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Shelby fights back - Carroll Shelby wins 15-year court battle to protect the 'Shelby Cobra' rights

  • Carroll Shelby sat in the Daytona MkII CSX9000 - 0
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TTAB recognizes Carroll Shelby's unique place in automotive history as designer of over 150 cars, including the original Daytona Coupe.

Carroll Shelby International, Inc., the company behind the Shelby Cobra and Daytona has announced that the US Trademark Office has granted trademark registrations to Carroll Shelby - protecting his legal rights to the world famous Cobra marks '289', '289FIA', '427S/C' and 'KR' (King of the Road).

As well as rights to the name, the US Trademark office has also given Shelby what's known as 'trade dress' rights to the design of the 'Shelby Cobra 289', and 'Daytona Coupe'. Recognizing the value of the phrase 'better late than never', the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) issued a ruling on October 15, 2010, acknowledging Shelby's great history as the designer of over 150 cars in his time.

'I couldn't be more pleased that all the guys who worked so hard in the 1960s and ‘70s to bring honor to America have been recognized for what they accomplished,' said Carroll Shelby. 'I was just along for a great ride.'

Asked about the opinion of the Board that the rampant proliferation over the last 30 years of knock off kits imitating his famous 427S/C, which Road & Track recognizes as the 61st most famous car of the entire 20th century, had made it impossible for the TTAB to conclude that Shelby remains the “single source” for buying replicas of his monster muscle car of the '60s, Carroll just shrugged his seasoned shoulders.

Shelby added: 'I’m tired of people who can’t design their own cars and have copied my designs for years. These copy-kit guys are like barnacles on the bottom of a beautiful boat... They've latched on for a free ride, but eventually they'll drop off and no one will know they were ever there.'

For those interested in the real deal, information about Shelby's Cobra is available at; and



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