Skip to main content

Longtime Swifties may be familiar with the music video for 2014’s “Blank Space,” and its infamous car. The song marked the end of her country era and the beginning of the 1980s synth-pop era that would culminate in her album, 1989.

Swift’s team wanted to pivot away from her “good girl” image. So much of the music video shows Swift sabotaging a lover’s life during their messy breakup. She drops his phone in a fountain, cuts holes in his clothes, and finally takes a golf club to his sports car. The car in question is a dark gray Shelby Cobra.

The Cobra was a roadster hand built by a race car designer named Carroll Shelby in the 1960s. It was inspired by lightweight British convertibles but featured a powerful Ford V8. Shelby’s Los Angeles workshop turned out just 998 of them and they can resell for one million dollars or more. An especially rare configuration went for $13 million. Not something you want to smash up with a golf club!

Taylor Swift swinging a golf club down onto the hood of a Shelby Cobra sports car during her music video.
Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” | Taylor Swift via YouTube

Though Taylor Swift is currently a billionaire, she shot this music video a decade ago. And even now, I doubt she’d destroy a perfectly good million dollar car just for the camera.

The filmmakers contacted a broker called “Cooper Classic Cars” which rents picturesque vehicles for occasions such as wedding photoshoots. The broker found a retired marine and personal trainer named Will Hough who had a replica Shelby Cobra listed.

While deployed in Iraq, Hough had seen a Cobra on TV and promised himself that when he made it home he would buy one–according to Jalopnik. True to his word, he commissioned a custom replica, complete with a hot-rodded engine and modern sports car suspension.

Taylor Swift smashes the headlight of a Shelby Cobra during a music video.
Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” | Taylor Swift via YouTube

Swift rented Hough’s Cobra for a day, so he drove it to the set himself. He hung around for a bit and watched Swift shoot some of the scene. He didn’t know the video would require she smash up the car–and he didn’t need to. The action was simulated and the crew added the damage later with computer effects.

But unfortunately, when Hough went to pick up the car he found that Swift had accidentally put her hand down on the paint and scratched up the front of the car. I’d guess it was while she was dancing and holding the golf club because its doubtful that her fingernails alone would do serious damage.

Because Hough’s replica was fiberglass, fixing it required a complete repaint. Reportedly, Swift happily paid the $3,200 bill. I imagine she sent Hough a check with a blank space so he could… you know…write his name.

You can see the “Blank Space” music video for yourself below: