AC Cobra 260 1962 to 1963

The first of the V8 Cobras. Originally fitted with a 640-15 crossply tyre, which is still available. There was also a later radial tyre option, in 185VR15 size, which can be fitted as an alternative to the crossply.

The AC Cobra was the result of Texan racing driver Carroll Shelby slotting a Ford V8 into an AC Ace bodyshell and beefing up the chassis in an attempt to tame the power, although it was still a fearsome car to drive. The first 75 cars were known as the AC 260 because they featured a 260 cubic-inch (4261cc) Ford V8; a 289 cubic-inch (4727cc) V8 was fitted after this. These first cars were known as the MkI but in early 1963 the MkII arrived with rack-and-pinion steering in place of the previous cam-and-peg set-up.

At first available only in the US, from 1964 the AC Cobra was offered in the UK then in 1965 came the AC Cobra 427, known as the Series III and the fastest model yet. With a 427 cubic-inch (6997cc) V8 there was a stronger chassis and coil suspension; production lasted until 1967. Later would come a string of continuation cars including the MkIV, the 212 S/C, the Superblower and the CRS (Carbon Road Series).

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