Once upon a time. Aston Martin made a big thing out of going from zero to
100 and hack to zero in less than 30 seconds. Ken Miles took one of the street
427 machines out and did zero to 100 to zero in 13.2 seconds. This was done
on concrete. On asphalt things get a bit slicker. Due to wheel spin with
the street tires (Goodyear Blue Dots), and the fact that the straight at
Riverside had been used for a big drag meet wherein several cars had grunched
on the line, the best we could get with the street machine was 110 mph in
13.2 seconds through the quarter. It was the first street machine we'd ever
driven that would keep the tires lit up for the full quarter in every gear.
The race car, with its "blueprinted" engine and huge rear tires, got a full
second off of that, blasting through the trap at 6500 in third gear.
At one point we were entering a freeway and pausing at the entrance. Our
passenger looked at the traffic and commented "Careful, the traffic is moving
pretty fast - wasn't it! That was how long it took to get up to and above
the normal 70 mph flow of cars. To be very blunt about it, we do not advise
those not extremely well-versed in the Cobra mystique to try the shenanigans
conducted by Ken Miles in this car.
|The street 427 has two Ford-made frour-barrels supplying
fuel to the powerful engine. This setup produces almost as much torque
at the bottom end as the competition version does.
Looked at as a whole, the Cobra 427 is not a machine for general transportation.
It is, rather the latest example, and very probably the pinnacle, of that
vanishing breed, the pure sports roadster. Its water-tight integrity is on
the minimal side, and it wouldn't be much fun to drive in most urban areas,
particularly east of the Mississippi. It can be used for travel and there
is considerably more room in both trunk and cockpit than in past versions,
but best the weather be good and the spaces traveled be wide.
Our test car of the street version was bright red and we were thankful that
in our area the law enforcement agencies are reasonably tolerant of such
machinery, and that the exhaust system of the 427 is virtually silent except
at full throttle. Painted red, this car is one that in some areas could get
you a ticket while parked in a driveway. To sum up, our early misgivings
to the contrary, the Cobra 427 rides comfortably and is bags of fun as long
as one puts the brain in gear before putting the car in gear. One might get
a bit wall-eyed keeping one eye on the road and the other on the rear view
mirror, but that's been the name of the game for years, and a small price
to pay for the privilege of driving a machine not seen on the road since
the days of the Mercedes race cars of the 1930's.
We tested both the street version and the track machine. For this last, we
will now turn you over to Jerry Titus:
|The racing 427 uses a single Holley with its centerpivot
floats. It has a rating of 780 cubic feet per minute. Output
from the 7000cc monster is 485 horses with 480 lb.ft. torque.