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Ford Mustamg 289
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A.C. Cobra
By 1961 Bristol were no longer able to supply their engine for the AC Ace, and the final few Acecas were given the Ruddspeed 2.6-litre engine that was a development of Ford's Zephyr engine. Carroll Shelby came knocking on the door at Thames Ditton looking for a British sports car that could be re-engined with a Ford V8 for racing. Alan Turner at AC liked this idea and set about the chassis engineering for the new engine, and in 1962 the MkI Shelby Cobra (or AC Cobra) was exhibited with a Ford Galaxie lightweight V8 engine. Only 75 AC Cobra 260s were built before Shelby decided to fit a 289 ci (4735 cc) version of the Ford Fairlane engine to improve performance. This MkII Cobra also evolved with stronger suspension, better steering and improved cooling with side vents. MkII Cobras were not only made for Carroll Shelby and the American market, but also from 1963 by AC for European and other markets. However, of 580 Cobra 289s sold, only 61 were AC versions. The MkIII Cobra began as an aborted homologation project for the 1965 racing season, but failed to build the qualifying 100 production models to qualify and was not homologated. The 34 Cobra MkIII that were built were either converted for road racing or sold for track use. Shelby obtained Ford 6997cc V8 engines for the Cobra MkIII, and redesigned suspension, larger chassis tubes, and a wider body. Production versions were made from 1965 to 1967 348 were sold. AC then produced its own 'AC 289 MkIII' for the non-American market (without 'Cobra' badges), using the smaller engine as better suited to European roads, but only 32 sold. AC then switched to production of the AC Frua 428, which was largely a developed AC Cobra underneath. AC were bought out in 1984 and Cobra production licensed to Autokraft who had already been making replica Cobras. In 1982 Autokraft launched the MkIV using original tooling from the MkIII but modernised around a Ford V8 and sold until 1996. Since 1996 various organised have produced Cobra-esque cars, as well as countless replica Cobras.
aa_AC Cobra 428 badge
AC Cobra 428 - Shelby Cobra bonnet badge
aa_AC Cobra MkII 1963 289 badgey
AC Cobra MkII 1963 289 - badge on bonnet
aa_AC Cobra MkII 1964 289 badgec
AC Cobra MkII 1964 289 - badge on bonnet. Early Cobras had an AC Cobra badge, but some of these were changed by Shelby when they went to America. From the 134th Cobra these badges, designed by Peter Brock, were fitted by Shelby on arrival of cars in America.
aac_AC Cobra 289 MkII 1964 headg
AC Cobra MkII 1964 289. Ford produced the 'Windsor' engine from 1962, known as the 'Small Block V8' the engine it was introduced as 221 cu. in, enlarged to 260 cu. in. and most famously in the 289 cu. in 4,700cc format for the Cobra and Mustang. A 289 K-code variant was strengthened and used in hotter cars and produced 271bhp or 306bhp for the Shelby 350 version. From 1968 there was a 302 cu. in version and later a 302 BOSS.
aac_Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe 1964 head
Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe 1964, chassis CSX2300 powered by Ford 4,727cc ohv V8 engine. This car raced in the 1965 Daytona 2000Km (6th), 1965 Sebring 12 hours (13th), 1965 Nurburgring 1000 km (12th), 1965 Rheims 12 hours (9th)
AC Cobra 289 MkII 1963 front
AC Cobra 289 MkII 1963. The MkII Cobra had been introduced in 1963, the front re-worked to incorporate rack and pinion steering from the MGB. A 4.7-litre Ford V8 powered this AC Cobra
AC Cobra 289 MkII 1963 racey
AC Cobra MkII 1963 289, with 4727cc Ford V8
AC Cobra 289 MkII 1963 rear
AC Cobra MkII 1963 289
AC Cobra 289 MkII 1964 frontg
AC Cobra MkII 1964 289
AC Cobra 428 front
AC Cobra 428. The AC Cobra was upgraded to MkIII form for 1965 with larger diameter chassis tubes and coil spring suspension all around. Under the bonnet a or V8, Carroll Shelby battled Enzo Ferrari for a homologation special, both cars being ruled out for the 1965 season, and hence the decision to sell off detuned versions of these specials as road cars.
AC Cobra 428 rear
AC Cobra 428. Cobra 428s were built in America from bodies sent over from the UK. However only 34 Shelby Cobras were made as part of a failed homologation project and the Shelby connection was over by 1967. This car is possibly a recreation as several details are inconsistent with a Shelby build.
AC Cobra Superblower front
AC Cobra Superblower. By 1998 a continuing relationship between the new owners of AC Cars and the Ford Motor Company (Ford were co-owners for a spell) saw the Cobra fitted with a Ford Mustang engine. The Superblower had a 4942cc (302cu in) V8 supercharged to give 320bhp. Only 22 Superblowers were built.
AC Cobra Superblower rear
AC Cobra Superblower. The MkIV Cobra was launched by Autokraft who had bought up the Cobra tooling in the late 1970s, and later they bought the AC company. By 1998 AC Cars had changed hands again and again but the Cobra Superblower still managed to be built of hand formed alumininium over a space frame chassis very much as the original 1953 AC Ace. This optional Brooklands hardtop is a replica of a one off Cobra racing car.
Daytona and Cobra
Daytona and Cobra. Shelby Daytona Coupe 1965 racing and AC Cobra 1964. Peter Brocks Kamm-tail Daytona gave 20mph faster top speed over the Cobra hardtop
s_AC Cobra Coupe 1964 side
AC Cobra Coupe 1964
Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe 1965 rear
Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe 1965. Peter Brock designed a new aerodynamic coupe body to copmply with racing regulations and was restricted to an almost standard AC Cobra chassis and mechanics. Brock designed the body mostly by eye. After the first prototype, the bodywork was contracted out to Carrozzeria Grandsport in Modena.
x_Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe 1965 side
Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe 1965
A.C. Ace
Carroll Shelby
A.C. 428
key text:  This is the page introducing Simons love of cars from the website  RedSimon which is a series of photo albums of Simon GP Geoghegan.
The names of Pinin, Farina, and Pininfarina are also considered
There are also notes on Pininfarina
as well as the car maker
and links tothat car maker
see also my Picasa car albums
withe even more on RedSimon
Simon is also a contributor to SuperCars.Net
And also to Wikipedia
Photos may be purchased from PhotoBox