In 1964, Carroll Shelby and his crew built a one-off Daytona Coupe powered by a big-block V8, with the sole purpose of beating Ferrari at Le Mans. That car, CSX2286, promised great things, but it was damaged on the way to France, taking it out of the race before it began. Afterward, CSX2286 was converted back to its original 289 small-block configuration, like the rest of the Daytona Coupe fleet. For decades, there were no official big-block Daytona Coupes in existence. At least, not until now.
plans to build six Daytona Coupes with 427-cubic-inch big block engines as part of an official continuation series. The company brought the first of six, CSX2603, to the Rolex Motorsports Reunion at Monterey this past weekend, where it made its public debut.
The first new big-block Daytona Coupe wears bare aluminum bodywork with white stripes and the number four, just like the original that never made it to Le Mans. Shelby will paint your big-block Daytona in any racing livery you want, though.
The big-block Daytona comes with a 550--hp V8 from the Carroll Shelby Engine Company and a four-speed manual. Thanks to an aluminum body, the car weighs just around 2200 lbs., and with a Shelby CSX 2000-series serial number, each example will be documented in the official Shelby Registry to distinguish it from non-Shelby reproductions.
Legendary racer Bob Bondurant, who test drove the original big block prototype, says the car could have done over 200 mph flat-out at Le Mans, which isn't surprising given its strong power-to-weight ratio and clever aerodynamics. We'd love to verify that with one of these continuation cars.
Pricing hasn't yet been announced, but we doubt it'll be cheap. After all, it's the closest thing to the never-raced original there will ever be.