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Exoto 1:18 1964 Shelby Cobra Daytona Rolling Trellis

Reviewed by:   Rusty Hurley
     
  Exoto 1:18 1964 Shelby Cobra Daytona Rolling Trellis diecast car
 
 
 

As a reviewer, I have probably used the phrase “unique model” more times than I should, or at least that’s my thinking now as I marvel at Exoto’s 1964 Daytona Coupe Rolling Trellis. Here is something truly bespoke, because it’s not a concept car, nor is it the finished car or even a prototype. It is design in motion.

In October 1963, Shelby American had ninety days to get the first Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe ready to race at the 1964 season opener at Daytona. And this is ninety days in a world without auto cads, computer wind tunnel simulation or just in time manufacturing.

What they did have to start out was a rolling chassis, a Shelby Cobra 289 survivor. Using an existing chassis enabled accurate placement of suspension, wheels, engine and other components. This was the same, a production methodology utilized for constructing Cobra roadsters beginning in1962.

Once the chassis is in place, the next step is building a skeleton in wood which forms the so-called trellis. Another characterization for trellis commonly used in fabrication parlance is a buck. Dave Friedman, documented the construction on an almost daily basis and in his book Shelby Cobra, you can see a dapper Ken Miles sitting in the rolling chassis for measurements and the trellis being loaded on the truck to Cal Metal.

Once there, shaping sheets of aluminum were fabricated by hand using an English wheel, sandbag and mallet. Panels are formed and compared to the wooden buck as a gauge to make sure the panel is formed to the proper shape.

After the panels are sized and trimmed, they were welded together to form the finished body. The car was ready in the prescribed time period and not only competed at Daytona but dominated until a freak pit fire (not involving thee trellis itself, of course) forced the retirement of the car.

To see this moment in history laid out in before you is mesmerizing. It’s like seeing what was in Peter Brock’s minds eye take shape. The Exoto Shelby chassis, of course, is legendary in the hobby, and though it has some age, it is brand new in the fact that the chassis is laid out so you see for the first time the entire drive train and barge board interior.

Materials are not over-finished and when considering items like the suspension, one can see how far Exoto has come since, especially in their XS line of models. It’s important to keep in mind that while Exoto has taken care not to over-finish the model in, say unnecessary chrome, the original chassis was a wreck from the previous year and wasn’t meant to be pretty or used in competition.

The wood has a perfectly sanded but unfinished appearance and there are delicate wire formings which outline doors, glass and front bumper. Yes, amazing, but translated, this means be very careful when extracting this model from it’s styrofoam packing coffin lest you bend one of these wires. Exoto has included a large, color brochure which provides direction on how to handle it safely and the packaging is superb and secure.

I think you have to give Exoto a lot of credit here, not only in execution but just imagining this very different and intellectually gratifying model that is the origin of what is one of the most dominant racers ever built in America. And it is an attention getter and sits well in a grouping of Exoto’s excellent Daytona Cobras or any Shelby themed display.

And for the first time ever, after nearly a decade of writing reviews for DZ, I’ve done a model review without mentioning paint color or finish. So I think I can say, emphatically, that this model is truly unique.

And this time I really mean it.

(12/17/2011)
 
 
  Exoto 1:18 1964 Shelby Cobra Daytona Rolling Trellis diecast car

Exoto 1:18 1964 Shelby Cobra Daytona Rolling Trellis diecast car

Exoto 1:18 1964 Shelby Cobra Daytona Rolling Trellis diecast car

Exoto 1:18 1964 Shelby Cobra Daytona Rolling Trellis diecast car

Exoto 1:18 1964 Shelby Cobra Daytona Rolling Trellis diecast car

Exoto 1:18 1964 Shelby Cobra Daytona Rolling Trellis diecast car

Exoto 1:18 1964 Shelby Cobra Daytona Rolling Trellis diecast car

Exoto 1:18 1964 Shelby Cobra Daytona Rolling Trellis diecast car

Exoto 1:18 1964 Shelby Cobra Daytona Rolling Trellis diecast car

Exoto 1:18 1964 Shelby Cobra Daytona Rolling Trellis diecast car

Exoto 1:18 1964 Shelby Cobra Daytona Rolling Trellis diecast car

Exoto 1:18 1964 Shelby Cobra Daytona Rolling Trellis diecast car

Exoto 1:18 1964 Shelby Cobra Daytona Rolling Trellis diecast car

 
 
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Exoto | 1:18
Exoto 1:18 1964 Shelby Cobra Daytona Rolling Trellis

Exoto 1:18 1964 Shelby Cobra Daytona Rolling Trellis

 
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