Shelby Cobra MK1 to Feature at Blenheim Palace Concours d’Elégance

By Paul Joseph

A prestigious Shelby Cobra Mk1 still housing its own original engine is among the cars set to feature at the Salon Privé Concours d’Elégance at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, south east England, at the end of this month.

The fifth Cobra ever made, the car boasts a distinguished history. Its first owner traded it back to Shelby American in August 1963 for a different Cobra, and the 260cu in, Ford V8-engined roadster was subsequently repainted prior to its appearance in the 1964 movie, ‘The Killers’, starring Ronald Reagan.

Once production of the film was completed, Universal Studios returned the car to Shelby American with some damage. The Cobra was repaired and then employed as the ‘trainer car’ at the Shelby School of High Performance Driving.

This Anglo-American hybrid was recently restored by California’s Mike McCluskey who went to extraordinary lengths to return the car to period perfection.

Other notable cars to appear at Blenheim Palace include a Koenig-Ferrari 512BB, which will be making a rare public appearance at the event. Former publishing magnate Willy Koenig became notorious during the 1970s and ’80s for his ‘reimagining’ of Ferraris and other exotica, with this example being among the more extreme variations on the theme.

Based on a 1978 512BB, it received a Koenig makeover in 1982, with fuel-injection replacing carburettors and two Rajah turbochargers, along with a full racing exhaust system.

The Chubb Chubb Concours d’Elégance will kick off the action at the four-day Salon Privé extravaganza, which takes place from 30 August to 1 September.

By Paul Joseph