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.
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).
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...
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.
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.
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;
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.
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.
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.
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!
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 :))