Performance, Technical Data, Features, Comparisons, History – a review.
Although Carroll Shelby discontinued importing cars from AC in the UK in 1967, AC Cars continued to create the AC convertible with coil spring suspension, non flared wings, and powered by the small block Ford 289 V8 engine.
Throughout Europe, it was marketed designated the AC 289 sports car until production.
In 1982, the AC 289 continued to be constructed by Autokraft, an AC Cobra parts supplier, and has been renamed the Autokraft Mark 4.
Following litigation by Carroll Shelby, production ended, but resumed in 1987 in a joint venture between Ford and AC the Mark 4 was renamed the AC Mark 4, and powered by the 302 ci Ford V8 engine.
In 1990, a version was introduced with output increased to 370 bhp removing the catalytic converter, and by using an aluminum head, a single Holley 4-barrrel carburettor.
Production of both variants finished in 1996 when a combined total of 480 units were built.
With new management, AC Cars was restructured in 1996 and the company launched two cars with body styling similar to that of the Cobra.
The first was powered by a supercharged 302 ci Ford V8 engine, and that the Superblower, having an aluminum body , developing 320 bhp.
Another was a more keenly priced automobile called the Carbon Road Series (CRS), with a carbon fibre body, and a detuned 302 ci Ford V8 engine developing 225 bhp.
37 CRS’s and 22 Superblowers had been built when production ended in 2001.
The first pre-production AC Cobra 260 sports car had 655 of the block 289’s and 260 were built, which meant that the one could have been CSX2655 a chassis number CSX2000 and, in total.
In 1965, the layout of the chassis happened, and involved strengthening, and replacement of the leaf springs with all around coil spring suspension.
The chassis number of the first Mark 3 AC Cobra, with chassis and the 427 engine, was CSX3000.
Since, by 1967, when production of the 427 Cobra finished, a total of 344 units were built, which meant that the unit could have been CSX3344.
With the unit designated CSX4000, the 427 Cobra was reborn, From the late 1980’s.
The new set of the iconic model was given the name”Continuation Cobra”.
These”Continuation” sports cars were originally constructed in Las Vegas, and sanctioned by the Shelby organisation.
The idea was to recreate the 1960’s icon, but with latter day additions.
It was to continue on where production of the 427 S/C that is final finished, which was around CSX3560, and was the 427 S/C Shelby Continuation Cobra which was in demand.
In 1996, the first sports car that was CSX4000 used a chassis constructed by McCluskey Limited, together with the produced components, and rebuilt Ford V8 engines.
Continuation Cobras’ majority were built with fibreglass bodies, although some were ordered with bodies made from aluminum, and even carbon fibre.
Since 2009, 427 Cobras and Continuation 289 were built by AC Heritage in the United Kingdom, under permit to AC.
In 1965, AC produced only 19 rolling chassis for the 427 Competition Cobra, and two of these, CSX3303 and CSX3015, were modified with the addition of 2 Paxton superchargers to develop 800 bhp.
The 427 Supersnake was built to be a street.
Only two Supersnakes were built, and Carroll Shelby kept CSX3015, whilst CSX3303 was introduced by him to his friend Bill Cosby.