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Yat Ming Shelby Cobra 427 S/C 1/18

2567 Views 5 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  BVR
Hi again, fellow collectors. Since my last review didn't get much feedback, I'll post a review on a model that hasn't already been reviewed. This time it is the Shelby Cobra 427 S/C.

Background information on the real Shelby Cobra
Texan chicken farmer Carroll Shelby had a simple philosophy for designing his car: to combine lightweight bodywork with American muscle power. Three years after he won at Le Mans in 1959 with Aston Martin, he borrowed a 260ci (4.2-litre) V8 from Ford and a lightweight aluminium Ace chassis and steel-tubing bodywork from AC (in Britain) and mated the three producing the AC Cobra 260. Its chassis and running gear needed to be strengthened to cope with the extra power. Later came the AC Cobra 289 in 1964 with a 289ci (4.7-litre) V8 and even more power and flared fenders for larger tyres. In the following year came the Shelby AC Cobra 427 S/C powered by a collosal 426ci (6,981cc) V8 engine with 485bhp and 481lb/ft of torque. The true figure is likely to be higher since car manufacturers at the time were reluctant to reveal the true power outputs which would affect insurance rates, putting off potential buyers. With a low curb weight of 1,089kg, the Cobra 427 had an enourmous power/weight ratio of 445bhp/tonne, a figure bettered by few cars ever since. The Cobra 427 was the fastest-accelerating car in the world for more than 20 years (doing 0-60mph in 4.2 seconds and carrying on to 165.3mph) and no car had made such a fearsome and infamous reputation for itself (and it is unlikely that any other road car ever will) following several serious (and sometimes fatal) accidents: A man who got a Cobra on his 18th birthday died the same day driving it in a mountain pass; two mechanics crashed a Cobra into a wall at over 120mph leaving tyre marks over 300 feet long and a Californian man spun his Cobra ten times before going off a cliff. From the time that you fired up the the 7-litre behemoth of an engine to the time that you shut it off, respect and total concentration were DEMANDED by the Cobra 427 (not politely asked for) because if you got it wrong with the Cobra, it would most likely kill you. Time was a good healer for the Cobra 427's evil reputation since an original can be bought today for as much as $300k.

The Model Itself

The "denim blue" paint is quite good and rather surprisingly, its application is complete although there are a few uneven areas. The twin white stripes that go right from the front to the tail of the model are painted but the paint is so thick that you can see and feel it over the blue paint. A silver version with blue stripes is also available.

Yat Ming's model immediately gives the impression that the Cobra means business - the flared wheel arches give it a racy and slightly menacing demeanour. The model itself is very small when compared to other 1/18 models but the Cobra is a pretty small and lightweight car.

The panel gaps are very large, especially around the doors and the hood. The lights are reasonable at best. The headlights are colourless plastic with chrome rims but the other lights (indicators and tail lights) are chrome plastic with the appropriate colour painted over them. This may sound cheap but it looks better than it sounds but it would still be better if it had been coloured plastic. The logos are badges with a sticker on them and they don't look too bad for a buget model. The handles are separate chrome plastic parts and they look a lot better than simulated handles. The side vents below the logo indicating the 427 version of the Cobra, however, are not perforated, although the front air intake on the hood is perforated, but it should have some sort of mesh. The windscreen is a single piece of plastic and this single piece of plastic represents the visors, the side wind reflectors and the windscreen wipers while the rim of the windscreen is painted in chrome. This looks passable but the windscreen wipers should have been made separately.


The interior of the real Cobra was never much to look at but Yat Ming could have done better. Although the real Cobra has dogleg door hinges, the hinges in the model would obstruct the leg room. The pedals are really poorly done too - they are very small, incorrectly the same shape and bunched together like grapes. The seats are crudely moulded - the backs of the seats have no detail. However the interior isn't all bad. The dials are nicely replicated and the walnut steering wheel is really nicely done as is the gearstick (which partially moves). A handbrake is also placed correctly on the passenger's side. In addition, a fire extinguisher is present (compounding the fact that the Cobra is a killer when mistreated). A roll-hoop is also present and it doesn't look too bad but when you open the trunk, you realise that the supporting arm on the outside doesn't carry on in to the trunk but a separate piece of plastic "tubing" simulates this and you notice this easily because the angles of the rollbars differ.

There's not much to say to be honest. The wheels are pretty well done with chrome rims, black spokes with gold trim and the tyres are branded. However, because of the style of the wheels you cannot see the brakes so Yat Ming decided not to bother making any effort in reproducing brakes. Also even though the wheels/tyres are wide on the real Cobra, they are too wide for the wheel arches on the model, most noticably at the front.


The handles on the hood make it easy to open and the hood stays up displaying a rather nicely done engine. The detail is rather impressive although the block of the engine is mostly two pieces of blue plastic. You can see the exhausts from the engine and you can see the fan at the front of the engine bay (as well as from the front air dam) and the radiator is well simulated with a connection to the water box. Although the undercarriage is probably just four moulded pieces of plastic, the detail on the moulding is outstanding for a budget model and you can clearly see the engine, gearbox, driveshaft, differential and other mechanical linkages from beneath. The exhausts/tail pipes are pretty good but the tail pipes are not holes and a blob of plastic paint was used to simulate the opening.

Ertl and Kyosho also make the Cobra 427 and unsurprisingly, Kyosho's version is by far the best and Ertl's version is reasonable. Kyosho also do a racing version of the Cobra 427 and Ertl also make the drag racing version of the Cobra 427.

Yat Ming didn't do a bad job of making the Cobra 427 in 1/18 scale. The main problem with it is the use of chrome coloured plastic to represent the metal parts where most of them are aluminium or stainless steel, not chrome. It is very cheap as well so it won't put a large void in your wallet. Yat Ming's Cobra 427 will go well with just about any muscle car or two-seater roadster collection. Although it has some serious flaws it is still a nice little model to have.

Total Score - 24/50

Thanks to http://www.diecast18.com for the use of their photos

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1 - 6 of 6 Posts
I have the model and i am not happy with it.It has bad detail

Thanks for posting the review. I couldn't agree more with it. Really can't say anything bad, but there is also very little good to say as well. A very fair and honest review. :jk: :iagr: :jk:
Nice Job :mrgreen:
I have the same car and pretty much aagree with your review.
I think you are being a bit genorous ;-)

Yat Ming made the same mistake that a lot of 1:1 Cobra "kit Car" maker do.
The rear quarters are completely wrong. :x Must be a haed contour to replicate :knutkck:

I wish someone (Exoto) would do a high detail 427 Cobra :2gun:

I am almost positive that Exoto will make the 427 some time down the road (might be a few years from now). They did the 260s, 289s are next, and what's stopping them from doing 427s? I'll retire my 3 Cobras by Kyosho as soon as I can get my hands on Exoto's versions. :)
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