Shelby Cobra 289, an Anglo-American encounter
The association between American Carroll Shelby, former driver and wizard tuner, and the British manufacturer AC Cars led to the creation of one of the most famous sports cars of the 1960s: the Shelby Cobra.
Carroll Shelby retired as a driver in 1960 and when he decided to create a racing GT capable of taking the fight to Ferrari, he remembered the 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans.
He won that year’s race in the Aston Martin he shared with English driver Roy Salvadori and he had also spotted the little AC Bristol of John Turner and Ted Whiteaway, victorious in the 2-litre category and seventh overall. He reached agreement with AC for the chassis and Ford for the installation of the V8 engine that powered the Fairlane. The engine in question came in several versions: 4.2 litres, 4.7 litres and the most powerful, 7 litres!
The Shelby Cobra was instantly recognisable by its silhouette and the sound of its engine and it became one of the ultimate weapons in the GT fields in the 1960s. Today, it is one of the most spectacular cars in Sixties Endurance Racing in its 289 version. This denomination is a reference to the English measurement of its cubic capacity: 289 cubic inches or 4.7 litres.
The 289 was built between 1963 and 1965, which makes it eligible for the traditional 2-hour Sixties Endurance events.