1962 Shelby Cobra

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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.


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.

Production Numbers


MKI Roadster 260CI 75
MKI Roadster 289CI 51
Total Production 126

Performance Specs


Engine Size Carb. HP Torque 0 to 60 Quarter mile
HiPo V8 260ci 1x1bbl 260 at 5800 269 lb-ft at 4800 4.2 sec 13.8 sec
Race Ready 260ci 4 Weber Carbs 335 at 8500 - - -
Cobra 289ci - 280 at 5800 314 lb-ft at 3400 - -

Transmission


  • 4-Speed Manual

Paint & Colors


Exterior

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

Interior

Black

OEM Brochures


About the Knowledge Base


The Motorious Knowledge Base provides a comprehensive vehicle overview for the 1962 Shelby Cobra including production numbers, performance specs, factory colors, and OEM brochures. Check out additional model years or related content linked to this article or view other Makes and Models in our Research center.

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