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AC COBRA 289 & 427 CAR

CARS > USED CAR HISTORY > AC COBRA 289 & 427

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AC COBRA 289 & 427 (1962-1968) CAR HISTORY

Car review on AC COBRA 289 & 427

In the autumn of 1961, Texan racer Carroll Shelby approached AC Cars with the idea of fitting a 4.2-litre Ford V-eight engine into their lithe and handsome light alloy Ace sports car. By early 1962, AC had built the first prototypes and by the autumn had dispatched 100 cars to America for completion. Enter the legendary Cobra, perhaps the most famous muscle-car of them all and certainly one of the fastest.


Using essentially the same tubular steel chassis layout as the six-cylinder Ace, with transverse-leaf springing for the front and rear suspension, this spare and handsome two-seater sports car had electrifying performance thanks to the relatively light weight of the body and the high torque of the pushrod V-eight engines. The first cars used a 4.2-litre unit with the famous top-loader gearbox, but it wasn't long before a bigger 4727cc engine was slotted in by Shelby, boosting power from 164 to 195 bhp. Top speed of the 289 car was 138 mph (222 kph), but even more impressive was the acceleration: 60inph (96 kph) came up in 5.5 seconds, the standing quarter-mile in 13.9. It was in this form that the car first became available in Britain in 1964. Naturally, four-wheel discs were specified and, when the 289 engine replaced the 260, rack-and-pinion steering (rather than Ace-derived cam-and-peg). Even then the Cobra was no car for the novice.


This wasn't enough for Shelby. In 1965 he slotted in the 6989cc engine to produce the seven-liter Cobra. It had claimed 345 bhp in its standard form — tuned SC cars gave 480 bhp or more — and acceleration that put the Cobra in the record books in 1967 as the world's fastest-accelerating production car: 0-60 mph (96 kph) in 4.2 seconds. There was a milder Cobra 428 version with the 390 bhp 6997cc V-eight from the Ford Thunderbird. In reality the seven-liter was virtually an all-new Cobra and no longer a slim and sylphlike beauty with fat arches front and rear housing huge Goodyear tires. It shared only the doors and bonnet with the 289. More importantly, the chassis was totally redesigned and much stiffer, while the suspension now used coil springs rather than antiquated leaf springs.


The production of Cobras stopped in 1968 when 4.7 and 7-litre cars were running concurrently. Since 1965 the "baby" Cobra had been known in Britain as the AC 289 Sports and used the same flared-arch body as the seven-liter. In America, the cars went under the names Shelby Cobra and Ford Cobra and were homologated as Shelby American Cobras.


There are a couple of footnotes to the Cobra story. The chassis lived on under an elegant Italian coupe body designed by Frua and was known as the AC 428, launched in 1966. As recently as 1983 Brian Angliss revived the car as the MkIV Cobra - but that's another story.

AC COBRA 289 & 427

 

SPECIFICATIONS

 

ENGINE TYPE

V-Eight

CAPACITY

4261/4727/6997

POWER

164/195/345/490 bhp

TRANSMISSION

4-speed manual

TOP SPEED

136-180 mph (218-290 kph)

NUMBER BUILT

979

 

 

 

 

 

 
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AC COBRA 289 & 427 CAR

CARS > USED CAR HISTORY > AC COBRA 289 & 427


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Shopping Mall :AC COBRA 289 & 427 Cars at Auto Lemon - Used Car History Check

Cars Directory: AC COBRA 289 & 427 Auto, Automobile, Automotive, Car, Cars, Classic, Classic Car, Used Cars, New Cars, Used Car, New Car

Shopping Mall: AC COBRA 289 & 427 Used Car History reviews and guide on classic and older model cars. Including car designers from Italy and Germany. Learn history of cars from classic, exotic, used, new to prototype model cars.

Cars Topics: AC COBRA 289 & 427 Classic Cars, Price, Prices, For Sale, Part, Restoration,
Classifieds, Classified ads, pictures, muscle car, picture, and photo , AutoCheck, KELLEY BLUE BOOK, USED CAR HISTORY, VIN number, VIN SEARCH, Lemon Car Check