Author Topic: AC verses the Shelby community  (Read 1004 times)

AK1131

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AC verses the Shelby community
« on: February 02, 2019, 14:17:26 »
I recently engaged on the SAAC forum “Replicas & Tributes”. I found on line a 1986 press release from Ford granting the name Cobra to the MKIV. I knew it applied to the European market but had a friend post it on the Shelby forum to see what the response would be. As expected it was full of ignorance and denial. I was silent  until someone posted that the MKIV was build with Mustang components. The Shelby community position is that only a Shelby CSX is a Cobra both past and present with no consideration for COX, COB or AK’s. That the Shelby continuation cars are built by Super Performance in fiberglass and the aluminum body cars have been built by seven different manufacturers. Quality control has to be an issue. My position as well as the AC community (please correct me if I am wrong) is that it is not a Cobra if it is not an AC. It is the DNA that makes the MKIV  “The

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AK1131
« Last Edit: February 03, 2019, 01:44:00 by AK1131 »

TTM

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Re: AC verses the Shelby community
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2019, 23:39:12 »
If the DNA makes a MK IV "The Real Thing", why is it then that it does not look anywhere as good as a "replica" like say a "Slab Side" Kirkham, which looks like it just came straight out of period racing pictures?

With the slightly provocative statement above I am just trying to stress that this remains a rather subjective topic if we put legal considerations aside, and there has been so many variations on the Cobra theme thanks to or because of the relatively simple - at least by today's standards - engineering required to put such cars together that you may find as many opinions as cars in existence.

It is my understanding, and I could be wrong, that Mr Shelby who was a sound (*) business man did not embarrass himself too much with such considerations as long as they did not affect the success of his business and as long as any car bearing the Cobra name provided him with substantial revenues.

Edited to add : (*) and/or lucky with all the right connections.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2019, 08:54:25 by TTM »

AK1131

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Re: AC verses the Shelby community
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2019, 01:50:41 »
Because the MKIV’s  were built in England by AC Cars LTD / Autokraft.

nikbj68

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Re: AC verses the Shelby community
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2019, 23:45:15 »
Never let the facts get in the way of a good story, eh?!  ::)
These are the same 'experts' that think Ol' Shel' took "a pile of $hit Limey tool-eater built under bridges by winos" and turned it into the baddest-assest racecar on the planet...  >:(

westcott

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Re: AC verses the Shelby community
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2019, 14:43:46 »
Useless discussion with the Shelby guys, the MK IV is rated as a Replica inside the SAAC and I think it was or is rated as such inside the ACOC as well.

Even the SAAC new registry will just show period 50s and 60s Shelby CSX Cobras plus the COB and COX cars.

In the new registry therefore no "Replica" will show up. No Superformance, no Autokraft MK IV and as I understood also no later CSX Cars like the 4000, 7000, 8000 and so on.

Just period Cobras are "real Cobras" that is what I understood (and can accept ? ).

The MK IV is based on the coil spring chassis but had a lot of modifications in look and technical details during production.

So for me it is what it is, an "CP Autokraft MK IV" or later on a "Autokraft MK IV" or an "AC Autokraft MK IV" allowed to carry the "COBRA" trademark by FORD  somewhere in 1986.

With good suspension adjustment and alignment It sticks to the road like hell and makes lots of fun every day.

Don't mess with personal opinions and don't want it to be what it isn't.

Call it a evolution of the AC 289 sports or the 427 with a lot of 80s homologation necessary safety features but that's it and even this would be personal interpretation.

Just an experience I made:

I called BG developments in the UK asking for support because I needed brake disks and calipers. Their answer was: "We don't do parts for replicas". 

From that day on I asked myself who is doing all the brake parts for all the "original" 289 race cars you see on the tracks copied/built by Kirkham or others....  ;D
« Last Edit: February 04, 2019, 18:56:37 by westcott »
Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler!

RJE

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Re: AC verses the Shelby community
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2019, 09:15:05 »
An interesting question you pose. Just what is the Club's position (official and unofficial) on the Cobra Mk 4?

In all the years I have been a member of the Club I haven't seen anything that would spell out the official position. I have always assumed that as Autokraft had bought a license to the use of the name from the license holder, and applied that license to their product as they had evolved it and that as the name Cobra had been licensed by Ford to the same company who had repeated the exercise the car was an AC Cobra and it was on that basis the Club recognised the car as an AC product.

I know that some in the Club in posts made have been very focused on drawing a distinction between Thames Ditton Cobras and AK serial cars (making them 2nd class citizens as it were) but I can accept that (Talbot and Sunbeam owners feel the same about Sunbeam Talbot) but if your logic is followed and the Club doesn't accept Mk4s as genuine AC's then why have I been paying a membership fee for all of these years to a group of people who don't want to recognise my car?

I recognise that this question must also apply to Mk5 and Mk6 cars and I suppose whatever comes next.

Sorry if this has all been aired before but if there is an official position I've never seen it and now that our cars are being written out of the Shelby World Register I think it is beholden on the Club to make its official position known.

