AC - AC Cobra

Carroll Shelby had asked AC to fit the new small block 221cubic Ford V8 into the AC Ace, and this car became the AC Ace 3.6. AC had in any case evolved the AC Ace for 1961 using the 6 cylinder 2553cc Ford Zephyr engine tuned by Ruddspeed (along with an option of the special cylinder head developed and supplied by Raymond Mays). As the AC Ace had already been reworked to take the larger weight of the Ford Zodiac 6 cylinder engine, the main job for installing the Ford V8 was to rearrange the steering and installing a stronger Salisbury differential, which was now fitted with inboard disc brakes. The engineless prototype was sent out from Thames Ditton to the USA and Shelby American fitted the 4260cc "260" as well as making some changes for the cars to follow, these being more in the interest of cost cutting for when production started. After this was completed and signed off, the arrangement was that AC would export finished cars for the US for the Ford engines and gearboxes to be installed at Shelby in California. The first lot of chassis had the Ford 260 engine installed, and the remainder were fitted with the larger Ford 4727cc "289". In 1965 a 7 litre 427 was also available. After the AC Cobras stopped flowing to Shelby in 1967, AC continued to make the AC Cobra in the UK until 1969.

The Mk2 AC Cobra was reworked to have a rack and pinion steering, using the same componets as used on the MGB. For 1965 a newly designed chassis with larger diameter tubes was used, called the Mk3, with coil springs designed in collaboration with Ford which was fitted with 7 litre Ford big block, a model called the "427", which ran alongside the 289 production. AC also sold cars direct into Europe until 1969.

AC Cobra tyre size:  AC listed the original AC Cobra with the 260 engine from 1962 with 6.40x15 tyre size - the radial equivalent size being 185VR15 . For the Cobra 289 and 427, tyre size was listed with this same radial ply 185R15 size. In addition to our Blockley 185VR15 size, Blockley have usually supplied these AC Cobra owners with the wider version of the 185VR15 tyre which is the Blockley 205/70R15 size, which has the same diameter but wider overall. And occasionally customers have requested our larger 215/70VR15 size. See full details of all these tyres at the links below:

Blockley Products for AC AC Cobra


Blockley Radial

£155.00 (£186.00 inc. VAT)

15/16 inch Rim Band (45mm wide)

Blockley Rim Band

£3.30 (£3.96 inc. VAT)


Blockley Radial

£174.00 (£208.80 inc. VAT)

650/700Lx15 Race Valved Tube

Blockley Race Valved Inner Tube

£39.00 (£46.80 inc. VAT)


Radial Tyre

£198.00 (£237.60 inc. VAT)