Shelby Cobra 427 by Hot Wheels
Shelby Cobra 427 by Zee Toys
Shelby Cobra 427 by Johnny Lightning
Shelby Cobra Daytona by Hot Wheels
Ford GT40 by Matchbox
Ford GT40 by Champion
Ford Mk. IV (long-tail) by Hot Wheels
Snakes and Horses
The high point of the Cobra racing story, however, was the all-out assault on the FIA Grand Touring Constructors Championship in 1964 and 1965. Sports car racing in that era was pretty much a Ferrari playground. Cars like the Ferrari 250TR of the late 1950's were very successful. Hot Wheels offers the only small-scale version (top/right). The limited production full race prototypes would go for the overall wins while "production" GT models (there had to be at least 100 examples made to be eligible) competed for class victory in a "race within a race". The Cobra's main opponent was the famous Ferrari GTO; shown right, second from the top is a beautiful example by Maisto. Below it is the same car done as one of the original Johnny Lightning cars made by Topper in the late 1960's. This is one of the most desirable Ferrari cars and it is curious that only two have been done in small-scale.
In 1964, Cobras won some races, Ferrari some others, until near the end of the season Ferrari led the championship by only 9 points. It is Shelby's contention that the Ferrari factory had the sporting authorities cancel the last race of the season (at Monza, in Italy) ending the Cobra's chances for that year.
At any rate, the following year was a walk-over for the new Cobra Daytona model; shown left is an absolutely fantastic Hot Wheels Collectable example in red. The Cobra Daytona won the GT class in almost every race in which it was entered.
These years also saw the famous Ford GT-40 begin to compete for overall
victories. Shown here is a Lesney Matchbox Series 41 (white) and a blue
GT40 by Champion of France. The GT40 used a version of the same engine that
powered the Cobra. Competition from Ferrari for the GT40 included cars like
the 250 Berlinetta done by Husky/Corgi, the 312P done by Hot Wheels and
the P330 done by Corgi.
Ford GT40 by Hot Wheels
Ferrari 250TR by Hot Wheels
Ferrari 250GTO by Maisto
Ferrari 250GTO by Johnny Lightning
Ferrari 250 Berlinetta by Husky/Corgi
Ferrari 312P by Hot Wheels
Ferrari P330 by Corgi
Chevrolet Corvette GS by Matchbox