Bill Bend

Wed Jun 05 2013 01:32:55 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

"There's nothing nice about a 427 Cobra. It's stripped down to the essentials - a big engine, a small car, and four tires trying to keep the whole business on the pavement. It's loud, it smells like gasoline, and it shakes and bucks. It makes your arms tired and your feet hot. You nearly crash about once every ten minutes. It's so damn wonderful that you can't believe it!" - Dan Gurney

British manufacturer AC had, in its Ace model, created a sophisticated little sports car. It was aluminum bodied and light, and its suspension and chassis were well-tuned for spirited driving. However, when AC's lost its engine supplier, it appeared the Ace was doomed. Enter Carroll Shelby, the recently-retired American race driver.

Shelby had always wanted to build his own car, and approached AC with an attractive proposal. The venerable Cobra was born. Bodies were built in the UK and shipped to Southern California for assembly and drivetrain installation. The cars first utilized 260ci engines, then 289ci. Finally, in Shelby's quest for speed and power, Ford's 520 horsepower 427ci V-8 engine was employed. To accommodate the big mill, AC had to redesign its chassis with a longer wheelbase and wishbone/coil spring suspension. The combination proved to be just what was needed for better handling, and the rest is history. The 427 Cobra went on to tremendous racing success, and legendary status in the minds of enthusiasts everywhere.

Our cover car, chassis CSX 3112 is a true 427 Street Cobra. It was unmodified for nearly 50 years before undergoing a ground-up restoration that was completed in 2004. Later that same year, the car received a Gold Award for excellence by the Shelby American Automobile Club. It is a shining example of an iconic vehicle, and we're happy to be able to share it with you.

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