“Let’s create a 1:8 scale model Cobra! It’s never been done before!”
The idea was simple, it’s a relatively common car, unlike our Mustang Super Snake of which only one exists, and so access to the real thing should be easier than tracking down ‘The Snake’.
“But which Cobra shall we do? The 289 or the 427? Competition or Street version? Blue or red? Which year?” and the list goes on. We eventually decided on the 427 Semi-Competition. We couldn’t resist the draw of the humongous engine and the perfect balance between racing and road models (you get a windshield on the Semi-Competition model but not the full-Competition one; and the moveable sun visors on the S/C are a nice touch!).
So, off we went on a mission to bring a 1:8 1965 Shelby Cobra 427 S/C to the world stage. That’s when the practicalities started to become apparent. Although there were hundreds of Cobras made at Carroll Shelby’s workshop in the 1960s only 29 of them were converted to Semi-Competitions. Tracking down an original car out of these 19 was of course easier than just the one Mustang, but as we searched, we discovered some were inaccessible whilst others had been modified so not quite period-correct. Thankfully we were able to call upon our friends at Shelby American Inc. in Las Vegas, who, by chance had an original 1965 in their workshop which we could use as our starting point.
3D Design and moulds
As with all our models every single component of the original vehicle is rendered into a 3D model from which we create all the individual parts for our 1:8 replica, and check on-screen how they fit together and the order they will be provided in.
At 1:8 scale we capture a lot more detail than is possible at smaller scales. Not only did we go to great lengths to find a period-correct oil filter (disposable items tend to get replaced with modern equivalents), but we were also able to put all the correct text on the 1:8 oil filter as you can see in the following image. The red oil filter on the left is a photo of an original, and the artwork on the right is what we have produced at the design stage of our accurate replica.
Of course, on our model, the oil filter will be fitted, hence the grey bit on the top of the artwork.
Following the computerised design work, we then create moulds for every component. These range in size but even the ones you see in the images below need a roof-mounted winch for moving them around our factory. The two images show the moulds for the tyres and wheels. In the first image, showing the tyre impressions, you can see the left mould is indented, and the one to its right has protruding circles which fit into the mould on the left, creating the complete tyre shape. Liquid rubber is then injected before setting and taking on all the details created by the mould. Once the tyre is produced and hand checked, it is painted, in white, with the Goodyear branding – authentic to the original tyres.
Now that production is underway we are excited to be able to show you some of the development and early production processes of our latest model.
The image below is of the prototype we have already made to ensure the model is going to look simply amazing, contains every tiny detail, and which we use to make any further improvements we feel are required for perfecting the final production model for you to enjoy building.