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Could This Cobra Really Be Real?


Back in September we featured a Cobra that was found and photographed by one of our readers over in the UK. The owner caught wind of the conversation and chimed in claiming that the car was the real deal. The Shelby forums lite up with theories and doubts, but the fire went out as soon as it started. Well, the owner just emailed us with an update. Apparently, the coverage got him motivated enough to get it back on the road. He is currently rebuilding the engine, but has already resprayed it white. When asked why they did that, he replied, “I repainted it white because the log book said it was originally white back in ’64“. Let the flame fanning begin…


You can read through all the comments here on our old post to get caught up on the story. I’m not going to claim that I know if this is a real A.C. Cobra or not, but the owner has presented me with some very compelling evidence. I will leave it up to the Shelby guys to present all the reasons why it is not authentic, but you will have to make the final decision for yourself. Fake or real – I wish the owner luck with the project and hope to see it bombing around the backroads soon!


  1. Henrie

    Real or not , I would not rest the battery charger on the body without proper protection . Further, I don’t think the Brits knew ” ice “. white ( tongue in cheek ). If it was white it would have been an off-white ???

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  2. Mike G.

    This just might be the real deal, but it deserves a better paint job than that.

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  3. Scot Carr

    ~ Suspense builds, the mystery deepens.
    All best wishes to its owner, *me* !
    Please keep the updates coming.

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  4. Geri

    I know of 3 real Cobra’s –
    A friend traded a Sanger flat bottom boat for a 289 Cobra in ’64?, -he hated the car and sold it immediately. a drag racer friend in ’65 traded his 60 Corvette drag race car for a 427 weber carbed Cobra to drag race, as delivered it ran in the mid 11’s over 125 in the quarter. I got to ride in that beast out of the dealership and the third -in the 1980s when a friend who collects exotic cars had a 427 with 2 x 4bbls. they are beautiful cars and something to lust for. thanks for allowing me to relive a few moments in my past.

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  5. Rich

    I hope that’s not the new paint, whether the real deal or not it deserves better than a rattle can.

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  6. Rancho Bella

    If memory serves me (most of the time it doesn’t) the correct white would be Wimbledon White………..not gas range white.

    If I write what I think of the re-paint…………..it may start a range war…….giddy up

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  7. Don Sicura

    First I have to admit that by no means am I in any way knowledgeable enough to make an official determination, but I have seen enough of them to give my opinion that this car is real, I just have a hard time understanding why the very poor quality paint & bodywork on a car that is in the million dollar class, they would have done far better to leave it as it was acquired, and certainly there must be some provenance that the owner is aware of or possess about its history.

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  8. Mark E

    I’m the last person to harp about the wonderful “patina” of an old, tired paint job that’s half worn off but the earlier (not original?) paint with all the racing stickers on it was much more appealing to me. I have to admit though, that the light paint hides all the waves and flaws in the body panels…

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  9. Jeffry H

    If any of you remember the first post, this car is most likely an AC built in the UK after Shelby stopped importing the 427’s to the US. The image is from Shelby’s Wildlife by Wallace A. Wyss. Note the wire wheels and the AC brake and clutch pedals etc. Yes it was made on the same body bucks and work shop most likely but with no Cobra name.

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    • sundude

      You’re describing what was called an AC 289 Sports, and this featured car is certainly NOT one of those, nor is it an original Cobra from the 1960s.

      Most likely this is an Autokraft MkIV, but the vehicle’s registration casts some doubt over this as well.

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  10. Jeffry H

    After looking at the new photos i don’t think the bat charger will do any harm to the paint. This is the way it was done back when he raced it no doubt. Looks like a weekend job to me.

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  11. DRV

    JeffryH nailed it. Now to find out what it’s worth…
    Too bad it was “painted” white which ruined it for me.

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  12. DT

    I remember seeing old articles about restoring classic cars in British periodicals,and you would see cars rolled over onto old mattreses to access the rust and rot that was in the floorboards,thats how they do

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  13. Vince Habel

    I have driven them and think they are awful.

