1964 Shelby Cobra
Shelby Cobra: Carroll Shelby, the creator and genius behind the 1964 Shelby Cobra and its offspring, won the LeMans 24 hour race in 1959 and was then forced to quit racing due to health problems. Instead of giving up the life of cars he loved, he turned to design. The Shelby Cobras are cars of legend and are officially known as AC Cobras. These are stylish and extremely fast classic cars that enthusiasts loved back in the ‘60s and still get excited about today.
The 1964 Shelby Cobra has its origins in the 1950s AC Ace. With a simple Chassis, a six-cylinder engine made the Ace an effective race care. When the AC Ace engine of choice was phased out, however, it looked like the end for the sporty little car. When Shelby heard about this, he stepped in and partnered with AC Ace to design the first AC Cobra in 1961. The six-cylinder was replaced with more powerful Ford V8 engines and the classic sports car was born. The first models were sold in the U.S. in 1962.
The 1964 Shelby Cobra was part of the second generation, which lasted from 1963 to 1965. These models were called the Mark II. Just over 500 Mark II Cobras were produced and differed from the previous Mark I in several ways. The Mark II engine was bigger at 289 cubic inches, but the overall dimensions of the car remained the same.
The Mark II 1964 Shelby Cobra may have retained the size of the previous generation, but its front end was redesigned and it received rack and pinion steering and transverse leaf spring suspension. The steering rack and column in the new version came from the MGB and the VW Beetle, respectively.
Although originally only meant for sale in the U.S., the 1964 Shelby Cobra launched in Europe at the end of the year. The Mark II gave way to the III in 1965 with a new chassis and a big 427-cubic inch engine. All models of the Cobra remain extremely collectible cars to this day, but the ’64 is among the most popular.