The name Carroll Shelby is instantly recognisable to anyone in the auto industry, particularly those with an interest in high-performance vehicles. The Shelby name is one that is synonymous with high performance and immediately brings to mind the image of the brutally powerful machines that have torn up both streets and racetracks across the world for decades. Back in 1959, a 36-year-old Shelby, by then a seasoned racing competitor, reached the pinnacle of his on-track career by co-driving an Aston Martin DB1 to victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Shelby was very impressed with the performance of another car on the track – a six-cylinder roadster called the AC Ace, a car that had been around since 1953 and was a product of AC Cars, a small English manufacturer. Then in 1961, following his retirement from racing, Shelby’s genius for modification came to the forefront when he began shipping the Ace to his workshop in California and cramming Ford V8’s into the engine bay.
What resulted was a stunningly powerful and nimble vehicle known as the AC Cobra. Originally fitted with a 3.6-litre V8, the Cobra would get more and more powerful and, in its most ultimate form evolved into the 7 litre V8 powered 427 Cobra. At the time, the Cobra was the world’s fastest production car, capable of 265km/h and 0-100km/h in 4.2 seconds instantly making it a legend amongst car enthusiasts.
This particular car is a nicely built replica of the famous AC Cobra Shelby created all those years ago. Kit was made in late 1980’s by a company called Kiwi Race Cars who still sell kits today. Picked up in Ipswich QLD by the current owner as an unfinished project in 2009, work began to turn a bunch of parts in a garage into the beast you see pictured here. A lot of work was required as laws had changed since the kit was originally designed in the 80s to modern standards so engineering was required which meant strengthening of chassis plus complying with emission standards and current ADR’s. The build took was a long process to make sure it was right with the car finally being completed in 2012 and first registered in August 2013.
After much deliberation on what colour to paint the car, Ford Galaxy metallic blue was chosen to adorn the cars bodywork. Chrome accents including bumperettes and roll bars provide a nice contrast against the dark coloured paintwork. The trim is neatly presented with black and blue covered sports seats and a nicely trimmed dash.
Lift up the hood of the Cobra and you will find a 260 Boss 32 valve V8 sourced from a BA XR8 falcon. Likewise, the same car was used for the Tremec 3650 5 speed manual transmission. It’s hard to go wrong with a combo that Ford engineers designed to work together from the factory. Suspension in the front end is Holden Torana components with Axis Power Steering. The rear end uses Jag Independent rear suspension with 2.75 ratio. Tucked away under the back is a new 62 Litre fuel tank. The car sits on a set of 15” cobra style wheel with imitation knock off centres and white lettered tyres. A cool open top and nimble little muscle car with V8 grunt under the bonnet and three pedals for a raw and super enjoyable driving experience.