Shelby Cobra 289

In September 1961, Shelby wrote Charles Hurlock of AC Cars to propose a hybrid car using the AC sports car body and chassis. “I’m interested,” wrote Hurlock, “if a suitable V8 could be found.” Shelby moved quickly when editor Ray Brock of Hot Rod magazine told him of Ford’s new lightweight “small-block” V-8. Soon after, Shelby had an early 221-cubic inch example installed in a stock AC Ace. In fact, the V-8 weighed just slightly more than the six-cylinder Bristol.

Ford engineer Dave Evans then offered Shelby an even better solution. A high-performance 260-cubic inch V-8 was already in production for Ford’s Falcon, and two engines would be on the way to him soon. They were immediately sent by airfreight overseas, and on February 1, 1962, Carroll Shelby flew to England to test drive the new Shelby “Cobra.”

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in August of 2011 at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California.

271 bhp, 289 cu. in. V-8 engine, four-speed manual transmission, ladder-type steel tubing chassis with independent front and rear suspension via A-arms, transverse leaf springs and tubular shock absorbers, rack-and-pinion steering, and four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 90".

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel