"It was Carroll Shelby who was first to utilise the American V8 power unit, after racing in Europe in the late 1950s, he realised that a combination of a lightweight American V8 engine and a proven European chassis was a winning combination. He found that a Ford V8 installed in the chassis of an AC Ace was the answer, and thus birthing the Cobra. The car set new standards of performance for road cars and was highly effective in competition. The early cars featured a smaller capacity 260cu engine, which was later enlarged to 289cu. When fitted with ever more powerful engines, the cars’ chassis capabilities were stretched to the limit and Shelby approached Ford to take their concept a stage further.
The old adage, 'Win on Sunday, sell on Monday' became a reality for Ford. Together with Shelby they were able to create a new chassis which had an entirely new frame, dubbed Mk. III, with all-independent suspension by coil springs and double wishbones. Clothing this new frame was virtually the same bodywork as the concurrent 427 ‘big block’ Cobra, which also shared a similar chassis design. This final flowering of the 289 model received the 4,727cc Ford V8 engine which produced 271bhp with a top speed of 138mph but of more importance was its 5.5 second 0-60mph sprint, very few cars in the world could match that in the 1960s. Just 27 examples of the Mk. III were built, making this the rarest series manufactured Cobra variant before production ended altogether at the end of 1968.
COX6136 is one of very few examples originally supplied to the Unites States by Ford/AC Rep, Dave Wagner (The COX prefix denotes export). These examples were delivered without a powertrain and completed on arrival in the US. This example was completed by one of the world’s leading Cobra restorers, Bill Kemper who mimicked the well-known competition Cobra, CSX3018. The power unit fitted was a 1965 C5AE-H side oiler NASCAR engine with steel medium riser heads, coupled to a top loader close ratio four speed transmission. Also fitted was a 42 gallon S/C fuel tank and a correct 427 S/C interior. Finished in its original Guardsman Blue paintwork with a black roll-bar and black S/C side pipes, COX6136 shows a mere 3,011 miles on the odometer and comes complete with a sizeable history file. The history is recorded by the Shelby American World Registry and it has featured in several books, notably Trevor Legate's Classic Work on The Cobra. The Cobra comes complete with various sundry invoices, the current UK V5 Registration document and a tonneau cover.
Offered by a prolific collector, the Cobra is reported to be in very good condition throughout and would enhance any serious collection. Very rarely do Mk. III Cobras come to the open market and even fewer are as good as this one.