he AC Cobra 427 is a legendary sports car that was produced by the British car manufacturer AC Cars from 1965 to 1967. The car was designed by Carroll Shelby, an American racing driver and entrepreneur, who wanted to create a powerful and fast sports car that could compete with the best European cars of the time.
The AC Cobra 427 was based on the AC Ace, a small British sports car that was powered by a six-cylinder engine. Shelby replaced the engine with a Ford V8 engine, which was modified to produce 425 horsepower. The car also had a lightweight body made of aluminum and fiberglass, which made it much faster and more agile than its competitors.
The AC Cobra 427 was an instant success on the racetrack, winning numerous races and setting several speed records. It was also popular with wealthy car enthusiasts, who were drawn to its sleek design and powerful engine. However, the car was also notorious for its lack of safety features, which made it dangerous to drive at high speeds.
Despite its short production run, the AC Cobra 427 has become an iconic sports car and a symbol of the golden age of American muscle cars. Today, it is highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts, and is considered one of the most valuable and desirable sports cars in the world.
1965 Shelby 427 Cobra
Chassis no. CSX3110
A very early street-chassis 427 Cobra
Believed to be the first Cobra delivered with the Kelsey-Hayes “Sunburst”wheels. Formerly owned by the president of Cobra Club Switzerland. Although Carroll Shelby's original 289 Cobra certainly wasn't lacking in terms of horsepower, it was only natural that the chicken farmer turned racing driver would eventually slot a big block V-8 into the engine bay.
Boasting over 400 bhp, the new 427 cu. in. V-8 engine necessitated a complete redesign of the Cobra's chassis to ensure proper handling, measuring five inches wider and boasting coil springs in place of the previous leaf springs. Just over 300 427 Cobras were built.
The 427 Cobra presented here is amongst the earliest road-going 427 Cobras produced, just the 10' street chassis produced (with the first being CSX 3101). Chassis number CSX 3110 was finished in Rangoon Red over a Black leather interior. Its production started in December of
1965 and was finished in January of 1966. Interestingly, this is believed to be the first 427 Cobra by chassis number to be fitted with the desirable Kelsey-Hayes 7.5" aluminum “Sunburst” wheels.
According to the SAAC World Registry of Cobras and GT40s the car was billed to the Marshall Motor Company of Mayfield Heights, Ohio. However, its first owner and early ownership history is unknown. The car first emerged in Florida in the mid-1970's. At that time, Pat Conroy
purchased CSX 31 10 in Florida as a wreck for $10,000. At the time, the car had damage to its left side and front and had been given a rebuilt vehicle VIN by the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles, but was eventually retitled as CSX 31 10. The car was noted as retaining its wide front and rear fenders, trademarks of early 427’s, and was allegedly showing 10,000 miles (about 16093.44 km) on its odometer.
Conroy brought the Cobra home to Pennsylvania and sought to restore CSX 3110 to its former glory but over the years, he never found the time. As a result, the car sat in his garage and was purchased as a project by Sandy Sadler, also of Pennsylvania, in 1987. With Sadler, the car was finally restored to its original specification and colour scheme.
The Cobra remained with him twenty-five years and in 2002 was sold to Henri-Louis Maunoir of Geneva, Switzerland, who was a former president of the Cobra Club Switzerland. Purchased by the current owner, a Swiss collector and racing driver, in October of 2006, the car remains in excellent condition and is ready to be enjoyed by its next owner.
Truly a performance car icon, Shelby's Cobra took the best of British engineering, added American horsepower and made a car that could outrun anything on the road in its day. Any collector of post-war sports cars needs to have Cobra in their garage, and CSX 31 10 would
surely be brilliant to drive and enjoy on the open road.