Some history on the AC Cobra . . . . .

January 11, 1923
Leesburg, Texas. Carroll Hall Shelby is born to Warren Hall Shelby, a rural mail carrier, and Eloise Lawrence Shelby.

Carroll goes into the chicken raising business. His first batch of broilers nets a $5000 profit, but he goes bankrupt when his second group of chickens die of Limberneck disease.

January 1952.
Carroll drives in his first race, a quarter-mile drag meet, behind the wheel of a hot rod fitted with a flathead Ford V8.

May 1952.
At Norman, Oklahoma, Carroll drives in his first road race behind the wheel of an MG-TC, taking first place in competition with other MGs. The same day, against hotter competition from Jaguar XK 120s, he wins again!

January 1954.
Shelby attracts the attention of John Wyer, Aston Martin's team manager and meets International Grand Prix driving greats Juan Ganglo and Peter Collins. On the strength of Shelby's racing expertise behind the wheel of the Cad-Allard, Wyer Invites shelby to co-drive an Aston -Martin DB3 at Sebring, Florida.

April 1954.
Shelby goes to Europe and drives an Aston-Martin DBR3 for Wyer, finishing a very respectable second against C-Type Jags at Aintree, leading to a ride with the Aston-Martin team at Le Mans in June 1954, co-driving with Paul Frére. Shelby continues to race Aston-Martins in Europe for 1954, returning to the States in August.

Early 1957.
Carroll Shelby Sports Cars opens at 5611 Yales in Dallas, Texas, with backing from Dick Hall, an oilman from Abilena, Texas, and brother of Jim Hall who built the Chararral cars.

Out of racing, Shelby pursues another career and opens his "Shelby School of High Performance Driving". A $90 ad in Sports Car Graphic returns $1400 in request for literature. Pete Brock, a talented automotive designer, stylist, and driver prepares the curriculum and helps with the teaching duties.

September 1961.
When AC Cars of Thames Ditton, England, loses the source for its six-cylinder Bristol engine for its two-seat roadster, Carroll Shelby airmails a letter of proposal to the company to keep building the chassis for a special Shelby sports car to be powered by an American V8. As yet, he knows nothing of a new lightweight, thinwall-cast, small-block Ford V8.

October 1961
Charles Hurlock, owner of AC Cars, returns Shelby's letter, stating he would be interested in Shelby's plan as long as a suitable engine replacement could be found in the States. The same month, Shelby finds out about the new 221-cube Ford small-block and dispatches a letter to Dave Evans explaining his idea for a sports car and his need for a V8.

February 1962
The first 260 Roadster, minus engine and transmission, is air freighted on February 2, 1962, to Shelby's shop in Southern California. Carroll has a dream revealing to him the name Cobra appearing on the front of his car. In Carroll's words, "I woke up and jotted the name down on a pad which I kept by my bedside-a sort of ideas pad- and went back to sleep. Next morning when I looked at the name 'Cobra,' I knew it was right." In less than eight hours, a 260 HiPo and Borg-Warner four-speed are installed and Shelby and friend Dean Moon test drive the new Cobra, looking to balt Corvettes, but none are found.

March 1962.
Shelby-American begins operations at a shop on Princeton Drive in Venice, California, and hires Ray Geddes, a Ford finance business school graduate who comes aboard at Shelby-American to coordinate the program whith Ford. Among his first duties are his efforts to keep Ford's involvement at a low profile due to Ford's liability concerns.

April 1962.
CSX 2000, the first Cobra, is painted a pearlescent yellow by Dean Jeffries and shipped to the New York Auto Show where it appears in the Ford display. Dealers begin ordering and with deposits in the bank, Shelby-American formatly commits to building its new Cobra.

May 1962.
Shelby promotes his Cobra by offering test drives to the automotive press, who respond with supertatives. The May 1962 issue of Sports Car Graphic describes its acceleration as explosive. CSX 2001 (the second Cobra built) is shipped by air from England (minus engine, transmission, and rearend) to New York and is prepared by Ed Hugas in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. CSX 2002 is air freighted to Los Angeles and built into the first competition Cobra.

June 1962
Production is slow as Shelby-American wrestles with start-up problems due to the fact that the AC chassis requires extensive engineering. Meanwhile, CSX 2000 is repainted a different color each time a different magazine test drives it, giving the appearance of many cars in production. The Cobra has a 1-ton advantage over the Corvette.

