The 1964 Shelby Daytona Coupe is as close to an automotive Holy Grail as can be. Fifty years ago, six of the streamlined coupes were built on Cobra chassis to compete against the best European sports cars in the FIA GT championship. Today, they're among the most valuable automotive artifacts in existence.
In fact, the Daytona Coupe was the first car named to the National Historic Vehicle Register, and now one example has found its way into Jay Leno's Garage.
Granted, this car isn't one of the original Daytona Coupes, one of which recently sold for $7.25 million at auction in 2009. It's a 1999 Superformance kit car, but it was designed by the same man--Peter Brock--who penned the real thing.
That means this car has a fiberglass body, but also a more-sophisticated steel space frame chassis. It features a 351-cubic-inch Ford "Windsor" V-8 that's been bored and stroked to 427 cubic inches, which exhales through side-exit exhaust.
This particular replica was imported for display (Superformance cars are built in South Africa) in the Shelby Museum in Las Vegas, an original Daytona Coupe presumably being too rich even for the late Carroll Shelby's blood.
The car was displayed for several years without an engine until it was purchased by the current owner, who added a powertrain and upgraded it with flared fenders, new wheels and C6 Corvette brakes.
So while the original Daytona Coupes are far too valuable to drive today, this replica shows that it is possible to build a reliable, usable car with the iconic styling of the genuine article.