The Only AC Cobra Delivered New in Canada Is a Gorgeous 55-Year-Old Time Capsule

The Shelby Cobra is a living legend. One of the most iconic American cars ever built, the Cobra has won the hearts of muscle car enthusiasts with its sexy looks, lightweight construction, and potent V8 engines. One of Carroll Shelby's finest efforts, the Cobra is now a prized collectible.
1966 AC Cobra 289 10 photos
Photo: Legendary Motorcar/YouTube
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I'm sure everyone knows the story of this 1960s convertible. The one about how Carroll imported AC Ace bodies and chassis to the U.S. to fit them with all sorts of V8 mills. But we often forget that AC also built its own version of the Cobra. It was nearly identical to Shelby's roadster, but AC stuck with the 289 (4.7-liter) V8 when Shelby switched to the 427 (7.0-liter) big-block.

AC started selling its Cobra in 1963. It was mostly destined for the European and British markets, but some examples made it overseas. This black-painted version is one of them. Delivered to Montreal in 1966, it's the one AC Cobra that's been sold brand-new in Canada. Not only that, but it's also the only one that spent its entire life in the country north of the U.S.

That's enough to make a classic special, but there's a lot more to it. This roadster has been in the same family from 1969 until recently, and it's as original as they get. And not only does it still feature its original, matching-numbers body, drivetrain, and chassis, it hasn't been hot-rodded and raced. That is a rare feat for a Cobra.

Now resting in the Legendary Motorcar collection, the AC Cobra looks like it just rolled off the assembly line. Yes, as the paint suggests, it has been restored a while ago, but it's still a gorgeous time capsule. And while I'm not a fan of black-painted cars, I think this Cobra looks downright fantastic. A bit more classy than the usual AC, somewhat refreshing given that most Cobras came in flashier finishes.

The only thing missing from this cool presentation is some driving footage. That's a bit disappointing, to be honest, but at least there's a cold start and some revving at the 6:35-minute mark.

The video is a bit long at eight minutes, but I can assure you it's worth it. You'll learn a few things about the Euro-spec Cobra and how to tell them apart from Shelby's more muscular creations. It's arguably the coolest Cobra feature I've seen in a long time.

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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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