Wednesday, 10 January 2018

AC Cobra

AC Cobra

For all of the longevity of the 'special relationship', how often do the UK and the US combine to produce something really ... special?  There is one example, for sure - the mighty AC Cobra!  When Texan Carroll Shelby sought permission from England's AC Cars, to sling a Ford V8 into their svelte bodywork, the curtain was about to be raised on a truly memorable 'muscle car'.

The Cobra's sinuous lines were clearly drawn from the AC Ace - an elegant British sports car of the time.  But the beefcake build of the car was all-American!  Shelby was a successful racer.  When it came to the Ace, he wanted power - and plenty of it!  The Ford engine obliged to the tune of 490 wild horses - in 7-litre form.  Add to that, AC's light alloy shell, torque on tap from the push-rod V-8, and four disc brakes to slow the plot down - and the scene was set for big fun, in a big country!

The cars were sold in the showrooms as Shelby Cobras, and Ford Cobras.  In race trim, they were Shelby American Cobras.  There were just 1,000 or so Cobras built - but their legacy will live on, for as long as men like Carroll Shelby feel compelled to compete.  Positively presidential in terms of presence, the AC Cobra is a truly historic automobile.  The special relationship can learn a lot from it!

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