Cobra Pilote: The Ed Hugus Story


Robert D. Walker


This book primarily takes a close look at the Hugus-Shelby Cobra connection. In the early 1960s James Edward (Ed) Hugus personally financed the first seven production Cobras built since Carroll Shelby did not have the money or facilities for the project. Hugus ordered the first modified but unfinished Aces from the A.C. Cars factory in England, and had his service department mechanics at European Cars in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania install the Ford 260 engines and Galaxie transmissions, completing the cars for sale. Once Ford signed a contract for Shelby American Cobra production in Venice, California, Hugus still completed Cobras for distribution and sales to all points east of the Mississippi River. In his capacity as a driver, Hugus piloted the first racing Cobra (CSX 2001) in competition, and in 1963, the first Cobra (CSX 2142) to appear at Le Mans. Carroll Shelby may have had the Cobra dream but it was Hugus who stepped forward and made Shelby’s venture a reality.