The Shelby Cobra, one of the most iconic racing cars of all time, remains the stuff of legend, a car that when it first appeared, blew away the competition, and was the culmination of the efforts of one man who came with a unique idea.

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That man, Carroll Hall Shelby, had taken 3 years to bring the Cobra to the race track following the end of his career as a racing driver due to a heart condition. In 1963, he began a campaign of dominance in the US Domestic race series, eventually culminating in the move in 1965 to take part in the FIA International GT Championship against Europe’s best.

His basic idea: that a faster, lighter and more nimble car would not only outperform European competitors, but also offer build costs low enough to make it affordable to a wider audience.

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Having already become one of the most celebrated American race drivers of the 1950s, with 16 U.S. and international speed records to his name,  a Sports Illustrated “Driver of the Year” mention in 1956 and 1957, as well as victory in the 1959 season with Aston Martin at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, it was perhaps these years of experience that would give him the intuitive sense of the new concept of racing car he could bring to the track.

The foundational recipe began with an imported British AC, to which he bolted a 289 cubic inch Ford V8 and added some handling improvements. With this car, he raced in the US domestic race series, dominating it and losing only one race in its first three years of competition.
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With lots of on track experience, he added to the next generation of Cobra destined for the FIA International GT Championship a massive 427 cubic inch Ford V8 and substantial improvements, making the all new Shelby Cobra one of the most feared muscle cars ever built.

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With this mind, have a look the new Capeland Shelby from Baume & Mercier, a watch created for this year in celebration of Carroll Shelby and his achievements. The new Capeland Shelby, is a handsome 44mm flyback chronograph in either stainless steel or 18K red gold with many details inspired by the iconic Shelby Cobra of 1965.

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The chronograph counters are modelled after those on the Shelby Cobra dashboard as are the double racing stripes on the dial, the same colours that the car was decorated in. Furthermore, the hour and minute hands are in the shape of the steering wheel, (made with the shape of the lume), and the famous cobra logo can be found placed on the seconds hand. The strap here as well, black alligator with red calfskin rubber like lining, adds a fiery and decidedly sporty automotive touch.

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The rear of the watch communicates the limited edition status of the watch (stainless steel 1965 pieces, 18K red gold 98 pieces) with the sapphire crystal, engraved with Caroll Shelby’s signature.

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Certainly one for motor racing fans and fans of the Shelby Cobra or if not a good choice for anyone wanting a handsome chronograph to wear, with flyback function to boot.

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