The 2004 Ford Shelby Cobra concept is headed to auction. The one-off drivable concept car inspired by the legendary Cobra roadster will cross the block at Mecum auction in Monterey, California, scheduled for Aug. 12-14.
Codenamed “Daisy,” the Shelby Cobra concept debuted at the 2004 Detroit auto show. Since 2017, it’s been owned by Chris Theodore, one of the designers who worked on it.
This concept was a product of the retro craze that swept the auto industry in the 1990s and early 2000s. Ford had already launched a new Thunderbird with retro styling by the time the Cobra concept debuted. Ford subsequently launched versions of the GT and Mustang with styling inspired by their 1960s predecessors. Ford also built the Shelby GR1 concept in 2004 as a modern take on the Shelby Daytona Coupe race cars of the 1960s.
Carroll Shelby and the 2004 Ford Shelby Cobra concept (Photo via Mecum Auctions)
Unlike most concept cars, the Cobra is fully drivable. It’s powered by a 6.4-liter V-10, which, like the car itself, never made it to production. Other components were sourced from the Ford GT, which was undergoing development at the time.
Cobra creator Carroll Shelby gave the project his blessing, and drove the car for publicity photos (even doing some donuts), but he likely didn’t have much engineering input. Shelby’s involvement was symbolically important, though, as this marked the first time he’d worked with Ford since the glory days of the original Cobra in the 1960s.
Theodore paid $825,000 for the Cobra in 2017. Mecum doesn’t provide pre-auction estimates, but when Theodore and the Cobra appeared on Jay Leno’s Garage recently, car appraiser Donald Osborne said the Cobra was worth $1.5 million. The car isn’t street legal, however, and the auction listing notes that it must be sold to an out-of-state buyer, likely because of California emissions rules.