As prices of the original Shelby Cobra have skyrocketed into astronomical proportions, there are firms like Superformance that serve replicas to consumers who demand the same levels of performance at a budget-friendly cost. And now the recent Superformance MkIII can provide drivers more speed compared to the original model, including the one unit that snagged the title of the world's fastest road-ready Cobra after clocking in an impressive 201.1 miles per hour (324 km per hour) at the Mojave Air and Space Port. While we are used to premium modern supercars regularly making speed records left and right, it is another thing for the classic roadster to travel at near impossible speeds.
Owner Ted Taormina christened his Superformance MkIII the "Italian Job". It’s so fitting then that the vehicle donned red, white and green stripes to pay tribute to the country's flag. When Ted, the founder of Taormina Imports, is not busy producing customer cars, he is driving his own monstrous vehicles. Superformance patrons frequently personalize their vehicles, and Taormina's MkIII has also undergone a lot of modifications.
For the heart of the vehicle, there's a Shelby Engine's 427 FE V8 that produces around 690hp (515 kW) and 710 lb-ft (963 Newton-meters) of torque. Then it comes with front spoiler and canards for added downforce and a diffuser to suck the car down at the back for enhanced aerodynamics. Aluminum panels seal the lower side of the roadster in a bid to boost stability.
A modified tune for the shocks and springs reduce force and after motion upon acceleration of the MkIII. Taormina required months of preparation for setting his roadster to such impressive speeds. In earlier records, the Cobra hit around 169 mph (272 kph) and 190.1 mph (306 kph). He eclipsed the previous speed record for a road-legal Cobra by clocking in 201 mph.
The previous speed record was in 1967 when Dick Smith maneuvered his Shelby 427 S/C bearing the CSX3035 serial number to a superb 198 mph (319 kph) in the Daytona International Speedway. Taormina revealed that the "Italian Job" was supposed to be equipped with a Ferrari V12 engine, but it ended up acquiring a V8 due to the fact that his engine builder had a patron withdraw a deal for a 700hp 427 engine. The engine builder suggested that they will fit the roadster with the V8 engine, and the rest is history.
But Superformance not only offers replicas of the Cobra, as their lineups also consist of recreations of the Shelby Daytona Coupe, an authentic Ford GT40 and Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport. These machines are quite splendid when it comes to performance and aesthetics. It's hard to imagine such vintage builds to go so fast, and now the Superformance MkIII has proven to everybody that vintage roadsters cannot be underestimated.