The 427 Cobra

by | Mar 6, 2018

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

“I thought it was stupid to have a 1918 taxicab engine in what Europeans like to call a performance car when a little American V-8 could do the job better.”—Carroll Shelby

Is there a more iconic number in the automotive world than 427?


Especially when combined with the words Shelby Cobra? These cars are million dollar collectibles now with one model—the first Cobra built—selling for $13.75 million dollars and it wasn’t a 427! A 1966 Super Snake 427 sold for $5.5 million dollars. So if you want to own a 427 Cobra and are not a billionaire, you’re going to want to look at replicas.

The Kirkham Motorsports 427 KMS/SC is different than most Cobra replicas because its body is made from aluminum instead of fiberglass. At a previous SEMA show, where I photographed it, the car was displayed with no paint, just its polished aluminum skin and if you look close enough you’ll see that a racing stripe has been etched into the metal—all of which only made getting the exposure a little trickier than normal.

How I made this shot: I photographed the Kirkham Motorsports roadster using a Canon EOS 50D with now discontinued EF 22-55mm f/4–5.6 USM lens that produces a 35-88mm equivalent angle of view. Bracketing in one-third stop increments, the best shot (at least the one you see here) had an exposure of 1/100 sec at f/6.3 and ISO 800, which was one-third stop less than a “normal” exposure.


Along with photographer Barry Staver, Joe is co-author of Better Available Light Digital Photography that’s now out-of-print but new trade paperback copies are available from Amazon for $21.88, with used copies starting at less than two bucks, as I write this. For reasons I don’t understand, the Kindle version is $93.95.