Carroll Shelby was by all accounts a larger-than-life figure with a personality matched only by his heart. So it was with great mourning that the automotive community said goodbye to Shelby in May. Unfortunately, Shelby’s body remains unburied due to a family dispute, and the first “Shelby inspired” supercar to come out since his passing just doesn’t do the late, great auto designer any justice.
At least that is our opinion of the Puritalia 427 Roadster, a car said to be inspired by Carroll Shelby’s greatest invention, the Cobra. Alas, this odd-looking convertible does not live up to the original design in more than one way.
First off, lets start with the name; Puritalia 427. The original Cobra was based on a British car, but we can understand the Italians wanting to in on the Shelby craze. But if you’re going to attach the “427” moniker to a car, it damn well should have a 427 cubic-inch engine in it. Instead, Puritalia will offer either a naturally-aspirated Coyote 5.0 liter V8 with either 445 horsepower, or a supercharged 5.0 making 605 horsepower.
About the only thing the Puritalia 427 does get right is the weight; coming in at just a hair over 2,400 pounds, the Puritalia 427 is only about 100 pounds more than the original Shelby. The Puritalia also attains a zen-like 50/50 weight balance, something the original Shelby didn’t do. But with a gaping grille, bugged-out headlights, and a far-too-Italian design for a brutish American legend, we’re gonna have to say…pass.