August 1962.
Shelby-American submits papers to homologate the Cobra as a GT III car in the eyes of the FIA, the Federeation Internationale de L'Automobile. On August 6, the FIA homologates the Cobra in the more-than 2-liter class for the FIA Manufacturers' Championship. At least 100 cars had to be built within 12 months, but at the time of approval, just eight Cobras had been completed. According to Carroll, he comtemplated switching the chassis and body to an alternative due to continued problems.

October 13, 1962.
Shelby-American enters the Cobra in its first race, a three-hour contest with Bill Krause behind the wheel, opening the Los Angeles Times Grand Prix. Krause, with a poor start, falls back, then takes the lead at lap nine, but breaks a rear hub and does not finish. The Cobra, however, is definitely lighter and faster than the new Corvette Stingray. Phil Remington at Shelby-American goes to work building stronger rear hubs starting with forging blands from Halibrand.

January 1963.
Dave MacDonald and Ken Miles sign to drive Cobras for Shelby-American and place first and second at Riverside, beating the Corvette Stingrays. Miles is so confident, he pits for a drink of water and relaps the Corvettes to finish behind MacDonald. Ian Garrad, an Englishman living Southern California, feels he could imitate the Cobra with a 260 Ford version of the little four-cylinder British Sunbeam Alpine roadster. Ken Miles is first hired to build a prototype "Tiger," a job that is handed over to Shelby-American.

June 1963.
Shelby-American completes its first 125 Cobras. Because Ford refuses to finance a Cobra Le Mans effort, Shelby puts together a deal with AC Cars and Ed Hugus, who prepare one car each. The top Cobra finishes seventh.

September 1963.
Shelby begins the Daytona Coupe project, for the roadster lacks he aerodynamics necessary for 200mph down the Mulsanne Straight. Pete Brock is the designer, Cobra production passes 170. The first Cooper Monacos -King Cobra- are ordered. Dan Gurney, in winning the Bridgehampton 500KM in a Cobra, becomes the first American driver to win an FIA race in an American car.

March 1964.
Shelby-American enters a 427-engine leaf-spring Cobra, CSX 2166, at Sebring to the prototype class. Ken Miles spins off course in practice and hits the one tree in sight, but the 427 test mule is fixed for the race the next day. The Cobras, for the first time, beat the Ferrari GTOs. At Sebring, Carroll Shelby meets with the Hurlock Brothers from AC Cars and Ford design engineer Klaus Arning to develop a big-block Cobra.

April 1964.
After Sebring, Cobra led Ferrari in FIA points for the GT III championship, and Shelby-American decides to go to Europe to race. Two months before Le Mans, the Sarthe circuit is closed off for testing. The Cobras and Ford's new GT-40 are tested at Le Mans. Later, on April 26, the Cobra compete at the Targa Floria. Oddly, the new Porsche 904s truimph over Ferrari, followed by the Cobra.

The Cobras and Shelby-American win the biggest race of all in Europe, the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The Cobra is fourth overall and first in GT, defeating Ferrari.

October 1964.
The prototype 427 Cobra, under development, is tested at Silverstone in England and later in the States.

November 1964.
Shelby-American completes the 427 Cobra prototype. The 289 Cobra Roadster again wins the SCCA A-production national championship.

January 1965.
The 427 Cobra, featuring a tube frame, aluminum body, and coil spring chassis, is unveiled at a press introduction at Riverside International Raceway. Shelby-American begins its move to Los Angles International Airport facility. Ford turns its GT-40 project over to Shelby- American.

February 1965.
With Shelby handling the racing program, Ford's GT-4, painted in Shelby Guardsman Blue with two white stripes, wins its first race, at Daytona. The Shelby Mustang GT350 also wins its first race, at Green Valley, Texas. Shelby-American begins production of its Ferrari-beating missle, the coupe version of the 427 Cobra Roadster. At Daytona, the Cobra Daytona Coupe, with Jo Schlesser and Harold Keck driving is first in the GT class.

April 1965.
The Cobra team flies to Europe to continue its winning season. The first 427 street Cobra is finished.

March 1967.
The last 427 Cobra Roadster is built.

August 1968.
The last brand-new 427 Cobra Roadster is sold by Shelby.

December 1969.
Shelby Automotive Racing Company closes.

February 1970.
Ford ends its longterm racing agreement with Carroll Shelby.

January 1989.
The Viper is first shown at the Detriot Automobile Show. Shelby is there.

November 1989.
Shelby begins his 427 Cobra S/C project, continuing production of "leftover" S/C models from 1966.