The GHIA COBRA
Just 1 ever made
© Wallace Wyss, W.Kohrn - March 17th.2007
These pictures are from a defunct publication Style Auto No.9 , from a story by Ferruccio Bernabo. If anybody has objections to their use in this website, please contact the webmaster.
Cobra by Ghia
Truth was, when Ford was sponsoring Shelby in making the Cobra, they never really liked the Cobra's eggshell thin body. They spent lots of money repaintingCobras before they could even be delivered.
Twice Ford diverted a Cobra chassis and put their own body design on it,both to test out how auto show fans reacted to it and to test the body material.
The first was the Cougar II, a coupe on a leaf sprung chassis, with a 289engine. It had a fiberglass body but one reason they probably didn't go on with this was that they were dropping the 289 Cobra and coming up with a new chassis and they would have had to do an all new body.
Their next try was the Bordinat Cobra or XD Cobra. This was a roadsterwith a lift off hardtop with a body made of a rubbery material called Royalex, made by U.S. Rubber, put on a coil spring chassis. This material was too experimental a process so that's why this one didn't get off the ground though the recreated Cord Automobile Co. did use it for a run of replica Cord cars.
Somewhere in that time period a 427 coil spring chassis was diverted to Ghia Carrozzeria, run by the fiery Alejandro De Tomaso at the time. There a new body was designed by none other than Giorgetto Giugiaro. Now DeTomaso didn't give him credit for it and Giugiaro does not list the Cobra in his list of cars which is a long one but it has too many Giugiaro design cues (such as the same vents he used on the Bertone Aston Martin Jet one off car) not to be a Giugiaro design. The car even had a new interior which, though a new design, was not much better than A.C.'s design and actually looks a bit home made.
The car was dark blue with a brown leather interior the brown the color of a goose's beak, a sort of orange brown. It had a lift off hardtop similarto Giugiaro's design for the Maserati Ghibli, which he did for Ghia about the same time.The car seems to have disappeared after its short time in the limelight. One rumor is that it was sent to Belgium where its one off body was removed and it was rebodied as a regular 427 Cobra.
Ford had a sale of Ghia built prototyp[es a few years ago for charity but the Ghia Cobra was not among them.
Any body who has pictures of the car they took at a car show is asked to contact the author at box 55095 Riverside,CA 92517 for possible use of them in a book.
Readers are also invited to submit copies of magazine articles on the car to the author, with the address of the magazine so the author can contact the magazine to see if they still have the photos on file. He has Style Auto, the only magazine he has seen the car pictured."
Wallace A. Wyss is the author of SHELBY The Man The Cars The Legend