From the inception of the small block Cobra, Carroll Shelby intended to build a race version of his lightweight roadster; its ultimate iteration was the 289 FIA roadster. While the original Cobra’s lithe athleticism remains evident, the 289 FIA – with a widened track and wider, racing-specific rubber – adds a heightened muscularity to the race car’s quicker acceleration and tenacious grip.
The 289 FIA Cobra car dominated tracks throughout the 1960s, defeating Jaguar, Corvette, Aston and Ferrari on the tight road courses. While a fastback version – the Daytona coupe – was created for high speed European tracks, the reliable small block roadsters also helped win North American races and the 1965 FIA Manufacturer's Championship. It was the competitive foundation on which the Shelby legend was built.
Available in fiberglass and aluminum, the current line of 289 FIA Cobras are built with the same body and chassis as in 1964 with a few components updated for safety and reliability.