Rare 1966 AC Cobra appears for sale on UK classic cars market

We recently reported on RM auctions' upcoming sale in Arizona, US, which features the 'first' racing car by a design genius who once worked with Cliff Davies, the father of the AC Cobra.

But collectors also have a chance to own the real deal: an original AC Cobra. And you won't need to journey to Arizona to buy it.

Carroll Shelby built his name with the Ford 289 engine. Competition back in the 1960s was fierce and, to stay competitive, Shelby had to have an answer to the "Corvette Grand Sports", being nine seconds-a-lap quicker than the Cobras in 1963.

A blast from 1966, the Cobra 427 MkIII up for sale on the market

Shelby had been promised a new aluminium block version of Ford's 390 engine, yet this was scuppered by internal resistance from the NASCAR faction inside Ford.

Instead, he was forced to make do with the cast iron 427. Although reliable at 500 bhp, the engine was much heavier. A complete Chassis redesign was therefore needed, resulting in a new Chassis that was 5" wider with coil springs all-round.

Ford's engineering department rose to the challenge, leading to the birth of the Legendary 427 Cobra. Just 53 Competition Chassis were manufactured by AC until rule changes prompted a design rethink. Sixteen chassis were sold to private teams, one went to Ford Engineering, while the remaining 34 chassis remained unsold.

The Cobra from another angle; and (below) its VIN plate

With such very low production numbers, authentic competition Cobras rarely change hands. This is one of many reasons why AC today is still among the best-known and most collectible brands among enthusiasts and alternative investors.

This dark blue Cobra 427 MkIII 7ltr is presently for sale in Staffordshire, UK. Dated to 1966, it is priced at £255,000 (approximately $403,385).


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