A brief history of the AC Cobra

1954 AC Ace, based upon John Tojeiro's twin tube chassis with an AC engine, is unveiled at the Earls Court Motor Show, London. Described by 'The Autocar' as "Quite one of the best looking cars at Earls Court".
1956 AC Ace now available with Bristol six cylinder 2 litre engines to replace existing Ace engine.
1960 Bristol was about to switch to V8 engines for its cars and so would be ceasing the production of the V6's. The Ford powered ACE RS2.6 was born.
October 1961 Retired racer Carroll Shelby visited the Thames Ditton Factory in England. Shelby's aim was to build a dream sports car - a machine that he was later happy to tell people would "blow Ferrari's ass off". Shelby returned to the US and arranged for a pair of Fairlane engines, selected because of their lightweight, to be sent to the AC factory (Ford agreed to supply these engines).
February 1962 First prototype. CSX 2002, delivered, minus the engine, to Shelby in Santa Fe Springs.
Late 1962 Cars arriving to America in some numbers for AC factory.
October 1962 Shelby races CSX2002 at Riverside, California. Driven by Billy Krause it walked away from competition until sidelined with brocken rear hub.
January 1963 First 289 Cobra completed, chassis no. CSX2075.
January 1963 First victory for Cobra at Riverside driven by Dave MacDonald. Further appearances at Nassau, Daytona, Sebring and Le Mans (its first foray into Europe). Two Cobras competed at Le Mans, one retired with a blown engine the other, driven by Ninian Sanderson and Peter Bolton, came seventh.
Late 1963 AC Ace ceases production.
October 1963 First 427 engined prototype built using leaf springs.
1964 Shelby enlarged his racing programme and built several Daytona Coupes using a leaf sprung chassis. Le Mans produced a fourth place for one of these, but AC's own special coupe - the car that achieved notoriety by being tested at 180mph on the M1 before the race - crashed in the race after seven hours.
1965 Shelby in conjunction with Ford and AC, was busy redesigning the Cobra. The 427 was the developed in a bid to win the GT championship that so far had eluded him.
4th July 1965 Shelby wins at Reims, France to clinch the 1965 Grand Touring (GT) Championship for Cobra and Ford.
December 1966 Production of road going 427's stopped.
1968 The final AC 289's left the Thames Ditton factory, bound for European market.