1959 Le Mans winner and Aston Martin driver Carroll Shelby created the most sought-after American muscle car in history, the Shelby Cobra.
In 1962 British sports cars manufacturer AC was approached by Carroll Shelby to use a small block Ford V8 engine in the Ace chassis, producing the AC Cobra. Shelby needed a car that could compete with the Chevrolet Corvette in US sports car racing.
At the end of the 1964 racing season, the Cobra was being outclassed in sports car racing by Ferrari. Carroll Shelby decided he needed a bigger engine so a big block Ford 390ci V8 was installed in a Cobra and the result was scary and too dangerous…on the limit. It was decided that a completely new chassis was needed, so with the combined help of Ford and the experience of the AC engineers, the new MKIII was born with a bigger 427ci (7.0litre, 385bhp / 287kw) engine, making the new AC Cobra MKIII an absolutely unbeatable 1,000 kg race car. Unfortunately, the car missed homologation for the 1965 season and was not raced by the Shelby team.
It was however raced successfully by many privateers and went on to win races all the way into the 1970s. Today the Shelby Cobra 427 S/C cars are the most sought after and replicated automobiles ever.
The Shelby Cobra 427 S/C genealogy and pedigree are shared with the legendary 289ci Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe which went on to become the first and only American-made FIA World Sportscar Champion in 1965.