In 1964, Jack Sears took his AC Cobra Coupe onto the famous British M1 motorway and changed the racing world forever.
Sears was able to reach the record-breaking speed of 185mph.
"There was an awful fuss," said Sears in an interview with AutoCar in 2014. "But it was all jolly unfair. Many teams were using the motorway for practice -- the Rootes Group, Jaguar, Aston Martin -- so it wasn’t something unheard of. And also, there wasn’t a speed limit at the time. We weren’t doing anything illegal because there were no limits."
Spears, who passed away last year at the age of 86, was transformed into an international superstar thanks to all the media attention following the record speed.
"I remember the engine being so strong. It kept pulling and pulling and I quickly hit 6500rpm and it simply wouldn’t go any higher," he added. "Once I told them [his team], they started working things out. Then they looked up with a smile and said to me: 'That was 185mph.' I thought that was most exciting; it was the fastest I had ever been."
Certainly a lot has changed in the 53 years since Sears took to the British motorway, but the passion and love for Shelby Cobra vehicles has persisted.
Vehicle enthusiasts appreciate a good muscle car, and those muscle car fans have the utmost respect for any Shelby Cobra that speeds past them on any roadway in the world. Unfortunately, only a handful of these custom roadsters exist, the majority of which are locked away in automotive museums. Over a six-year period, from 1962 to 1968, Carroll Shelby built only 654 small-block Cobras and 350 big-block Cobras.
Luckily, replica car kits exist and are nearly as amazing as the originals.
Shelby Cobra kit cars are available and can look and feel like Spears' 1964 original. These Cobra kits are fully customizable, as well, so you can even upgrade any parts as you see fit and install whatever engine, if it's worthy enough, into the replica.
If you want to feel like you're driving a piece of automotive history, contact Backdraft Racing and check out their Cobra kits today.