1968 AC Cobra427 Roadster par Brian Angliss
Year of manufacture1968
Car typeConvertible / Roadster
Chassis n° COX6128
- The forgotten swedish collection
- A initial film-star role !
- One of Brian Angliss's first creations
- Almost new condition
- Conforming to 427 S/C specifications
Carroll Shelby stopped building Cobras at the end of 1966. By then the car was outdated on the race track and unable to comply with safety and emission standards soon to be introduced for road use. Not only that - Shelby's rivals were starting to produce less radical and more comfortable sports cars.
AC Cars continued to build a few Cobras on 427 chassis (with coil sprung suspension) and a 289 engine. The small-scale British company tried to keep the adventure going with the AC 428, using the mechanical base of the 427, but with little success. With limited means it was a struggle to survive, let alone develop the model, and the Cobra ceased to be a priority. This became a problem for owners once spare parts were no longer being made. The components became increasingly rare during the 1970s, making it difficult to maintain and repair the cars.
It was at this point that Brian Angliss appeared on the scene. He ran a Cobra restoration workshop in England, and was always looking for stock of these rapidly disappearing parts. He tracked down moulds from various sub-contractors and began to fabricate the parts himself, selling them under the name " Cobra Parts ". His business expanded until it was almost possible to manufacture a whole car, complete with aluminium bodywork, but at this point Angliss was still primarily a parts supplier. By 1982, demand was so high that he set up a new business called Autokraft. Having negotiated the agreement of AC Cars, he began to build the "Autocraft IV" using AC tools, jigs and even employing some of the original craftsmen. Apart from a few modernising touches, it was built to the original Cobra specification.
The car on offer dates from the very start of Brian Angliss's adventure, from the era of 'Cobra Parts' before Autokraft began. According to the Shelby American World Registry, n°COX6128 was one of five final (extended) chassis built by AC Cars. These five chassis were delivered to Paramount Films to be fitted with fanciful bodies (like Mercedes SSK-style), to be used in the film Those Daring Young Men in their Jaunty Jalopies (also known as Monte Carlo or Bust !) starring Tony Curtis.
In a certificate issued by Autokraft and dated 21 August 1981, Brian Angliss states that he had previously purchased chassis COX6128 and had rebuilt it to 427 Cobra SC specifications, using original parts from AC Cars. Earlier, on 30 March 1977, he had issued a Cobra Parts invoice for £4200 for " an incomplete AC Cobra Mk3 chassis to be exported to Sweden. Chassis no. COX6128 ". There is another bill, from the same date, for £600 for " a second-hand 7-litre Ford engine suitable for an AC Cobra 427 ".
The sole owner of this car, our Swedish collector, had asked Brian Angliss, during the Cobra Parts era, to build him an AC Cobra S/C to Shelby American spec, that he wanted to keep alongside his 289. The prefix of the chassis number confirms it was one of the sequence of left-hand drive cars built by AC Cars for the European market (as opposed to the " CSX " built by Shelby American).
We are therefore in the presence of a car that was built by one of the most competent workshops in this field, before the mania for Cobra replicas began. The car has virtually never been driven, and has been kept for many years in a garage protected from humidity alongside the 289. It is presented in superb, as-new condition. With its impressive muscular body, Halibrand magnesium wheels, side exhaust, small roll hoop, minimalist styling and two " Monza " fuel caps, it has the animal looks to match a performance that made it the most exhilarating sports car of its day. After a brief period when production stopped, interest in the outstanding features of the Cobra was quickly revived. This order, placed in 1977 by our Swedish collector, is a striking example. One of the first Cobras to be constructed by Brian Angliss, the restrained dark blue body with black interior conceals the machine's aggressive potential to take off at the first blip of the throttle.
For more information and photos: https://www.artcurial.com/fr/lot-1968-ac-cobra-427-roadster-par-brian-angliss-3980-75
Photos © Christophe Gasco