Despite the 289 Cobra proving to be immensely successful during its racing career, the original Ford 289 V8 reached its limit of reliability at just under 400 horsepower. At the 1963 Nassau Speed Week competition Corvettes were lapping more than nine seconds quicker than the small block Cobras. It was the suggestion of Shelby's leading driver and race engineer, Ken Miles to install an even bigger engine into the petite Cobra.
Initial plans chose the Ford 390 FE V8 with an alloy block, however a switch to Ford's heavier cast iron 427 block was initiated by resistance from the NASCAR division. Despite proven reliability at much higher horsepower figures the block was heavier causing a well needed redesign of the cobra chassis. To ensure the Cobra offered the complete package and with help from Ford's own engineering department the chassis was widened by 5 inches and suspension redesigned to house a far more modern coil spring and fully independent design all round.
Reliable at over 500 horsepower the new 427 proved to be immensely quick even by today's standards! Due to homologation issues the 427 was only to be raced by privateers. However, that did not hamper the ever growing competition record of the Cobras.
This genuine LHD example is the 3rd of 10 continuations sanctioned by and built under the supervision of AC Cars Ltd between 1990 and 2003, each with its own COB chassis number. Built out of sequence, this car is chassis number COB5010 and was commissioned in 1998. This example has arguably the best provenance as it was retained by AC Cars Ltd after completion, being used as their exhibition and show car, on display at the UK International Motorshow, The Goodwood Festival of Speed and the AC Centenary event in London. It was then shipped to the USA and was displayed on the Shelby Stand and at the Las Vegas Autoshow.
It is said that less than half of these remain in the UK now. Using the original 1960's AC Thames Ditton Factory jigs and bucks, the aluminium bodies were hand built using the original techniques. All major mechanical components installed in the cars were period items which were individually researched and sourced. In addition, the cars were correctly UK registered as a 1966 'Historic Vehicle' and can be eligible for HTP papers with minimal adjustments.
This 427 features the 7.0 Litre V8 and is fitted with alloy heads, with the originals accompanying it. Fitted too is a new 5-speed Tremec Gearbox in combination with a Salisbury limited-slip diff, offering a superior experience with higher speed cruising. The car is also accompanied by its original 'Top-Loader' 4-speed gearbox and its fully trimmed wet weather equipment in tailored bags.
With 9,550 Miles from new this 427 is presented with full UK registration, ready to be used and enjoyed immediately and is located for viewing, by appointment only, at our showrooms just outside London.