AK1131

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Re: AC verses the Shelby community
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2019, 16:46:00 »
Please no dissension within the club. I posted this to show the difference of opinions between SAAC and ACOC. If it were not for Shelby there would not be a Cobra. SAAC classifies all Shelby Cobras  built after the original 1960 cars as replicas. I have attended car shows in the states with Shelby replicas and kit cars all parked together. The egos are overwhelming. I park my car in the British or import area. When I am ask why, I show the made in England plate. Those in the know say nothing just feel for the rolled edge aluminum in the wheel well. I have had the opportunity to park next to Ron Finger’s 1964 AC USRRC factory prepared race car. The similarities far outweigh the differences. The Shelby replicas (Super Performance) & kit cars are bloated heaps.

I recently posted on the SAAC forum under the CSX 2000 page “Cobra Pilote The Ed Hugus Story”. I figured this would set their  hair on fire. Please read the article below.

Quote: My car is aluminum, my boat is fiberglass.

https://www.hemmings.com/blog/2017/07/09/dnfd-the-story-behind-the-assembly-of-some-of-the-first-shelby-cobras/

westcott

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Re: AC verses the Shelby community
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2019, 17:59:24 »
I ordered the Cobra Pilote book as soon as it was in distribution.

Not the best in writing style but has a lot of details never shown in former books about the Cobra.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2019, 11:01:59 by westcott »
Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler!

nikbj68

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Re: AC verses the Shelby community
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2019, 23:18:44 »
An interesting question you pose. Just what is the Club's position (official and unofficial) on the Cobra Mk 4?...I've never seen it...
Hi. The fact that there is a MkIV/Superblower/CRS register shows that the Club recognise them as genuine (but not 'original, period')AC product.
Unofficially, I'm sure you might find a handful of members who have a lower opinion of the MkIV models, but their opinions, like their politics or religion or choice of football team, are not representative of the Club.
(As I have been known to say: "I could agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong!" )

dkp_cobra

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Re: AC verses the Shelby community
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2019, 07:00:24 »
...
(As I have been known to say: "I could agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong!" )
;D ;D ;D

AC Ventura

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Re: AC verses the Shelby community
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2019, 13:28:39 »
According to the DVLA, the Cobra name, nor Mk IV, not Cobra Mk IV was never registered with the SMMT (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders) as model designation, by AC Cars with regard to cars produced when Autokraft owned the AC name. Autokraft, marketed the car as the Mk IV but never registered it officially, possibly because they believed they would eventually acquire the Cobra name. In UK registration documents the Mk IV as we know it is listed as AC under manufacturer, but with model left completely. Despite letters from club registrar etc they wont change that, although they bizarrely will agree to change the manufacturer to AC Mk IV. Its best to leave the log book, as AC, as when the car was new IMO.

B.P.Bird

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Re: AC verses the Shelby community
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2019, 16:30:44 »
Look Chaps I really do not like the title of this thread and enter the fray without enthusiasm, nor much hope of generating light rather than heat: Back to basics - the clue is in the name - A.C. Owners Club. We should and do cater for all A.C.s. This is so simple that it might be impossible to generate any further discussion.
In like manner The Shelby American Automobile Club caters for those cars which were brought in to existence with the participation of Carroll Shelby and successor companies.
In both cases production of vehicles has continued and it is entirely up to the S.A.A.C. and their membership, which of those cars they choose to encompass. I think I am correct in saying that there was no participation by Shelby American in the Mk. IV or any other A.C.s after ME161L  (in any event this last was a tenuous connection, via Panter America.)
So why would there be any discussion about the S.A.A.C. taking an interest in A.C.s apart from those vehicles built by A.C. under Shelby contract ? Whether or not the S.A.A.C. might take an interest in subsequent Shelby enterprises involving, for example Dodge or Hi Tec Superperformance, or any other projects involving the Shelby name is not a topic for these pages, but for their Forum pages.
So far as the A.C.O.C. are concerned we should continue to concentrate on products legally entitled to bear the companies trademark of A.C. and products built by A.C. for other entities. We are correctly interested in the products of A.C. which ran on rails and carried the motif of British Rail. We should also maintain interest in current projects which may be built under contract in The Republic of South Africa for example, but which bear the company trademark. Of course with such a rich history stretching from the late 19th Century to the present day we can all pick and choose which A.C. we regard with affection and those which we find less attractive. We are all different in our tastes, but we should never, never look down on others because their taste differs from ours. If you feel that more modern A.C.s are somehow less worthy look here to see how much enthusiasm and joy has been generated:
https://www.acownersclub.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=2555.180
I believe this applies not just within the A.C.O.C. but also to enthusiastic members of other Clubs. The cars which The S.A.A.C. regard as their interest is up to their members and it is impertinent for any A.C.O.C. member to presume to instruct others what those interests should be.
Sadly, as we all know, that magnificent cooperation between unlikely partners which brought one of the World's greatest sports cars into being has ever since been sullied by crude nationalism - one of the most evil of emotions. We should remember how two peoples, separated by an ocean, demonstrated how international teamwork was so vastly superior to petty nationalism.

AK1131

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Re: AC verses the Shelby community
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2019, 20:14:54 »
I apologize if I offended anyone with this narrative.

Wolfy

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Re: AC verses the Shelby community
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2019, 14:24:29 »
You shouldnt apologise its a perfectly resonable discussion.