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On Saturday afternoon, Carroll

Shelby show up with his wife. Cleo. He

spent most of the afternoon in the

track’s Media Center signing auto-

graphs, talking with members and

posing for photographs. Shelby was

driving a new silver F-150 Lightning

that had been provided by Ford’s pub-

lic relations department.

At the Saturday evening dinner,

both Peter Brock and Carroll Shelby

spoke. Brock gave a thoughtful talk

about the affect Cobra replicas have

had on the marque in general. Brock’s

point was that the preponderance of

replicas has been responsible for ele-

vating the originals in the public eye.

The basic shape is instantly recognize-

able and in the average, non-automo-

tive person’s eye, replicas



If there was no such thing as a replica,

very few people, forty years later,

would be aware of Cobras because the

original 998 cars would rarely be seen

outside of automobile enthusiast cir-

cles. Values aside, the Cobra roadster

has one of the most identifiable shapes

in the automotive world.

When Shelby took the podium it

was clear that Brock’s remarks had

raised his hackles. He was, at that

time, involved in law suits over the

Cobra’s shape being copyright pro-

tected. However, as heedless as

Brock’s comments appeared to be, they

actually helped to make Shelby’s case.

The Cobra’s silhouette was unique and

recognizable and, as such, was

Shelby’s intellectual property. Even if

the horse was already out of the barn.


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