Today I’ll be showing an American racing icon. The Shelby Daytona Coupe. This version is Hot Wheels’ 100% in 1:64.
This version comes along with its spiritual successor, the Viper GTS. This is probably one of the best made Hot Wheels in my collection. 100% is always good, but they actually seemed to get the proportions right on this one.
Ok, back to Shelby and some history.
Carroll Shelby in 1963 was having issues with beating Ferrari’s 250 GTOs at Le Mans. His standard Cobra was limited to 157 mph on the Mulsanne Straight whereas the Ferraris were hitting the mid 180's. He needed a solution.
He brought in his aero guy Peter Brock to design the aerodynamics around a Cobra shell. Since these were the days before simulating, Brock developed the body from personal knowledge and what he felt was going to work.
Initial testing of its speed was done on the M1 in England, their major highway. Other teams had been using the road for testing as well and at that time there were no speed limits. Since there were no radar guns to check the actual speed, the team went off the rpms and gearing of the drivetrain. They calculated the car hit 185mph. Within reach of Ferrari.
Some say this is the reason the UK set the speed limit to 70 on the road, but that’s probably an old-wives’ tale. Shelby brought the car over to the USA and confirmed its speed again before it did its first race at Daytona.
In its first year of competitive racing in 1964, the Daytona placed a close 2nd behind Ferrari. In 1965, however, it dominated the race season. Shelby had done it.
With only 6 actual Daytonas ever produced, this is definitely one of the more rare American cars to exist. In 2009 one sold for $7.25 million, but was expected to reach higher than that - the global financial crisis put a damper on what it brought in. With classic car prices the way they currently are, I wouldn’t be surprised if one would fetch close to $20 million today. Even at $7.25 million, it was the most expensive American car ever sold at auction with the current winner at $11 million for the Ford GT40 camera car used in the movie LeMans.
Shelby moved on to Mustangs after he was done with his Cobras, but there’s no doubt it left a mark on the world and the Cobra and Cobra Daytona are still revered as legends to this day.
Enjoy the rest of the pics.