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  14. Dan h

    So what’s the CSX #??
    I once worked on a “Cobra” that was so authentic looking, you couldn’t tell. Only one problem, no CSX #. Unfortunately, I had to pretend it was real to appease the owner (who was paying me to work on it!).
    Pretty much all Cobra’s can be looked up on the Cobra Registry, based on the production #.

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    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      It actually has a COX number because it was left hand drive and built for export. I have seen the number plate, but I will leave it up to the owner to decide if they want to release that information.

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      • Jeffry H

        Don’t you mean Right hand drive?

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      • sundude

        You can buy a repop chassis plaque for $15-20, so that doesn’t count for much.

        Tell us the COX serial number, and we can check on its true history.

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      • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

        Oops, you’re right Jeffry – right hand drive! Thanks for catching that.

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      • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

        Sorry sundude, but like I said, it’s not my place to share that information. If the seller wants to release it, he will.

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  15. DT

    cob #??

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  16. Mike_B_SVT

    Awww man! All that awesome blue patina – poof! GONE!

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    • Mike_B_SVT

      Heck, that’s why I don’t want to mess with my crusty old car too much ~ I (and many others) enjoy that “well loved” look!

      It is part of a car’s story and charm, every nick, ding, dent and scratch, earned through a life of use and enjoyment. Hmm… I think Tow Mater said it well…

      “I don’t get them dents buffed, pulled, filled or painted by nobody. They way too valuble. I come by each one of ’em with my best friend Lightning McQueen. I don’t fix these. I wanna remember these dents forever.”

      Now, that is a bit on the extreme side, but then my car didn’t bomb around town with the likes of Lightning McQueen either (as far as I know), LOL!

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  17. Jason

    Painted white to obscure the trail?

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  18. John

    Real or not, I still want it. Cobras, or ACs are just shaped like sportscars are supposed to be shaped.

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  19. cory464

    its pretty well documented as a fraud. the guy used a wrecked shell and some random parts, then swiped the registration numbers off of a ford sedan. not sure why there is doubts.

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  20. cory464

    here is a very thorough discussion of why it is not a real car, it is apparently a true cobra body, but little else is legit on the car


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  21. John A


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  22. Cameron Bater UK

    Cobra, for others it may mean a whole pile of things, I define it as the quintisential Muscle Car. There have been many attempts to renew the classic design but classic is classic for a reason. I’m overjoyed now that a British company has started up production of the Cobra (partly because its a kick in the face to the USA for ruining our classic cars with “legislation” but mostly) because they’re going to sell for £70,000 a pop.

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  23. me

    Hi everyone
    The log book said white I had some cans of white and a spray gun I paid £11 of e bay ,so I did what any english guy would do.
    yes I have been told off by everyone.
    the engine does not like me I managed to strip an end bolt, thats got around . so I’m hidding.
    The engine is in very good conditon its so clean inside.
    Ive been sitting in it making vroom vroom nioses and it sounded good and orginal
    even when heal and toeing
    we stoped using matteress cause they often would catch alight when welding and smelt horrible.

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  24. Jim

    I don’t know enough about this car to say if its real or not. I was stationed in England for 2 years. When I went to there Mustang show I was shocked on how many real nice classic Mustangs were there. I was told by a gentman that a lot of cars were bought from GIs. When I moved to England I did ship my car there and back on the government dime.

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  25. me

    the engine runs
    the gearbox changes gear except a problem with 3rd the lever is binding with the gaiter.

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  26. Jim McArdle

    I agree with the other Jim I was stationed at RAF Lakenheath from 1997 to 1999. I brought my 66 Mustang 6 cylinder Convertible there. When I went to my first Mustang Show I could not believe how many Shelbys and Fastback were there. All bought from GIs. At the show I was offered 10,000 pounds for my car. My windshield still has the Mustang Club of GB sticker.

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  27. Jason


    This thread has become trolly and self-promoting.

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