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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

American V-8s power these 10 British muscle machines | Hagerty Media

The United States may have torn itself from the tyranny of British rule 245 years ago, but Britain just can't seem to escape its dependence on the all-American V-8. (Though Mr. Berg is a native Brit, he was in no way coerced to write this story on the United States' Independence Day.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/automotive-history/american-v-8s-power-10-british-muscle-machines/
79 REPLIES 79
dreamingeagle
Detailer

Eric Broadley;

yes, that Eric Broadley;

remember, this was back in the era when William Ford was willing to buy anything he could slap his name on (i.e., Cosworth) to beat Ferrari;
DAW1
Intermediate Driver

Henry Ford II
DAW1
Intermediate Driver

Where have you been?
DAW1
Intermediate Driver

Some people don’t know much. In the early nineties I was doing a masters course one summer. I used to buy Sports Car International monthly. That summer they had an article on. GT40 kit car and included a nice poster of the car. I put it on my bulletin board. A fellow student came in my room and announced to me that there was no such car. I left him to his ignorance. Then there was the guy that owned a Camaro that told me that he had never heard of Porsche. When I told my neighbour that I was buying a Jaguar he told me that he never heard of that car make. Then there are the continual questions, who makes MGB, who makes Triumph. Must be golfers. Certainly not car buffs.
ThePorscheMan
Intermediate Driver

The Clipper is capitol F FUGLY but that new TVR could go a long way towards clearing my eyes of the bleach. I also REALLY like that MG ZT 260... stealthy Q-ships "get me horny baby" to quote a famous American from Canada (the biggest country of the Americas).
mwmyers91
Detailer

Cobra # 1 Tiger # 2 and Mantis # 3
Gene_M
Intermediate Driver

My Sunbeam Tiger had a 289CID in it. Most fun.
TrustyRusty
Intermediate Driver

When I was just a kid, my dad took me to the Pebble Beach Road Races, where Bill Pollack's Cad-Allard was the car to beat. Another Detroit-powered car was Old Yellar, a Buick V8 powered "special". Interestingly, the Allard used a 1940's-era Ford I-Beam front axle, cut in half and hinged in the middle, providing independent front suspension. When Pollack got on the throttle, the front ebd lifted enough to make the front tires appear to be tucking under...very interesting, but effective. The Chrysler Hemi V8 powered roadsters were too heavy to be competitive against the Allards...
TrustyRusty
Intermediate Driver

Oops, The Chrysler Hemi-powered cars were built by Briggs Cunningham.
TrustyRusty
Intermediate Driver

Funny, all this talk of the "Buick/Rover"-powered British cars and someone left out Buick's nemesis, the Aluminum Oldsmobile V8 used in the Lotus 19 and the Ford-powered Cooper Monte Carlo, known affectionately as the "King Cobra", driven by Bob Holbert, father of the late champion, Al Holbert.
Hueco
Pit Crew

Eric Broadley developed the first GT40 but it was a Lola. He signed a one year contract with Ford with John Wyer running the team. 1964 was a disaster. At that point Ford (Lunn) gave the whole thing to Shelby. All cars were ent to him in Cali and he deveoped them. When the Mk2 came out with the 427 Ford also gave Holman and Moody cars. Shelby and Holman Moody competed against each other. After 68 the cars were run in England and modified and won 2 years in a row. So really, they are American with American engines.
dreamingeagle
Detailer

how you started out with the truth and twisted it into a fairytale at the end is most interesting;

a Lola is a Lola is a Lola, friend, no matter how many times Shelby pounded it with a hammer, and the Mk. IV was merely a copy of the Lola right down to the tub with slab-sided fuel tanks and trailing arm rear suspension;
SGL
Pit Crew

This list is garbage without the Jensen Interceptor.
PC6
Pit Crew

Certainly some obscure rides here.

Did we intend to forget the Jenson cars, particularly the Interceptor?

