33 Model Shelby AC Cobra 427 Classic Sport Cars

Shelby AC Cobra 427 Classic Sport Cars – Let us start by discussing the nomenclature because Shelby Cobra is often mistaken with other cars with similar names or other models with Shelby badges. One of the most common mistakes is to think of it as Ford Shelby Cobra. There is no production car with such name; it only exists today as a prototype shown at the 2004 North America International Motor Show in Detroit, Michigan. Almost all models of the real Shelby Cobra did have relation with Ford, but it was a partnership in which case Ford provided the engines and in later models helped with the design. Another one is Mustang Shelby, which actually is high performance variant of Ford Mustang; this car has several other names as well including Mustang GT500 and Ford Shelby Mustang.

1966 shelby cobra
1966 shelby cobra

Things get more confusing because Ford also uses the term “Cobra” and “Shelby” to market and sell some cars of entirely different models for example the Shelby Cobra GT350 and GT500. Neither is the car of discussion. Shelby Cobra or Shelby AC Cobra was the result of collaboration between London-based AC, Shelby American, and Ford. Eventually in 1965, AC sold the Cobra name to Ford and that was the start of all the madness in the naming creativity.

ford shelby cobra
ford shelby cobra

Origin

Ace Cobra or more popularly known worldwide as the Shelby Cobra was a prime example of how American and British engineering perspectives could cooperate and came up with such a timeless classic. It all started with a lesser known car called Ace made by AC (Auto Carriers) based in London.

1967 shelby cobra
1967 shelby cobra

Similar to just about every small-scale British car makers, the AC Cars used the widely popular Bristol straight-6 engines in its small volume productions including the Ace two-seater roadster. The engine was actually a derivative of the 2-liter six-cylinder BMW M328. In 1961, Bristol decided to end production of the straight-6 and replaced it with the bigger 5.1L Chrysler V8.

Shelby Cobra MK3
Shelby Cobra MK3

Because AC Cars could not get the engine it wanted, the company also made a switch; instead of using the big engine from Bristol, it opted for 2.6L V6 used in Ford Zephyr. In the same year, an American car designer Carroll Shelby contacted AC and asked if the company would be interested in building a car modified to fit with a V8 engine. AC agreed, provided that a suitable engine for the car they made could be found. Carroll Shelby then contacted both Chevrolet and Ford, and eventually the latter was willing to offer the right engine for his purpose. Ford gave Shelby brand new engine, the Windsor 3.6L small-block V8; it gave two engines in fact. From this point on, the Shelby Cobra was about to be born.

shelby cobra chrome 1965
shelby cobra chrome 1965

Apparently AC had already made some modifications to the Ace when they decided to switched from Bristol’s engine to the Zephyr’s. Such changes happened to also fit with small-block V8. To build the first Shelby Cobra, AC only needed to make some minor alterations by moving the steering box a little bit outward to make space for the V8 and fitting a stronger rear differential to handle bigger power. The car transformed from AC Ace 2.6 into Shelby Cobra without a lot of engineering challenges.

Shelby 427
Shelby 427

Prototype and Early Models

After vigorous testing and quite a lot of tinkering, the engine and transmission were removed altogether. In February 1962, or only a month after the AC Ace 3.6 prototype had been built, the engine displacement was increased to 4.3 liter. The chassis alone was then freighted to Shelby in the United States. In short, Shelby Cobra had already been a proper car in London, but then was stripped down again for re-assembly. In the hands of Shelby, the chassis was then fitted again with engine and transmission in less than 8 hours. The first 75 units of Shelby Cobra were fitted with 4.3L V8, while the remaining 51 units had bigger 4.7L V8.

Shelby 427 Cobra
Shelby 427 Cobra
shelby cobra roadster
shelby cobra roadster
shelby cobra super snake
shelby cobra super snake
shelby cobra 427 sc
shelby cobra 427 sc
shelby cobra mustang
shelby cobra mustang
shelby cobra ac 427
shelby cobra ac 427
shelby cobra daytona
shelby cobra daytona
shelby cobra 427
shelby cobra 427
shelby cobra ac
shelby cobra ac
shelby cobra muscle engine
shelby cobra muscle engine
shelby cobra car
shelby cobra car
shelby cobra blue and white
shelby cobra blue and white
Ford 427 engine MK4 Cobra
Ford 427 engine MK4 Cobra
shelby cobra body
shelby cobra body
shelby cobra convertible
shelby cobra convertible
shelby cobra blue
shelby cobra blue
shelby cobra interior
shelby cobra interior
shelby cobra classic sport car
shelby cobra classic sport car
shelby cobra kit car
shelby cobra kit car
shelby cobra retro
shelby cobra retro
shelby cobra ford
shelby cobra ford
shelby cobra drag race
shelby cobra drag race
shelby cobra dashboard
shelby cobra dashboard
shelby cobra decals
shelby cobra decals
1966 Shelby 427 Cobra
1966 Shelby 427 Cobra
1965 Shelby 427 Cobra
1965 Shelby 427 Cobra
1963 AC Cobra
1963 AC Cobra