The Shelby Cobra has always been a prime example of what a muscle car could be. The combination of a lightweight chassis paired to a powerful V8 engine has lured many hot rod owners into the fold. When engineered correctly, this combination can provide the agility that supercars dream of, and straightline performance that drag racers desire.
While some might see the Shelby Cobra as an exercise in excess, to the keen eye the Shelby Cobra is a way of progressing a vehicle with technology to make it lighter, faster and more desirable. The continuation series of Shelby Cobras have taken yet another progression as Classic Recreations has introduced its newest carbon fiber-bodied Shelby Cobra, named The Diamond. The Diamond is slated to be the pinnacle of weight savings and material opulence utilizing an autoclave-cured carbon fiber complete body weighing in at a measly 88 pounds.
Once strictly reserved for the highest forms of racing, carbon fiber has woven its way into the aftermarket automotive industry. Carbon fiber’s rigidity and strength allows it to be used on body panels, valve covers and even the wheels on the latest generation of the Shelby GT500. While it’s more prevalent in the automotive scene today, rarely do we see a complete body including floor pans, trunk, engine lid and doors made with it.
A lightweight body is only one end of the spectrum when Classic Recreations was designing The Diamond. To match the build quality of the chassis, a Ford Performance Gen 3 5.0-liter Coyote engine was sourced. Its horsepower goal and linear powerband desired required Classic Recreations to reach out to VMP Performance for a 2.65-liter Odin supercharger. The Diamond was built to counter supercars at the highest level of track racing, so a complete independent rear suspension was designed. While owners enjoy shifting gears through a TREMEC T56 Magnum, stopping will be focused around the Wilwood six-piston calipers mounted on all four corners.
“Carroll Shelby taught me the significance of pushing the envelope through innovation and passion,” says Founder and Vice President of Design and Engineering at Classic Recreations, Jason Engel. “A dream of Carroll’s was always to place the highest horsepower engine possible in the lightest, most agile car imaginable, and it is our honor to have met that challenge.”
Classic Recreations will be introducing a limited run of The Diamond in honor of Shelby American’s 60th anniversary. These vehicles will span the serialized number range from CSX4521 to CSX4530 and cost a pretty penny at $1.2 million. While built for the track, the price tag might exclude some owners from wanting to gamble with a track day. However, for anyone looking to take it to Circuit of The Americas, I have my helmet ready at all times!