Others????
ralphscarfo
New Driver

Actually there are many many more British cars with American v-8's, only they were done by individual Americans. Visit the BritishV8. web site to see them.
Maestro1
Instructor

I have driven a Sunbeam with the Ford v-8 in it, and the car is absolutely nose heavy.
The Gordon Keeble coupe is stunning and should be built even know, at a price point.
I've never been a fan of Cobras although the AC Ace was a beauty.
And the Trident Clipper is distinctive.
Stay well.
SJ
Instructor

Interesting thanks, surprised to about the Jensen's MIA, but still good. I suspect it was done on purpose to pull certain people's chain.
farna
Advanced Driver

While the AC body of the first Cobras were of British design, they were actually "American" cars! There was an AC Ace plant in the US... I forget exact location, but somewhere in the south west. They weren't selling well and the plant was about Shelby inquired about buying bodies. They agreed to keep the plant open if he bought X number of cars, and the rest is history! So the whole thing was actually made in America... at least the first couple years. I don't recall how long the plant in the US remained open.
Chairmanjohn
New Driver

Sorry but this is definitely incorrect! All genuine Shelby Cobras were built in the AC factory in Thames Ditton, Surrey, England. Carroll Shelby had persuaded the AC owners to supply him with modified AC Ace chassis into which he dropped the then new Ford Windsor lightweight high performance V8 engine. The LHD CSX cars (Carroll Shelby Export) were shipped fully painted and trimmed but without engines or gearboxes to the USA. Most went to Shelby in California although some went to New York. Production was from 1962. The first 75 cars were fitted with the 260 engine and then Ford produced the 289. I'm fortunate enough to own the 83 car made (so one of the earliest 289 engined cars). The last cars produced were the 427 cars where the chassis was substantially upgraded. So Cobras were definitely made in the UK and then shipped to the US for engine and transmission installation. Wikipedia will explain everything as will the AC Owners club.
RichH
Detailer

That GK1 looks a helluva lot like my XJ6-C, but with an MG's butt. Given it's age, it's more likely a copy of a Mark X.
https://www.conceptcarz.com/profile/6658,16375/1964-jaguar-mark-x.aspx

Always loved the Tiger. "DON'T CALL ME CHIEF!"
Kewina50
Intermediate Driver

I enjoyed this 'reminder' article. I can recall when many of these cars were new. The funny thing is I kept recalling a recent Hagerty article comparing automotive Dopplegangers. That article suggested that in some way a Thunderbird of the era and a BMW e24 resembled each other. While only a side view of the Keebler GK1 is shown, the resemblence to an e24 is much more apparent to me. Additionally, the MG ZT 260's front fascia looks like Bentley and BMW designers collaborated. Keep the articles comin'! Nice photos!
Okey78
Intermediate Driver

The Gordon Keeble always seemed to me like a British Iso Rivolta.
Roadtriper
New Driver

Does my heart good to see the Jensen's getting so much love in the comments! I have a 74 Interceptor Saloon, Very few people know what it is. Hey, let's don't forget the Daimler SP250
DAW1
Intermediate Driver

The Daimler SP250 had a British V8 and it looks like a Chrysler Hemi.
Padgett
Intermediate Driver

No Facel-Vega ? Make mine a HK-500 with pont-a-mousson & AC.
Markqv
New Driver

Like many previous posts, how could this list NOT include the Jensen Interceptor? Featured in previous Hagerty articles, Jay Leno's Garage, Fast and Furious 6 and over 6,000 produced with Chrysler power. Seems like a big miss to me (personally :))
Gary_Bechtold
Technician

I tend to find most of these kind of ugly, especially the MG's and Mantis. Shelby would still be my favorite. The new TVR might be interesting if it ever happens.
Inline8OD
Detailer

Um, where's Jensen? From 1962-on, Chrysler-powered, in the mid '30s, Ford flathead V-8, then Nash nine-main-bearinged, ohv straight eight and a few Lincoln Zephyr V-12 engines before the war.
GlockandRoll
New Driver

What's the point of stretching the pictures out to make them look terribly pizelated? I had step back from the screen and squint to look at some of them. Dumb.
RickyG
New Driver

How about the Triumph's.
I own a 1975 Triumph TR6