In the world of classic cars, one particular Superformance MKIII roadster stands out not only for its Italian flair but also for its remarkable speed. Dubbed “The Italian Job,” this 1965 Shelby-authorized Superformance MKIII, owned by the accomplished enthusiast Ted Taormina, is set to be auctioned at No Reserve by Barrett-Jackson on Friday, January 27, in Scottsdale, Arizona. This iconic vehicle has earned its reputation as the “fastest Cobra” in the world, achieving speeds over 200 mph and shattering records along the way.
Ted Taormina, a dedicated enthusiast known for working on exotics and supercars, embarked on a mission to create a unique Superformance MKIII that would reflect his Sicilian heritage. The result was a masterpiece that not only boasted Italian flair but also demonstrated exceptional speed. In 2017, “The Italian Job” crossed the 200 mph mark and further accelerated to an impressive 223.2 mph at the Tour De Force in Sun Valley, ID, in 2021. The International Mile Racing Association (IMRA) documented and recognized Taormina’s feat, solidifying the car’s place in automotive history.
The key to “The Italian Job’s” extraordinary performance lies in the meticulous balance of raw power and aerodynamic efficiency. The 427 cid FE Ford V8 underwent significant modifications, delivering a staggering 730 horsepower and 700 ft/lbs of torque. The body and chassis were expertly modified using aeronautic engineering principles, maximizing drag reduction and downforce. The combination of a TREMEC 6-speed manual transmission and 3.48 rear gears ensured a seamless and powerful driving experience.
Beyond its speed records, “The Italian Job” has left an indelible mark on the Superformance MKIII series. Ted Taormina’s expertise was instrumental in updating the design of the new 30th-anniversary Shelby edition Superformance MKIII Roadster. Elements inspired by “The Italian Job,” such as an integrated padded helmet diffuser, front splitter, and rear diffuser, showcase the car’s enduring influence on the latest models.
As Superformance MKIII roadster “The Italian Job” heads to auction, it represents an opportunity for a fortunate collector to own a piece of automotive history. Lance Stander, CEO of Superformance, emphasizes the car’s uniqueness and encourages potential buyers to recognize the special legacy that comes with being the next caretaker of this iconic roadster.
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