Shelby Cobra Targa Top Rendering Is a Dodge Viper Tribute, But not a Race Car

The Shelby Cobra is one of the most recognizable and successful American race cars. It’s synonymous with the white-knuckle experience of going fast. But Carroll Shelby said you could either win races or be comfortable, which is why the Cobra beat Corvettes on the track but didn’t have the luxury features on the road. So there’s no such thing as a Shelby Cobra Targa top.

Targa tops are some of the coolest yet most common features on American sports cars throughout the decades. They’re basically still around and are awesome… if you can get them to stop leaking. From a historic standpoint, the Shelby Cobra very much deserves a Targa top.

The famous name is borrowed from the Targa Florio, a grueling and famous race in Europe. In 1964, the Cobra did challenge Ferraris at that historic racing location, but Carroll built race cars that might still be driven on the road and not the other way around. If it would have been GM, they’d probably make special edition cars to this day.

In any case, the digital artist Rob3rt Design has just released new renderings of his Shelby Cobra Targa. Putting Targa tops on famous cars is kind of his thing, and everything seems to be connected to the Porsche 911. We’re not necessarily talking about the old one, but rather the last two generations.

Both the 991 and the 992 have a Targa version. The top looks basically the same as this Cobra rendering. It looks simple at first, but there’s a complex folding mechanism that even maneuvers the rear windshield around the roof. It’s beautifully over-engineered, but it also adds a lot of weight, which is why the 911 Targa is among the least pure Porsches.

Admittedly, Rob3rt’s renderings could just have a classic 911 Targa top, fixed in place. In August 1965, Porsche applied for a patent for the Targa concept and from autumn 1966 the Targa supplemented the Coupe for the 911. Ironically, at roughly that time the Cobra Daytona was kicking butt and taking names in Europe, teaching Porsche and Ferrari a thing or two on the track.

The Cobra Daytona was a coupe race car, but our little rendering looks more like the Mk3 Cobra, the one with the bigger air intake designed to feed Ford’s new 427ci big-block that became synonymous with the car.

And there’s another famous Shelby car that’s not a Shelby and has a Targa top. That’s right. We’re talking about the Dodge Viper. Chrysler’s Bob Lutz and Tom Gale wanted to make a modern sports car in the spirit of the Cobra.

What, did you think it was a coincidence that both have snake names? The Viper was an all-motor raw machine, with a few extra cylinders mind you. The first-gen was open-top, had a tendency to kill novice drivers and Carroll Shelby was in the passenger seat when it made its Detroit debut.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here