AC Cobra Mk1
|Production||1962 to 1963|
|Engine||260 cu in (4.3 L) 289 cu in (4.7 L) V8 427 cu in (7.0 L)|
|Wheelbase||90 in (2,286 mm)|
|Length||151.5 in (3,848 mm)|
|Width||61 in (1,549 mm)|
|Height||49 in (1,245 mm)|
|ground clearance||7.00 in, 178 mm|
|Curb weight||2,315 lb (1,050 kg)|
The AC Cobra, sold as the Shelby Cobra, is an American-engined British sports car produced from 1962 to 1963.
The original Mk1 AC Cobra first came with a 260 cu in in the original 1962 version with Ford 4.3 liter V8 engine.Later with the Same structure as the first version but fitted with Ford's 4.7 liter V8 engine and became the best selling model in Europe.
1961 Texan Carroll Shelby, a former US racing driver, begins negotiations with AC Cars, with the support of Ford Motor Company, to install
a large V8 engine in an AC Ace. The vehicle is built by AC Cars.The result is the AC Cobra, due to its extremely low power to-weight ratio one of the fastest and most powerful sports cars ever built.By 1962 AC Cars production focuses entirely on making the Cobra. Each vehicle was built by hand.
And by 1963 the production reaches 15 Cobras per week. 1964 The AC Cobra sets a new world speed record of 183 mph on the M1 motorway and is entered in the Guinness Book of Records as the world's fastest road car a title it held for many years.
The first 75 Cobra Mark I (including the prototype) were fitted with the 260 cu in (4.3 L).
PERFORMANCE: 260 cu in (4.3 L)
- FUEL CONSUMPTION: 19.2 m/imp gal, 16 m US gal, 14.7 1 x 100 km;
- MAX SPEED: 153 mph, 246.3 km h;
- max speed in 1st gear: 67.0 mph, 107.9 km/h
- max speed in 2nd gear: 89.0 mph, 143.3 km/h
- max speed in 3rd gear: 112.0 mph, 180.3 km/h
- max speed in 4th gear: 153.0 mph, 246.3 km/h
- power-weight ratio: 7.7 lb/hp, 3.5 kg/hp
- useful load: 353 1b, 160 kg
- acceleration: standing 1/4 mile 13.8 sec, 0-50 mph 0—80 km/h) 3.3 sec
- max speed in direct drive at 1000 rpm: 21.8 mph, 35.1 km/h.
The remaining 51 Mark I model were fitted with a larger version of the Windsor Ford engine, the 289 cu in (4.7 L) V8. In late 1962 Alan Turner, AC's chief engineer completed a major design change of the car's front end and was able to fit it with rack and pinion steering while still using transverse leaf spring suspension.
PERFORMANCE: 289 cu in (4.7 L)
- Engine Capacity 289 cu in, 4,735.84 cu cm
- Fuel Consumption 18 m/imp gal, 15 ml US gal, 15.7 1 X 100 km
- Max Speed 153 mph, 246.3 km/h
- max number of engine rpm: 6,500
- standing 1/4 mile 13.8 sec, 0-50 mph (0-80 km/h) 3.3 sec
In September 1961, Shelby airmailed AC a letter asking them if they would build him a car modified to accept a V8 engine. AC agreed, provided a suitable engine could be found. He first went to Chevrolet to see if they would provide him with engines, Ford, however, wanted a car that could compete with the Corvette and they happened to have a brand new thin-wall small-block engine which could be used in this endeavor. It was Ford's 260 in HiPo (4.2 L) engine – a new lightweight, thin-wall cast small-block V8 tuned for high performance. Ford provided Shelby with two engines. In January 1962 mechanics at AC Cars in Thames Ditton, Surrey fitted the prototype chassis CSX0001 with a 260 ci Ford V8 borrowed from Ford in the UK; the 221 ci was never sent. However, early engineering drawings were titled "AC Ace 3.6". After testing and modification, the engine and transmission were removed and the chassis was air-freighted to Shelby in Los Angeles on 2 February 1962.His team fitted it with an engine and transmission in less than eight hours at Dean Moon's shop in Santa Fe Springs, California, and began road-testing.
Production proved to be easy, since AC had already made most of the modifications needed for the small-block V8 when they installed the 2.6 L Ford Zephyr engine, including the extensive rework of the AC Ace's front end. The most important modification was the fitting of a stronger rear differential to handle the increased engine power. A Salisbury 4HU unit with inboard disk brakes to reduce unsprung weight was chosen instead of the old ENV unit. It was the same unit used on the Jaguar E-Type. On the production version, the inboard brakes were moved outboard to reduce cost. The only modification of the front end of the first Cobra from that of the AC Ace 2.6 was the steering box, which had to be moved outward to clear the wider V8 motor.
AC Cobra (competition model)
Since late 1962 the 289 cu in (4.7 L) leaf-spring Cobra dominated the US domestic race series (USRRC), with only one race lost in three years. The results in the FIA GT class were different. This was mainly due to the number of circuits that had much higher sustained speeds. Aerodynamics were more important and put the roadster at a disadvantage. As a result, coupe versions were built.
A stroker 289 (325),and the larger 390/427 up to the "cammer" 427 was considered. Shelby was told at the eleventh hour to use the iron 427 cu in (7.0 L). There was little time to fully develop a competition vehicle. The coil spring Cobra production was slow and an insufficient number made to meet FIA's GT homologation. Therefore the S/C (street / competition) was produced by making available to the general production the full race options for the street.
427 cu in (7.0 L) (competition model)
- max power 325 hp
- max speed 161.5 mph, 260 km/h.
- capacity 426.96 cu in, 6,997 cu cm
- bore and stroke 4.02 x 3.08 in, 102.2 x 78.2 mm
Transmission 4-speed mechanical gearbox with ratios 1st 2.320, 2nd 1.540, 3rd 1.190, 4th 1 or option 1st 2.310, 2nd 1.690, 3rd 1.290, 4th 1
Dimensions and weight Weight 2,359 1b, 1,070 kg; Modified suspensions and frame. with Rear track 57.09 in, 1,450 mm an overall length 150.98 in, 3,835 mm; overall width 66.14 in, 1,680 mm; overall height 49.21 in, 1,250 mm; ground clearance 4.72 in, 120 mm; dry weight
Tyres fitted 7.75 x 15 with fuel tank capacity 35.2 imp gal, 42.2 US gal. Options axle ratio 2.92 : 1,tyres 6.70-15,competition engine (USA only), 4 Weber twin-barrel carburettors, and oil cooler.