The mid-2000’s saw the revival of a number of historical names, playing off of the memories and heartstrings of baby boomers about to retire. We got back the GTO, Challenger, and Camaro in very short order - though it can be argued that Ford kicked off the whole retro thing with its very sharp 2005 Mustang. But while the Mustang was alive and well, Shelby was hanging by the wayside, waiting to come back into the spotlight.

The 2004 Shelby Cobra concept car, built in just five months, helped move Shelby back to center stage ahead of the unveiling of the GT500.

Pictures: Ford

The Cobra concept car was a rarity in the concept world; a fully functioning, one-off working motor vehicle. There was lots of speculation that this car would actually become a production model, albeit in a toned-down form. It never did, but it still captures the imagination even half a decade after its debut. It was actually built on the same aluminum chassis as the Ford GT, as were numerous other parts. But the chassis had to be heavily modified since the Cobra concept had a front engine/rear drive format, whereas the GT was mid-engined.

Speaking of engines, the 6.4 liter all-aluminum V10 was basically a supercar engine. It made over 600 horsepower and was able to take the Cobra to a top speed of 185 mph (though the concept was electronically limited to just 100 mph). The Cobra was designed as a modern interpretation of the classic Shelby Cobra from the ‘60’s, and it certainly achieved that. We think even after so many years have passed, there is still room in Ford’s lineup for a modern roadster, though perhaps something not so extreme. The new 3.5 liter EcoBoost would be more than enough engine for a sleek two-passenger drop top…

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