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The graffi ti wall is pretty much the visual equivalent to what flashes through one’s mind when the throttle is mashed in a Cobra. This is Bill Cook’s Mid-States Cobra, finished in a very traditional Guardsman Blue with Wimbledon White LeMans stripes. Photo: Bill Cook.

Automoblog Book Garage: Shelby Cobra Fifty Years

Book Garage

What now seems like many moons ago, I knew a beautiful girl who loved the Ford Mustang, especially the Shelby. We would often go back and forth, pondering which Mustang models we liked best. Sometimes we would text back and forth during the day, trying to stump each other with Mustang trivia.

She always got the best of me, although I will never admit it.

Fond Memories & Big Dreams

When we launched Book Garage last year with Motorbooks, I wanted the books we feature to bring back fond memories for those who flipped through the pages. Cars are like that, you know. They have an ability to bring our most cherished times to the forefront, and certinately, a Shelby Mustang is no exception.

In the early 1960s, Carroll Shelby was a Texas chicken farmer attending to his daily chores. At first glance, it may not seem like automobiles of any kind were in his future, yet Shelby had a vision; a vision for building cars befitting of only the highest performance crowns. Impossible as it seemed, the landmark Cobra arrived in 1962, establishing a benchmark that holds to this day.

Shelby Cobra Fifty Years is the story of how grand dreams become grand realities, from the prologue about the events that led up to Shelby’s decision to build high performance cars, to the history of the Cobra street and race cars, to the epilogue about the continuation of the Shelby namesake.

If only I had this book during those texting trivia wars with her so long ago. I might have actually won.


Colin Comer, respected authority on collector cars, is Editor-at-Large for Sports Car Market and American Car Collector. He is a Contributing Editor for Road & Track and regularly appears in the New York Times, Business Week, USA Today, and many other respected publications. Comer is also the author of Shelby Mustang Fifty Years. When not writing about cars, he is an avid vintage racer and pilot.

Shelby Cobra Fifty Years is available through Amazon and Motorbooks.

Shelby Cobra Fifty Years Gallery