The AC 428 needs a new word of its very own—“brutiful” perhaps, for while its brute strength derives from its Cobra forebear, the 428 has a sculpted, stately beauty. This refined bruiser was born of a thoroughbred crossbreed of British engineering, American power, and Italian design.
An unlikely alliance between AC Cars, a traditional British car-maker, and Carroll Shelby, a charismatic Texas racer, produced the legendary AC Cobra. AC’s sports car, the Ace was turned into the Cobra by shoehorning in a series of American Ford V8s, starting with 4.2 and 4.7 Mustang engines.
Agonizingly pretty, the AC Ace catapulted the homespun Thames Ditton company into the automotive limelight, instantly earning it a reputation as makers of svelte sports cars for the tweedy English middle classes. Timelessly elegant, swift, poised, and mechanically uncomplicated, the Ace went on to form the platform for the legendary AC Cobra.
One of the top 1960s sports cars, renowned for both speed and looks, the Cobra is a winning combination of lightweight British roadster and hefty high-torque American Ford V8 engine.
AC Cars (originally Auto Carriers) was one of the first independent car manufacturers in Britain. But the company went bust at the end of the 1920s and production did note get going again until the mid-1930s. Following World War II, AC bounced back with a new 9-liter model that was traditionally built using an underslung chassis and ash-framed, aluminum bodywork offered in saloon and drophead form.