The Cobra's new skin



Carroll Shelby’s team knew the Cobra could be a winner, barring one problem. Dave Friedman was part of the crew who transformed it; he photographed the build and recalls the result

Shelby American’s first racing season, 1963, was successful beyond anyone’s dreams. For ’64, Carroll Shelby wanted to make a serious attempt to win the Manufacturer’s World Championship. First there was a serious problem to be solved: the aerodynamics of our basic Shelby American Cobra. The AC body shape was primeval, and radical modifications would have to be made before our cars could become competitive on the long circuits of Europe. Since Ferrari, Aston Martin, Jaguar, and Porsche had all squeezed new GT cars through a homologation loophole, we decided to do the same. That’s how the Cobra Daytona Coupé came to be.