AC Cobra 427 (1965 – 1967) Review

AC Cobra 427 (1965 – 1967) At A Glance


+Brutal, fearsome performance

-A million imitators, scary handling, not for the faint hearted

The AC Cobra that everyone remembers was the wide-bodied 427. Instantly recognised by its bulging rear wings to cover much larger tyres and aggressively flared front wings, this became the definitive Cobra shape. To handle Ford's big-block 7.0-litre V8, a thorough reworking of the Cobra’s chassis was needed - the chassis tubes were larger, with more crossmembers, and suspension was unequal-length wishbones with coil springs. Most of these cars were sold witrh the 427cu in V8 in various states of tune, but a few came with the smaller-bore/longer-stroke 428cu in power unit. 

The new car was designed in cooperation with Ford in Detroit, and the 'side oiler' Ford 427 engine developed 425bhp, giving the car a claimed top speed of 164mph in the standard form. But the competition model delivered 485bhp for a maximum speed of a scacely believable 185mph. Cobra Mark III production began on 1 January 1965 after two prototypes had been sent to the United States in October 1964. Despite considerable competition success, the AC Cobra 427 didn't sell well as a road car, and ended up being a financial failure, with production ending after just two years. A legend today.