Shelby American Reopens 1963 Small Block Shelby “Dragonsnake” Cobra Production
LAS VEGAS – June 2, 2023 – Through a partnership with Legendary GT Continuation Cars, Shelby American, a wholly owned subsidiary of Carroll Shelby International Inc. (CSBI:PK), will offer five “new” 1963 Shelby aluminum continuation “Dragonsnake” roadsters. Honoring the five 1960s factory racecars, the first Dragonsnake is a tribute to NHRA champion Bruce Larson, who was on stage and helped unveil the Shelby roadster at the Carlisle Ford Nationals presented by eBay Motors in Pennsylvania.
“The 1960s Shelby ‘Dragonsnake’ program began when a small group of young Shelby American production employees developed and drag raced a pair of the roadsters to amazing success,” said Gary Patterson, president of Shelby American. “Carroll was so impressed that he approved three more to be built for customers. We reopened Dragonsnake production so fans can experience the thrill of launching a ‘new’ Shelby Cobra down the quarter mile. While only a few could order a new Cobra roadster personally from Carroll Shelby 60 years ago, five people have the chance to do so through his company today.”
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 limited-edition Shelby Cobra was introduced during the three-day event.
“The Shelby GT500 ‘CODE RED’ Ford Mustang we unveiled at the 2022 Woodward Dream Cruise is a direct descendent of the 1963 Dragonsnake program,” said Vince LaViolette, Shelby American Vice President of Operations. “It’s fitting to offer a handful of the continuation cars that inspired our modern drag racing model during the Centennial Celebration of Carroll Shelby this year. We chose to unveil it at Carlisle because the cars are assembled in the Keystone State, home of Pennsylvanian Bruce Larson who made the Dragonsnake a racing legend.”
The first car in the series honors Larson’s 1963 Shelby 289 Cobra Dragonsnake, named the most successful drag-racing Cobra of all time. Per the Shelby American World Registry, CSX2093 was a street Cobra that became a Dragonsnake racecar. The transformation included new rear-fender flares, American Racing wheels, drag slicks, a chrome roll bar, Sun tachometer and chassis tweaks. Side curtains and a hardtop improved aerodynamics.
Refinished in 31 coats of eye-catching Fuchsia Metallic paint, Larson dominated NHRA in the Northeast driving CSX2093 during 1964. National records again fell to Larson and CSX2093 the next year.
Ed Hedrick of Philadelphia purchased the Cobra in 1966; he won every national-level NHRA race he entered. During 1967, Hedrick and CSX2093 won the U.S. Nationals and World Championship.
The five cars are being assembled by Legendary GT in Pennsylvania, which builds continuation Shelby cars for Shelby American. Each will begin as an aluminum CSX2000 series car; the prototype is CSX2800. This Shelby is painted fuchsia metal flake and comes with a hardtop, chrome bumpers, hand painted graphics, early style Cobra badges, polished side vents and “Powered by Ford” badges.
The chassis is authentic with 4-inch round tube main rails; the original style suspension has adjustable Penske shocks, as well as rack and pinion steering. Other touches include 1963 factory style disc brakes, an aluminum radiator, electric fan and custom exhaust.
Inside, the Shelby features SW Gauges, a dash mounted 8,000 tachometer, 3-inch lap belts, black leather seats and door pull straps, dash mounted rear view mirror, passenger grab handle, glove box, custom shift knob and stainless roll bar.
The car rides on authentic 15-inch custom FIA style wheels with Mickey Thompson rubber; the rears are 28” x 10.5” M/T Drag tires. The car’s 364 c.i.d. aluminum Shelby motor is topped by a Weber carburetor system and connected to a robust TREMEC 5-speed manual transmission. Weighing about 2,100 pounds and with over 500 horsepower at the crank, the car has mind-bending acceleration.
“Pennsylvanian Bruce Larson was a rock star in the 1960s with his drag racing Shelby Cobra,” said Parker Shepley, Business Manager at Legendary GT. “His contributions to the Shelby legend were incredible. We consulted him while developing this car to ensure as much authenticity as possible.”
The five cars will have an MSRP starting at $750,000, depending upon options, and take about one year to handcraft. The plan is to build only five cars, including the Bruce Larson CSX2093 tribute roadster.
“A close friend of Carroll Shelby, Legendary GT founder Barry Smith is a major supporter of the Carroll Shelby Foundation,” said Patterson. “A donation to the charity will be made with each car sold. In addition, the new owner will automatically become a member of the international club Team Shelby and their car will be documented in the official Shelby American Registry.”
More information about the Shelby Continuation Dragonsnake is available at legendarygt.com.
About Shelby American, Inc.
Founded by legend Carroll Shelby, Shelby American, a wholly owned subsidiary of Carroll Shelby International Inc. (CSBI:PK), 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 GT, 1000, Super Snake, CODE RED, Carroll Shelby Centennial Edition, SE and Shelby GT500KR post-title packages for select model 2015-2023 Ford Mustangs. 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. A post-title package is also available in Europe for the current generation Ford Mustang Mach-E GT. For more information, visit http://www.shelby.com.
1963 Continuation Shelby Dragonsnake Specifications
- Aluminum slab side body
- Color matching hardtop
- Front and rear chrome bumpers
- Hand painted graphics
- Early style Cobra badges
- Polished side vents
- “Powered by Ford” badges
- SW Gauges
- Dash mounted 8,000 tachometer
- 3” lap belts
- Fitted floor mats
- Black carpet
- Black leather seats
- Leather door pull straps
- Polished defroster vents
- Dash mounted rear view mirror
- Passenger grab handle on dash
- Glove box
- Custom shift knob
- Stainless roll bar
CHASSIS AND SUSPENSION:
- Original frame configuration with 4” round tube main rails
- Rack and pinion steering
- Adjustable Penske shocks
BRAKES, SHOCKS, EXHAUST AND COOLING:
- Disc brakes
- Aluminum radiator
- Electric fan
- Custom exhaust
WHEELS AND TIRES:
- 15” Custom FIA wheels with 29 x 4.5 M/T front street tires and 28 x 10.5 M/T drag tires on the rear
- 500 HP 364 c.i.d. aluminum Shelby motor with a Weber carburetor system
- TREMEC 5 Speed manual transmission
- QuickTime scatter proof bellhousing
- Trunk mounted Holley electric fuel pump and a 14-gallon gasoline tank