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Shelby American charmed the Carlisle Ford Nationals crowd with their “Cobra Cammer” concept

Shelby American unveiled the “Cobra Cammer” concept at the Carlisle Ford Nationals on June 3rd.
Shelby Amercan's Cammer Cobra

Shelby Amercan's Cammer Cobra

LAS VEGAS – Shelby American, a wholly owned subsidiary of Carroll Shelby International Inc. (CSBI:PK), unveiled the “Cammer Cobra” concept, a 427 SOHC V8 powered continuation Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe, at the Carlisle Ford Nationals presented by Meguiar’s in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The “Cammer Cobra” follows Carroll Shelby’s initial vision for a racecar to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Each year, the Carlisle Pennsylvania Fairgrounds hosts Ford fans from across the country and more than 3,200 vehicles on the National Parts Depot Showfield. In addition to the impressive cars and crowds, the weekend includes displays, special themes and automotive celebrities. The concept car was introduced during the three day event.

“Carroll Shelby wanted to fit a massive Ford big block engine into a Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe for Le Mans in 1964,” said Gary Patterson, president of Shelby American. “While many know that a one-off car was built with a 427 ‘wedge’ Ford engine, that was not Carroll Shelby’s initial vision. He hoped to pair the sleek aerodynamics of the Peter Brock designed body with the incredibly powerful aluminum single overhead cam version of the FE motor. Since it was impossible to obtain one of those rare engines in time for the race, Shelby American installed the NASCAR version. Our concept car was built to realize Carroll’s initial Cammer vision.”

427 SOHC V8 powered

427 SOHC V8 powered

Often called "Ford's greatest engine”, the Single Overhead Cam (SOHC) V8, was based on Ford's 427ci side-oiler block. The engine was intended to be Ford's two-valve, single-overhead-cam, high-rpm answer to Chrysler's 426 Hemi for NASCAR in 1964. 

“It is essentially a single-overhead-cam conversion of Ford's 427 V8,” said Vince LaViolette, Shelby American Vice President of Operations. “The heads were predominantly cast-iron, though later aluminum ones were available, with a roller chain cam-drive. The block had revised oiling and cross-bolted main bearing caps were added to handle the increased rpm. The Ford 427 Cammer churned out 616 horsepower with a single four-barrel carburetor and 657 horsepower with dual four-barrel set up. It was one of the most powerful engines to come out of Detroit during the period.”

In 1964, Carroll Shelby tasked fabricator John Ohlsen with lengthening the chassis of one of the six Daytona Coupes (CSX2286). Shelby planned to replace the 289 c.i.d. Ford engine with the SOHC motor. The experimental racecar was supposed to be Shelby’s “secret weapon” for the 1964 Le Mans race. However, it was impossible to secure the SOHC motor in time and a reliable, high-performance NASCAR 427 was used instead. Weighing about 2,200 pounds with world class aerodynamics and the power of a big block, the car had tremendous performance potential; it was thought capable of going 200+ miles per hour at Le Mans.

However, the car did not make the race and never ran a lap with the 427 SOHC when Shelby American returned it to small block configuration.

“The Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe program still achieved great success without the big block and won its class at Le Mans in 1964,” said LaViolette. “The next year, Shelby American took the FIA World Sports Car Championship with the Coupe and roadsters rolling over the competition.”

The Craftsmen of Legendary GT of Pennsylvania build continuation Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupes for Shelby American. Each aluminum Coupe incorporates safety and performance improvements without sacrificing integrity, as they are built from original blueprints and measurements.

Legendary GT founder Barry Smith was a close friend of Carroll Shelby and is a major supporter of the Carroll Shelby Foundation. He has always been fascinated with Shelby performance cars and his collection features a variety of 1960s era Shelby American vehicles.

The continuation big block Shelby Daytona Coupe follows the same specs as the Ohlsen modified racecar. It has an aluminum body over a 3-inch lengthened chassis with a hood modified to accommodate the aluminum 427 SOHC big block motor. The 650-horsepower engine is mated to a period-correct 4-speed manual transmission. The car was assigned Shelby serial number CSX2623 and will be documented in the official Shelby Registry.

“This concept is a tribute to the Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe, one of the most celebrated cars in automotive history,” said Patterson. “It answers the ‘what if’ question for everyone who shared Carroll’s dream and will also gauge demand for a limited series of the vehicle. We plan to exhibit the Cammer Concept throughout the year in celebration of our 60th anniversary.”

For more information about the Shelby Continuation Daytona Coupes is available at

About Shelby American, Inc.

Founded by legend Carroll Shelby, Shelby American, a wholly owned subsidiary of Carroll Shelby International Inc., manufactures and markets performance vehicles and related products. The company builds authentic continuation Cobras, including the 427 S/C, 289 FIA, 289 streetcar, Daytona Coupe and Shelby Series 2 component vehicles; it offers the Shelby Super Snake, KR, SE and GT post-title packages for the 2015-2022 Ford Mustang. Shelby American also offers the Shelby Raptor, Shelby F-150 Super Snake and Shelby F-150 trucks, as well as the Shelby F-250 Super Baja. Heritage cars include the continuation 1965 Shelby GT350 competition model, 1967 Ford Shelby Super Snake and 1968 Ford Shelby GT500KR. For more info, visit

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