Shelby Cobra Fifty Years Hardcover – Oct 22 2011
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"Just when you thought you had read every book you needed to read about Cobras, along comes one more must-have tome. While this won’t be the last book written on these cars, it is probably the last one that needs to be written. It is that good. Colin Comer has proven, by this book, that he really does have an excellent handle on the Cobra. He brings to his writing a solid and well-grounded background gained by working on the cars, racing them, and maintaining a dealership where he regularly buys and sells them. This is the last Cobra book you will need...until Comer writes the next one: Shelby Cobra — One Hundred Years. It’s due out in 2062." - The Shelby American (Shelby American Automobile Club magazine), Fall 2011
Just when you thought you had read every book you needed to read about Cobras, along comes a must-have tome. While this won’t be the last book written on these cars, it is probably the last one that needs to be written. It is that good. Shelby Cobra Fifty Years is well researched, well written and it contains an excellent variety of photos—both historical as well as current—that provide an insightful look at the Cobra mystique. Every picture is intelligently captioned and almost all of them contain the cars’ serial number. We especially like that. This is the last Cobra book you will need...until Comer writes the next one.
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Speaking of the B+W pictures, I don't know where Mr.Comer digs these up, as again with his previous Shelby volume, virtually all of them are not in any of my several other Shelby / Cobra volumes and these incl from Shelby team photographer Dave Friedman's portfolio.
Overall, Cobra 50 years and his Complete Histroy of Shelby, are the best books I've come across, and yes, I did find cobra data that I hadn't come across before. Way to go Colin !!
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The Cobra story has been told and retold ad infinitum, to the point where there are very few surprises left when it is told one more time. But Comer mixes original history with current details and tidbits that makes reading about this subject both entertaining and interesting. And most importantly, he has his facts right.
The only criticism I have is that he did not include a picture of my Cobra in his book. But if he had, this review wouldn't have much validity.
If you want to buy the best book yet on Cobras, this is the one. And no--I am not related to Colin Comer. I am just telling it like it is.
What is refreshingly unusual about Comer's book is that it is technically correct; this seems to be a rarity nowadays. I believe I spotted only one small error and this may well be MY misunderstanding of the historical events, not his: the book claims that when Shelby American began putting the lower-cost 428 engines in Cobras as a cost-saving measure, it was the owners who complained. I had always thought it was actually Ford upper management who nixed the idea and demanded the 427 powerplants go back in, but I could be wrong. But this serves to illustrate the small scale of any potential goofs in-print.
Another really cool thing that Comer does is that he presents some neat "in-between" photos (photos of the cars in the early '70s and '80s, before they became restored museum pieces) that, like many of the original P.R. shots, have never been seen before. I'm not a huge fan of the "current day" stuff (it would have been nice if the book had focused on only the vintage and "in-between" stuff but I also admit that that's just my preference and it might have limited the book's appeal) but to be honest, a complete Cobra book should be up-to-date and Colin (along with the always-pleasing Dave Newhardt photography) delivers. In summation, whether you're an old Cobra junkie or just becoming hooked on the subject, this book is a "must have" for your collection.
HOWEVER, this latest book, SHELBY COBRA: 50 YEARS, is really a fresh new look at a 50 year old subject. Colin has somehow managed to pull all the great stories out of the past, and propell them into the future with a modern twist. The more 'humanistic' side of the legend and the people that made it happen is really interesting, and great to see it captured before all those stories were either lost, or reinvented into something else.
In addition to that, the last chapter covering the transistion into the next generation of this story, the replicas, also seems to have maybe set the stage for perhaps Colin's next book... and perhaps titled, "SHELBY COBRA: THE NEXT 50 YEARS" ????? hmmmm. Can't wait!
But back to this book... all I know is for any book, with a hard cover, and 256 pages with outstanding photography reproductions, is that I am simply amazed to see it for only $26 at Amazon. I was expecting a 50 or 60 page paperback book with some rehashed trivia. This price just can't last for long, not in this economy.
I also can't beleive Colin's going to make me read my first book in many years, cover to cover. And, like I always do, I started at the back of this one first... and low and behold, I see my own Cobra as the last closing page and a half.
Very nicely done, Colin. I just can not imagine the time needed to not only put the words down on paper, but to check them over and over to make sure they are accurate. Contratulations on a job well done... and what may be the sole coffee table reference icon, for years to come! You just can't put a value on that.
All the best;