Today’s lesson in what not to do with your classic car is brought to you by a careless driver who plowed an unbelievably beautiful AC cobra into another car after burning rubber out of a parking lot. It’s hurt us so bad, that we brought you a tribute to one of the greatest rides of all time. It’s without mention, that the 1965 Ford Cobra is one of the most sought after classic cars of all time. After much precision and thought, the beautiful specimen was created. And while we love the Shelby Cobra, we couldn’t think of a better way to remind you just how protective you should be the next time your wife asks for the keys. Fellas, just say no. You can thank me later, but for now just heed the warning below.
The Shelby Cobra was a limited production, hand-built sports car based on the venerable yet nimble British AC Ace roadster. In 1965, when a transplanted big-block Ford 427 V-8 found its way into the engine compartment of the 90-inch wheel-based sports car, a legend was born. In the early 1960s, former race car driver and Texas entrepreneur Carroll Shelby contacted British sports car manufacturer AC Cars about building a vehicle capable of accepting a large V-8 engine. Mechanics at AC proceeded to fit a 260 cubic inch Ford V-8, mated to a four-speed transmission.into a prototype Cobra. The AC Cobra package was dynamite, weighing only 2,100 lbs; top speed was about 140 mph. Total Cobra production for the years 1962-1965 equaled just over one thouand cars.
In race trim, the 289 generated up to 370 hp.All this power stretched the chassis to its limitations, motivating Shelby to refine it. By 1965, Shelby still needed more power, and driver/engineer Ken Miles suggested a big block V-8 was the best choice. The 510 hp Ford 427-cid “side-oiler” V-8 that Shelby was going to use, however, needed a new approach. A newly-designed heavy duty reinforced tubular chassis, some five inches wider than the original and featuring coil spring suspension along with rack-and-pinion steering was utilized. The body was modified with flared fenders to accommodate wider wheels and racing tires. The car featured outboard headers and exhaust pipes that exited the engine compartment behind the front wheels, and ran along the bottom edge of the body below the doors. Shelby wanted the Cobra to be a “Corvette Eater” both on and off the race track.
During 1963 and 1964, Cobras entered competititive events at Bridgehampton, New York; Riverside, California and the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France, going up against Corvettes and other noteworthy road racing cars like Jaguar, Ferarri, Porsche and Maserati. Without showing much gratitude, Ford pulled the plug on its support of Shelby’s racing program in late 1965, and Cobra 427 production ceased after only 160 ’65 vehicles had been produced. Street versions of the Cobra continued to be built using more docile 428 cubic inch engines, feauturing a longer stroke and smaller bore, and left over parts; also offered was a drag racing package known as “The Dragonsnake”.