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1962 Shelby Cobra

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General Overview

AC, a British specialty manufacturer was rumored to soon go bankrupt, and needed an engine to replace their dated pre-World War II design by BMW.

Carroll Shelby airmailed AC a letter asking them if they would build him a car modified to accept a V8 engine. They agreed and first approached GM who responded with a “No” because they didn’t want the Corvette to have any competition. However, Ford did want a car to compete with the Corvette and offered up their new 260 ci HiPo 4.2L V8 that was a lightweight, thin-wall cast small block V8.

AC threw in the engine and began testing. After modifications and proper fitment, the engine and transmission were removed, and the chassis was air-freighted to Shelby in Los Angeles. His team fit it with an engine and transmission in less that eight hours at Dean Moon’s shop in Santa Fe Springs, CA, and began road-testing.

The first 75 Cobra Mark I’s were fitted with the 260 ci. The remaining 51 Mark I models were fitted with a larger version of the Windsor Ford engine, the 289 ci.

And so the legend began, and would continue to be produced through 1967.

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Manufacturer Original Sales Brochures


Engine 0 to 60 MPH Quarter Mile Source
260ci 4.2 sec 13.8 sec @ 112 mph Road & Track


Available Engines:
260ci HiPo V8 260ci 1x1bbl 260 hp @ 5800 269 lb-ft @ 4800
260ci Race Ready 260ci 4 Weber Carburetors 335 hp @ 8500 n/a
289ci 289ci n/a 280 hp @ 5800 314 lb-ft @ 3400
Available Transmissions:
  • 4-Speed Manual

Factory Exterior Colors

  • Black
  • Titanium
  • Shelby Guardsman Blue
  • Monza Red
  • Navy Blue
  • Dark Silver
  • Wimbledon White
  • Yellow

Factory Interior Colors

  • Black

Production Numbers

  • MKI Roadster 260ci
    Total productions 75
  • MKI Roadster 289ci
    Total productions 51

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