Top 10 Classic Convertibles

Shelby Cobra / Wikimedia

2) Shelby Cobra: Year: 1963-1965

Shelby Cobra 427
Shelby Cobra 427 © David Hurt / Flicker

This iconic American car was originally designed by Auto Carriers Ltd, one of Britain’s oldest independent auto makers. Starting life as the AC Cobra and first produced in 1962, the car was sold in the US as the Shelby Cobra.

The car was given a steel tube frame. Its body and aluminum panels were hand crafted using legacy tools and techniques. This method predates the Second World War. It was slow and also made the craftsmanship expensive.

The Cobra was built on Carrol Shelby’s specific request to AC for a car that could handle a V8. AC extended the front end to fit the bigger engine and gave the car a bigger differential to handle the extra power. The engine was equally novel. Ford produced a new 4.3 litre lightweight, small block V8 engine tuned specifically for the Shelby Cobra.

Subsequent models were fitted with a larger 4.7 litre V8, bigger tires and wider fenders. The Shelby Cobra was a racetrack beast and quickly got noticed as a great performer.

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