About the car
This MkIV AC Cobra (AK1170) has a fantastic history being raced by Sam Smart all over the UK before becoming solely a road-car, as it is today. The original 302ci, 225hp Windsor engine was replaced by a very high-specification 351ci, 440hp version when the car was just two years old; every single piece of documentation since 1989 is present, meaning this car has one of the most detailed history files we have ever seen.
This Cobra has had four previous owners, for the majority of its life it was owned by Sam Smart, a well-known racer and Cobra owner in the AC and Shelby circles. During this ownership it was built up into a very powerful and highly competitive racecar, and subsequently raced at a large number of events across the UK, every race of which is documented in the large file. The car was taken off the circuits to be used solely as a road car by Mr Smart in the early 00s, who then thoroughly enjoyed the car for the following years, even taking it to Switzerland (included is a photo of the car in the Alps). During this period, the car was featured in the highly detailed book ‘AC Heritage’ by Simon Taylor. The car was then sold to Mr Walsh, who took the car to CKL Developments in order to bring the car up to his standard before using the car sparingly for the next 4 years. It has passed through two more owners since, with the most recent owner undertaking a thorough inspection in late 2017 to ensure the car is useable and completely roadworthy, due to the fact it is an ex-racecar.
The Black paint on the Cobra is stunning, it has clearly been cared for exceptionally well throughout its 31-year life. There are little signs of use with only a few minor chips around the car, the chrome wheel arch trims have done a very good job of protecting the paint on the rear. The rest of the chrome is in perfect condition, as are the original knock-on wheels with three-eared spinners. The polished, bare aluminium engine bay is also in beautiful condition and accentuates the pristine 351ci powerhouse perfectly.
The highly supportive black leather bucket seats are in very good condition and are believed to have never been retrimmed, meaning the charm of originality is retained. The car has had a MkIII clock conversion, this along with the redesigned gearstick and door-card deletion means the whole interior looks much more classic and period-correct than a standard MkIV does.
With regular rebuilds throughout its life, the 351ci, 440hp Windsor V8 runs perfectly, sounds thunderous and has more torque and power than you could ever wish for in a car of this size! As you would expect, this Cobra is a handful if you dare go further than 35% throttle; but a lot of driving bliss is found when cruising with the V8 pulling greatly from any RPM in any gear. The rest of the mechanicals are also in perfect working order, and have been maintained with no-expense-spared throughout. The car has been professionally converted for road-use since it was a racecar meaning the ride is smooth and compliant while the engine is perfectly happy to run when cold.
The AC truly represents the ultimate of all MkIVs, if not of all the continuation Cobras, with almost double the power over a standard car, and a much more classic look and feel. Upgraded in every way thinkable, this Anglo-American icon has undergone years of trial-and-error testing in order to achieve the driving perfection that it represents today. Some of the other upgrades include:
- CR Gearbox
- Uprated LSD
- Quick Steering Rack
- Fire Eater Safety System