In October of 1961, an American racing driver named Carroll Shelby approached AC Cars wanting to fit a 4.2 liter V8 Ford engine into the AC Ace chassis. AC Cars agreed and in March 1962, the first original Cobra was built. It was the first super-fast car. Not long after, they fitted a 4.7-litre engine, which boosted power from 165 to approximately 200 horsepower and gave it a new top speed of 140 miles per hour.

1964 saw an even larger engine fitted; Ford's famed 427 racing engine (7.0-litre) developing 485 brake horsepower and attaining a top speed of 163mph. Some Shelby Cobras were fitted with Ford's 428 engine, a less powerful engine despite the nominal increase in displacement, intended for road use rather than racing.

AC Cars stopped producing Cobras in 1968, but Brian Angliss started producing them again in 1983, and they are as of 2003 still being made.

In addition, the Cobra is possibly the most cloned car in history; an astounding number of replica Cobras have been produced, to the extent that the originals are in a definite minority. Some are mere AC Cobra lookalikes, while others are perfect replicas in every detail.

External links