Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
October 19, 2010
Photos By: Randy Bolig

To say that Carroll Shelby's ferocious 427 Cobra was every kid's dream ride from 1966 on up (you could even say to pre-sent day) is an understatement. Like most things we dream about, the subject matter is often unreachable by us hard working stiffs. That goes for expensive cars as well as supermodels. Come on, admit it, you had that same Farrah Faucet poster on your bedroom wall that I did; right next to said Cobra poster. Today, many people are making their dreams come true, by building a replica, clone, or tribute (choose your favorite word) of their dream ride.

From GT350 Mustangs and '34 Ford street rods to fiberglass Cobra replicas, these vehicles have allowed us "meat and potato" types to enjoy our vision of our dream ride without having to sell everything we've ever owned in our life to buy the real deal. Let's face it, if any of us did own a real Shelby Mustang GT350 (upwards of $100,000 in value), or a 427 Cobra (hold on to your hats-more than $1,000,000), we would all be too scared to drive the thing on today's roads. That's what building a replica or clone allows us to do-enjoy our dreams and be able to actually drive it, usually with a few modern and safety upgrades to make it 21st-century comfortable.

Just to show you how much of an impression the original Cobra has left on so many young people over the years, you can usually see a Cobra replica of just about any brand (Shelby still sells the Cobra as a "continuation" model today, and yes, it's fiberglass too) at a cruise night with throngs of car enthusiasts around it asking the expected, "Is it real?" question and just admiring the lines. Of course, engine specs and the famous 0-100-0 mph record, for which it held for more than 40 years, are also often heard.

That the Cobra was such an impressive (and expensive) car for the time meant that so few ever really had the chance to sit in one, let alone own one. Even the "slab-sided" 289 Cobra, which actually had more race wins than the 427 model, was more expensive than a brand-new Corvette in 1965. The 427 Cobra closed in on $10,000! It doesn't sound like much today when a new Fiesta is around $11,000, but we're talking 1965 dollars, when a new Mustang was around $2,500! Let's see, four Mustangs (with roofs!) or one Cobra? Of course, if we knew then what we know now about their rarity and value, we would have gladly paid the price of entry and socked it away as our retirement nest egg.

So memorable has the Cobra been, from Elvis movies to Bill Cosby's "200mph" comedy routine, that even non-Ford car guys have dreamt about owning one. Mike Steveski of Hudson, Florida, is one of those guys.

No, Mike is not a Ford guy, but we'll cut him some slack since he's not only a serious car guy (mostly Mopars), but he understands and appreciates the history of the Cobra. Mike's built plenty of Fords for customers over the years, and he was so enamored with the Cobra that when it finally came time to build a dream ride of his own, he knew without a doubt what he wanted to build.

The big problem, literally, was that Mike is a strapping 6-foot, 8-inch fellow and the typical replica utilizes the original Cobra's 90-inch wheelbase for authenticity's sake. This usually means anyone north of 6-feet is not going to fit, or at the least not be comfortable for any length of time behind the steering wheel. After some research Mike found Everett-Morrison replicas right in his own backyard (Tampa). Everett-Morrison's replica sits on a 96-inch wheelbase, giving tall fellows like Mike some much welcomed leg room and comfort. The stretch is also done in the door area, making ingress/egress that much easier as well. Being in Tampa meant it was easy for Mike to check things out, pick up his kit, and more (E-M is now in Texas).