…


After a while, we gave it one more shot and the car magically started up…right when we were going to give up with the tow truck already on its way.  That’s generally how things happen anyway, isn’t it?

So, we went back to Mosing Motorcars and the guys investigated the problem.  It turns out that the car was running too rich.  That explains the difficulty in getting the car started and not to mention the strong smell of gas we had on our clothes.  Luckily, it wasn’t a major problem and was easily fixed.

Inspite of the minor inconvenience, the Shelby was so much fun to drive around in – can’t wait to go back to Mosing to drive the 500E and the SRT-8.   Stay tuned for future posts!

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