Hammond drives the icons: Shelby Cobra

At rest, it exudes the same aura of sensuous danger as Lara Croft curled up asleep with a samurai sword. Maybe this is why there have been so many copies made of the Cobra's shape. How many dedicated dreamers have fettled away in their garage to bolt together a fibreglass Cobra replica based on an old Cortina, only to find that when their creation finally rolled into the sunlight, somehow the aged clatter of a 2.0-litre four-pot doesn't quite give it the same presence as a 7.0-litre V8? I should know - I've driven just about every variety of kit-car replica made. But I've never driven an original... until today.