Seventh report, Sunnyland ACBS Antique and Classic Boat Show, Tavares, Florida, Chris Craft Cobra

One of the most recognizable “wow” boats ever offered for sale is the Cobra by Chris Craft. Chris Craft made this one model its image boat in the mid-1950s.

chris craft cobra classic boat photo image tail fin wood mahogany planked

The tail fin makes this Chris Craft classic Cobra boat model

Ever since Chris Craft figured out how to make money in a nation-wide depression economy every year since 1936, they then wanted to be THE boat builder for every man, woman, and family in the world. In a very wide mix of boat models, one boat model was selected to lead in its lust factor.

chris craft cobra script tail fin

close-up of the script on the tail fin

The profit from other models would cover whatever this one would cost. This one was the one that should turn heads on the water or at a boat show. Women remembered it. Kids stopped in their tracks when they saw one and talked about it. Men wanted it.

chris craft cobra classic wood boat photo image

fully restored and a real "looker"

For the underwater hull shape, Chris Craft used the same naval architectural lines of one of their existing boat models as the running surface.  They had already sold 503 of those hulls.

chris craft cobra dash wood classic runabout boat photo image

note the alligator texture touches in the cockpit

To that underwater running surface they crafted a sleek, stretched, curvy bright finished planked mahogany boat that started at the bow as high, wide, and bold and then  tapered aft to nothing. Next, Chris Craft took out the back seat. Then they added a “Chris Craft” gold fin. Finally, they added alligator upholstery touches. Like seabuddy said, it is a “wow” design themed boat.

chris craft cobra long deck boat model photo image

Just look at the finish of this boat, top shelf, in seabuddy's book

She was a 20’, 10” boat with only one seat, so naturally they put a big, loud, and bold 200 horsepower Hemi Chrysler in most of them. A few Chris Craft Cobras topped that engine with an even more powerful 285 horsepower Cadillac Crusader from Detroit car dealer Cal Connell. Only ten of the 55-56 boats built had Chris Craft six cylinder engines in them.

chris craft cobra wood planked boat model photo image

single cockpit seating


Figure on 45-50 MPH speeds out of a Hemi powered boat. Add another five MPH for boats powered with the dual four barrel Cadillac 285 engine.

chris craft cobra engine wood runabout planked mahogany boat image photo

restored engine classic chris craft cobra wood runabout boat photo image

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