In 1961, American automotive designer and race car enthusiast Carroll Shelby asked the AC Company in England if they would build him a car modified to accept a V8 engine. Shelby was declined by Chevy, but Ford thought otherwise and provided him with a couple of engines to try out. At his workshop in Los Angeles, Shelby worked on matching a Ford 260 engine to his modified AC chassis. It was a great fit.
Shelby wanted the Cobras to be 'Corvette-Beaters,' so the larger engine combination was a natural next step: Enter the 427 Ford engine. Though the AC Cobra was a financial failure for Ford and Shelby, the Cobra legacy has lived on due to the popularity of the early cars. And, with the 'continuation cars' that grace our streets today, one can still enjoy the open-air exhilaration of driving a Cobra.
This car carries VIN number CSX3256 with engine number 3256. The current owner has known about this car for almost 2 decades. Back then, he decided on an Auburn Speedster instead. Fast forward to recent times: the current owner saw the car at a show, and couldn't let it pass him by again.
After retiring from a very successful racing career, Carroll Shelby set his sights on sports car construction. His first project was the Cobra, an AC Ace whose aging six-cylinder engine was replaced by a Ford V8. Sports car racing inevitably demand [Read More...]
Sold for $660,000 at 2008 Barrett-Jackson. The Cobra enjoyed a very long production lifespan through its multiple fiddles' it played; it began life as a Tojiero-Bristol, than an A.C. Ace, followed by the Ace Bristol and finally the Ace Ford. Just as it was ending its production life, Carroll [Read More...] By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2008
This big-block Cobra has a known history, an original engine, and a restoration done by a Shelby expert. The car left the Shelby factory and sent to McCafferty Ford of Trenton, New Jersey, where it was sold to its first owner, Davis Boardman of Fort [Read More...] By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2010
This 1967 427 Cobra, chassis number CSX3360, is the last Shelby Cobra ever built. Invoiced by AC Cars to Shelby America on October 26, 1967, it has been stored in Southern California during the 2000s. Delivered new as a street version Cobra, it has b [Read More...]
The iconic Trans-Atlantic sports car was both feared and admired on both the road and the track. The holy grail of Cobras is undoubtedly the big block 427. This example is one of just 356 examples made. The combination of 425 horsepower and a lightwe [Read More...]
At one time this car was thought to be the last Cobra 427 shipped to Shelby American by AC Cars of Thames Ditton, west of London, based on incomplete information. Two more, CSX3359 and CSX3360, it was subsequently discovered were indeed shipped later [Read More...]
Sold for $1,430,000 at 2007 RM Sothebys. Sold for $2,007,500 at 2013 RM Sothebys. Sold for $2,117,500 at 2015 RM Sothebys. The Cobra, chassis CSX 3045, was invoiced to Shelby American on February 23, 1965, and it was completed to S/C specification, under work order number 15103. On April 21, 1966, Shelby American received an order for an S/C model complete with a modifie [Read More...] By Daniel Vaughan | May 2015
Sold for $766,800 at 2007 RM Sothebys. Sold for $715,000 at 2010 RM Sothebys. This 1967 Shelby Cobra 427 was offered for sale at the 2007 RM Auctions held in Amelia Island, Florida where it was estimated to sell between $750,000 - $850,000. The car is powered by a 427 cubic-inch side-oiler V8 engine that is still in the exact [Read More...] By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2007
This Series III Cobra 427, sold new by Ron's Ford of Bristol, Tennessee, in 1967, is said to be the most original Shelby Cobra in the world. It has been driven just 2,194 miles since new, mostly by its first owner, Morris Morgan of Laurinburg, North [Read More...]
The formula for the success of the Cobra came through a man named Carroll Shelby adapting a powerful Ford engine into a nimble, British sports car.
A.C. Cars of Thames Ditton in Surrey, England had been producing the Ace since 1954. It was designed by John Tojeiro and featured an independent suspension by transverse leaf springs. The tubular frame body of the vehicle took its styling cues from Ferrari. The original engine used in the Ace was a 1991 cc, over-head-cam engine designed by John Weller, the founder of AC, in the 1920s. In 1956, an optional Bristol engine became available. This was a BMW derived, 1971 cc six-cylinder engine that was capable of producing 125 horsepower. With the Bristol engine, the Ace captured many victories on the race tracks around the world. It even won the SCCA Class E championship three years in a row.
In 1959, Bristol ceased its six-cylinder engine production. When Bristol stopped supplying A.C. with the engine, the production of the Ace ceased. Carroll Shelby quickly negotiated a deal where A.C. would supply him with the chassis. Now all Shelby needed was an appropriate engine. In 1961, Ford introduced the 221 cubic-inch small block engine. This was a new lightweight, thin wall-cast, V8 engine that produced 164 horsepower. Shelby approached Ford about the use of the engine for the 2-seat sports car. Ford agrees.
In February of 1962, a 260 HiPo engine and Borg-Warner four-speed manual gearbox was fitted into the aluminum-bodied Cobras. The AC Shelby Ford Cobra was complete.
In April of 1962, the first Cobra with chassis CSX 2000 was painted yellow and shipped to the New York Auto Show where it appeared on the Ford display. The vehicle was an instant success and attracted much attention. Orders came faster than Shelby could build. The prototype CSX 2000 was continuously being repainted for magazine reviews. The purpose was to create an illusion that more Cobras existed.
In 1963 the engine size increased to 289 cubic-inches. Rack-and-pinion steering was added to the vehicle.
Two Cobras were entered into the grueling 24-Hours of Le Mans endurance race. Carroll Shelby himself drove one of the vehicles. Ford had refused to provide an engine so Shelby, with the help of A.C. cars and Ed Hugus, prepare the cars. One of the Cobras managed to capture a seventh place finish, a major accomplishment.
Dan Gurney became the first American driver to win an FIA race in an American car when he won the Bridgehampton 500KM race in September of 1963 while driving a Cobra.
In 1964, the Cobra returned to LeMans where it finished fourth overall and first in the GT class.
Near the end of 1964, the Cobra 427 was unveiled to the press. If featured a new tubular, aluminum body, coil spring chassis, and a 427 cubic-inch, 425 horsepower engine. The car was able to go from zero to 100 mph and back to zero in less than 14 seconds.
In 1967, the last 427 Cobra was built and in 1968, the last 427 Cobra was sold by Carroll Shelby.
Ford had shifted their resources to the new GT40 and modified Mustang programs. In 1966, three GT-40 Mark II's crossed the finish line at Le Mans capturing first, second, and third. By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2010
MONTEREY, Calif., November 17, 2014 —The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion will celebrate the 50th anniversary of one of the most recognizable road racing cars of the 60s – the Shelby GT350 Mustang...