The engine was a project of the BMW pre-war period , considered outdated in the 1960s. Bristol decided to discontinue this engine in 1961 , going to use Chrysler 313cid engine ( 5.1 L ) V8 .
In September 1961, the AC Shelby wrote requesting a car custom built to accept a V8 engine. The AC has accepted the order, as long as a suitable engine was arranged. First Chevrolet Shelby sought in search engine supply , but fearing competition with the Corvette they refused . Ford , however , wanted a car to compete with the Corvette , and possessed by chance a brand new small block engine suitable for this purpose - the Ford Windsor engine of 4.2 l of iron , prepared for high performance . In January 1962 mechanics at AC Cars in Thames Ditton , Surrey , settled in prototype chassis CSX0001 Ford V8 engine . After testing and modification, the engine and transmission were removed and the chassis was sent to Shelby in Los Angeles on February 2, 1962. His team equipped with the engine and transmission in less than eight hours and began to test it in the streets.
The AC Cobras had a long career on the slopes. Shelby wanted to build a “Catch- Corvette," and nearly 500 pounds less than the Chevrolet Corvette , the lightweight car was exactly that . The Cobra was perhaps too successful as a sports car, and it is said that contributed to the implementation of speed limits in the UK .
However government officials cited the higher rate of accidents with death in the early 1960s as the main subject , and the adventures of AC Cars only highlighted this risk .