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The Magazine

Shelby Lonestar ‘Cobra III’ revealed after 50 years

Shelby Lonestar ‘Cobra III’ revealed after 50 years

More Cobra news after yesterday's sad story of a supposed real car, which turned out to be a replica, with a lawsuit leading up to this discovery...

Today’s car is the real, or so they say, but it's not a Cobra as we know it. In fact this car has never been seen in public. But this will change this weekend, as the car will get its public unveiling – fifty years after it was built. It is the sole Shelby Lonestar, created in secrecy as a replacement for the 427 Shelby Cobra in 1967/’68. It will make its debut at the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance on March 11, 2018.

Based on the GT40 chassis the Ford V8-powered mid-engine coupe was assembled in England during 1968 and wore the name ‘Cobra III’ in internal Shelby documents. The Cobra was a very hard act to follow but the Lonestar checked all the right boxes; and Shelby had a potent plan. But there were considerable obstacles: Ford had acquired the Cobra name a year earlier. So Shelby, a Texan by birth, nature and bearing, named his third-generation Cobra after his home state and the Shelby Lonestar was born.

In the end US safety legislation halted the project and a disgruntled Shelby left for the wilds of South Africa. The Lonestar was advertised for the then princely sum of $15,000 but there were no takers. Now, after a sensitive and complex ten year-plus restoration, Shelby's only Lonestar will finally be unveiled to the public.

“The Lonestar is a globally significant one-of-a-kind car. With its pedigree and design it could have changed history”, said Bill Warner, founder and Chairman of the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance. “We're honored that the Lonestar's owner has chosen to reintroduce Carroll Shelby's 'ultimate Cobra' to the world at The Amelia.”

(Words editor, picture courtesy Amelia Island concours d'elegance)

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