Welcome to Wheels, Duncan — we love your classic Shelby Cobra. How did you come across this beauty?
It’s great to be featured in the magazine, I am a big fan!
The Cobra has always been a very special car to me, I remember having a poster of a 427 in Guardsman Blue on my wall when I was a kid. When a friend of mine in the US was looking to sell his, I immediately jumped at the opportunity and here it is!
I’ve had it for about two and a half years now and it has always been one of those cars that I dreamt of owning and now being able to get in and drive it any time I like is kind of surreal.
We’re really happy for you. Is it as thrilling to drive as you thought it would be?
It’s always a blast to drive this car because of the whole experience, the open top and exhaust give you the feeling of driving on a track back in the Sixties.
It’s also radically different from my daily driver which is a 2015 Challenger Hellcat — yep, I am a muscle car guy all the way! The Cobra corners really well and has almost no body roll while the Hellcat handles like a building in a mudslide! That said, the Dodge is an absolutely magical car simply because it’s built for overgrown children and makes going anywhere an event. Also, it sounds great in the tunnels as does the Cobra which has a Ford Mustang 302 V8 under the bonnet. Since the car is so light, it has a very good power to weight ratio. I did plan on swapping in an LS3 but I just couldn’t put a Chevy motor in a Ford.
Sacrilege! We’re glad you didn’t. How often do you drive it and where do you enjoy driving it the most?
I drive it about every second day when I’m out with my friends or just going on a cruise, it’s mostly around the Jumeirah and Mankhool areas — I haven’t done any long drives in it since the suspension really beats you up but that is definitely something I plan on doing.
I must say I feel ever so proud to own this car because it’s such an icon in the automotive world and no matter what a person’s taste in cars is they always love seeing a Cobra.
You’re spot on about that. It is over 50 years old — does it ever give you any problems?
I haven’t had any mechanical problems, the only real drawback of the whole car is the lack of a roof in summer because then I’m limited to when I can drive the car but it’s not that bad as far as problems go.
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Good to hear. What do you like best about it?
The design — there isn’t a single bad line on the car and the curves flow so well, its nostalgic and menacing all at the same time. It would also have to be the experience when driving with no assistance like ABS or traction control so it’s just the driver and the road.
I’m so pleased I was able to pick this car up; I knew I wanted a classic American muscle car with lots of heritage and nearly bought a really nice resto-mod Camaro and there was a Firebird in great condition from a dealer here in Dubai up for grabs. Also, I would have loved a 2016 Shelby GT350 but I couldn’t find one at the time but I am more than happy with my Cobra.
I’m a fan of the classic look and so I haven’t done any major modification work on it — however I did add an orange pinstripe down the length on either side of the withe stripes in order to give the paintjob a bit more pop.
The heatshields were also something I added after I got the car since the side pipes would get really hot after a bit of driving.
It looks fab — but you’re planning to do some more work to it...
Yes, I plan on replacing the suspension and getting a setup that’s more street friendly as its currently setup for a track and set of the classic centre lock wheels as I’ve always loved the look of those. Other than that, I’m pretty happy with the car the way it is.
It sure gets a lot of respect on the road; people usually tend to slow down while driving to take a picture of it and I’m always asked questions about it. What is especially fun is when people who know what it is approach me and we have a conversation — I’m always learning from stories about the Cobra.
My family and friends love the car and whenever we have guests over, they’re always curious to know what’s covered up in the garage! It’s always a thrill when I reveal it and crank it up for them!
All in all, having this car is an amazing experience and I can’t imagine ever wanting to let it go.
It’s a keeper! Take us back to how your passion for motoring began...
It began when I was a kid — I was always fascinated with cars and always had a bunch of model cars lying around my room.
I guess you can say it’s also in my blood because my father is also an enthusiast, although he likes European cars more and was very pleased when I bought my first car which was a 2004 BMW 745li. It was a great car and felt like I was driving around in a limousine. I adore that generation of the 7 Series — it was way ahead of its time. My best memories in that car are all of the road trips to Al Ain and RAK with my friends in the summer.
There is another pretty special BMW in your life isn’t there…
Yes, that’s right — my dad’s 1997 Z3. It holds a lot of sentimental value to the both of us as we spent so much time together while restoring it.
Awesome; there is nothing better than a father and son project. Final question — and it’s a hard one; what is your dream car?
A Koenigsegg Agera but more realistically, I’d take an Aston Martin DB11.
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