All-Shelby Cobra Race at VIR

Alton, VA, June 10 -- The Shelby Cobra, one of the world's most recognized and legendary sports cars, is back! History was re-made this weekend at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) where for the first time in 35 years, a complete racing field...

Alton, VA, June 10 -- The Shelby Cobra, one of the world's most recognized and legendary sports cars, is back!

History was re-made this weekend at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) where for the first time in 35 years, a complete racing field of new Carroll Shelby Cobras took the green and checkered flags.

The VIR race included two types of NEW Shelby Cobras. Winning overall was Gary Pfeifer of Kiowa, Colorado, driving a Shelby Cobra Challenge Series car with a 351-cubic inch Ford engine. Pfeifer averaged 90.55 miles per hour around the 3.27-mile road-racing course. The Shelby Cobra Challenge Series cars develop 500 horsepower and use the new Shelby CSX4000 chassis.

Finishing second was Kevin Rogers of Spring, TX, also driving a Shelby Cobra Challenge car. Rogers was less than a second behind Pfeifer at the checkered flag.

Finishing third overall and first in the 289 FIA class was Bob Bondurant or Phoenix, AZ. The 289 FIA cars are nearly identical to the Shelby Cobras that won the World Championship for Manufacturers in 1965. They have 302-cubic inch engines with approximately 370 horsepower and are built on the CSX7000 chassis.

Bondurant said the race was important to him since he had raced throughout Europe for Carroll Shelby's factory team in 1964 and `65 as they won the World Manufacturer's Championship for Sports Cars for Shelby.

Bondurant owns and operates the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving in Phoenix. Bondurant, along with South African Bob Oltoff who finished fifth in another 289 FIA car, was one of two retired Shelby Cobra drivers from the 1960's invited back for the occasion.

Also on hand to witness the event were Carroll Shelby, who served as Grand Marshall of the event, and Bob Marsh, general manager of the Shelby manufacturing plant in Las Vegas.

Shelby built Cobras in a plant at the Los Angeles International Airport from 1962 through 1967. In all, just over 1,000 Cobras were built. The early-model Shelby Cobras were based on a chassis made by A.C. Cars in the United Kingdom, but gained their fame due to the Ford V-8 engine Shelby installed.

Original model Shelby Cobras went out of production in 1967 due to changes in American laws that made it uneconomical to produce any limited-production type of automobile. Because of their rarity and legendary performance, some of these cars now sell for well over $400,000.

Shelby resumed production in 1996. The cars now use a specially designed Carroll Shelby chassis with the customer's choice of fiberglass or aluminum bodywork. A network of Shelby Cobra dealers around the nation installs engines and final interiors.

For more information on Shelby Cobras, or the Shelby Cobra racing program, contact Bill Fishburne at 828-274-9696, or via e-mail at bfishburne1@home.com.

-TSR-

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Series Vintage
Drivers Bob Bondurant