Two well-known Cobras – the first to race in the UK and the last to contest a World Sports Car Championship – are expected to take part in the Graham Hill Trophy for pre-'66 GT cars at the 73rd Members' Meeting this weekend (21-22 March).
The first – and older – car will be campaigned by owner Shaun Lynn, with a little help from former Le Mans-winner and star of last year's Gerry Marshall Trophy Emanuele Pirro. The ex-Willment 1963 Cobra was driven in period by Jack Sears, Ed Hugus and Bob Oltoff, and was built to race at Le Mans that year. '644 CGT' – which bears the chassis number CSX2130 – was an unused spare during that race, with sister car '39 PH' going on to finish seventh at the hands of Peter Bolton and Ninian Sanderson – albeit behind six Ferraris.
A rich competition history followed, with outings at the Nürburgring 1000km in 1964 and the Ilford Films Trophy Race at Brands Hatch in the same year before it returned to South Africa with Olthoff in 1966.
Photo credit: Fiskens
The second Cobra with a claim to fame – COB6041 – became the last to ever compete in a World Sports Car Championship after it was entered in the 1969 Nürburgring 1000km by Nicholas Granville-Smith and Gordon Miles. It suffered an ignominious farewell from the series after it failed to start following its retirement in practice.
The car was more successful at the beginning of its career after being delivered new to Patrick Mcnally in October 1964 when was modified for racing by Alan Mann, under whose banner it was initially raced.
Both cars will be going up against their period rivals in the Graham Hill Trophy, including Aston Martin DB4GTs, Jaguar E-types, Corvette Stingrays and Bizzarrini 5300GTs.
The race will take place against an evening backdrop at 17:25 on Saturday evening, with a 30-minute practice session at 10:05 that morning.