MERCED — The car: 1965 Shelby 427 Cobra
The owner: Michael Thurber of Atwater
1. What are the key features of our vehicle? The car was designed to be the ultimate race car, and with the 427-cubic-inch motor at 500-plus horsepower it is insane to drive.
2. What did you have to do to get it in its present state? I had to reassemble the entire car, and I added a new motor with three deuce carburetors and a Jaguar independent suspension.
3. What else do you want to do to it? I would love to go through it again and swap out the carbs for a newer update of 4 IDA Weber carbs, and add some padding to the seats.
4. How did you acquire the vehicle? I found the car all apart and just about completely stripped down. The owner had lost interest in it, so I made him a cash offer and he accepted.
5. Why did you pick this particular vehicle and what do you find appealing about it? I bought the car because it had all the potential in the world to be one fine ride.
I see the car as the most beautiful low and mean-looking piece of machinery out there a man could drive around in.
6. What started your love affair with cars? My love affair with cars was the freedom they gave me to see the world around me, and I was fascinated as to how they would just keep running after a teenager like me abused them.
7. What advice would you give others about starting such a project? If someone wants to build a car, you really should build something you like or love for one reason or another. Plan on spending too much money on it, and it will take longer than you expected to build.
8. Do you have any other collector vehicles or project cars? I have six to eight other vehicles or projects, and work on one or the other every day.
9. What's your favorite memory about this ride? I would have to say my favorite memory about this car was the day I finished it and drove to the gas station to fill it up. I didn't even get fully out of the car before an extremely attractive woman walked over to me and said, "Hi, that sure is one beautiful car you have." I thought to myself, "Yes; yes it is!"