This car launched thousands of replicas and it was Carroll Shelby who started it all. He approached the Hurlock brothers at AC in 1961 - who were then producing the six-cylinder AC Ace - with the idea of putting Ford's compact and lightweight V8 into the car. AC jumped at the chance and in 1962 production began. At first, Shelby installed the 260ci (4.3-litre) but only the first 75 cars had this engine. In 1963 Shelby switched to the 289ci (4.7-litre) V8 and changed the steering to rack and pinion. The result in this lightweight roaster was sensational. The Cobra was the fastest accelerating car in the 1960s, but required nerves of steel because of the basic twin tube chassis. Its saving features were all-round independent Wishbone suspension and large disc brakes. The bare essentials inside the roadster kepi weight well under a ton and lOOmph (160km/h) could be reached in just 14 seconds.
AC Cobra 289 Specifications
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