What happens when a two-wheel designer with an eye toward vintage products takes an iconic four-wheeler as inspiration? In this case, the answer is a 48-volt electric tribute to one of America's true racing legends. Vintage Electric's Shelby throttle bike is a tribute to Carroll Shelby's personal 289-powered Cobra, though Vintage Electric founder and lead designer Andrew Davidge told Motor Authority the design is based on the "stripped down, go fast" look of all vintage Shelby cars, including the Cobra Daytona Coupe shown in these pictures.
"To channel Carroll Shelby's spirit of design, you have to be in the presence of the phenomenal vehicles that he created. Walking around these celebrated Shelby cars, touching them, driving them, and seeing every last detail that Carroll poured into them is truly where our inspiration came from in making the new Shelby bike," said Davidge.
The N6 blue metallic paint is a direct match to the vintage racers, and the blue-and-black two-tone scheme shown here is the only finish available. Even looking past other Shelby-inspired details, like the saddle and handle grips designed to mimic the 289 Cobra's seats and steering wheel, the bike is a beautiful piece of design.
This bike is more than just a piece of art. The 1.123-kwh battery cell housed in its finned aluminum casing has enough juice to power the bike for 40-75 miles, Vintage Electric says, and can be fully charged in 4.5 hours. The body is hydroformed aluminum, keeping the weight to a minimum, and when put in "race" mode, the bike can top out at 36 mph (vs. a normal top speed of just 20 mph)—not bad for something that would look right at home in a modern design museum.
With museum-quality looks come museum-quality prices; it will set you back $7,249. That's cheap by Cobra standards, but it's still two wheels and a few hundred horsepower short of the real thing. It's still pretty darned cool, though, and Vintage Electric's bike is a superb tie-in to a movie that both car and history buffs should enjoy.
The company is limiting production to 300 bikes. To get yours, visit the company's website at VintageElectricBikes.com.