AUTO KRAFT PRE-MKIV
Caroll Sheby is the key man in the Cobra history, after his win at Le Mans in ‘59 with Aston Martin he was forced to retire due to heart problems. Shelby, a true American selt made man was more than a good driver, he was also a terrific businessman and soon decided to build his own race car with a big american V8 engine … and win Le Mans ! in ‘61 he putted all his efforts in the project. In the meantime the last AC’s model : the Ace designed by Tojeiro, was fitted with an antic 2.0liter Bristol engine but already performed remarkably having won the 2.0liter class at Le Mans in ‘60, an interesting prelude. Shelby contacted Ford who desired to come back to the tracks an reconstructs its image after the Edsel experience. The Texan brought a prototype AC Ace in California and installed the all new V8 260ci, a light and modern engine. As soon as the car was finished, Caroll took the wheel and went for a frantic ride with one of Ford’s directors as passenger. The late who was probably so happy to be still alive after this “test” accepted to help with the financing of a production serial and a race team the “ Shelby AC/ Cobra powered by Ford” was born. The first cars were fitted with the 260 but soon, the famous 289 HP was installed making the Cobra a legendary car. In ‘65 the 427 was installed and chassis was re-designed to adopte four coil springs on the suspension. In total, about 1000 Cobras were built in three series called MKI/MKII/MKIII, in only five years of production. The Shelby American Racing won an incredible amount of races until 1965, the year the coupes won Le Mans and the manufacturer’s championship. As true example of the American dream ! Caroll Shelby won Le Mans with his cars. The Cobras were immensely popular cars and during the 70s a lot of replica makers appeared both in UK and USA, this situation embarrassed Ford who still had the “Cobra” rights. In ‘78 an ex AC worker Brian Angliss specialised in Cobras and GT40s restoration created “Auto Kraft” and bought from AC most of the original AC tooling, after producing a very high quality pre-serial his own Cobras, he got from Ford the agreement to build and logically named them “MK IVs” as the last Cobras were the MK IIIs. In ‘86 he acquired AC and built a total of about 480 cars.
Prix : 240 000 £
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