I first saw an AC Cobra427 S/C in my hometown about 50 years ago and immediately fell in love with the styling and aggressive look. This thing had testosterone dripping all over it. I loved the flared fenders and the big fat rubber. I was looking for a streetable small block version and discovered this one (replica) in Provo, UT about 70 miles south of my place in Salt Lake City. I didn't have room in the garage for two special interest cars as I currently owned a1969 Mustang Mach 1.I purchased this turnkey Cobra in June of 1987 and the seller took the Mach 1 as partial payment. I wish I could have kept them both.
The kit was manufactured by North American Fiberglass and assembled by Scott Roberts and Steve Floyd, the engine builder.
This vehicle attracted way too much attention wherever we went and Mary Ann always felt uncomfortable in the passenger seat. I've even had cops pull me over just to check out the mechanicals and hear the pipes. The car was loud. We'd drive down Main Street and set off car alarms on parked vehicles as we drove by them. It was well balanced but during heavy acceleration, you pointed the front end with the steering wheel and the rear with the gas pedal. The recipe for this car was heavy horse power (475), light weight and race car suspension.
I retired and moved to Florida where no state emissions or safety check were necessary to register a vehicle. I had just accepted an offer of a job in Maryland and thought of hauling the car up to that state. Trying to get an answer about kit car regulations in the state were almost impossible. I was finally advised that I would have to retrofit the car with heat shields on the side pipes, hang an air-injector off the engine and pipe tubing into each header for clean air to pass the state emissions test.
I decided that the changes would compromise the look, cost too much with NO guarantee that it would actually pass the emissions test. In 1999, I decided to sell the car and flatbed trailer as a package while still in Florida. I owned that Cobra for 12 years and it was a sad day to watch it being towed off into the sunset.
The sad part to this story is that I liked retirement a lot more than my job with Lockheed Martin. I decided to return to Florida after one year in Maryland. If I had know that this was going to happen, I would have put the car in storage and still have the Cobra in my toy box here. In retrospect, I would still have preferred that 69 Mach 1.