My Car Quest

April 14, 2024

AC 428 Frua – Evolved From The Cobra

by Mike –

The AC 428 Frua attracts a lot of attention. The styling is striking but not as beautiful as the AC Cobra from which its chassis is derived.

AC 428 Frua

AC 428 Frua

In 1965 AC realized that they needed a grand touring model that could appeal to wealthy customers. They contracted the Italian coach builder Pietro Frua to design a GT body that could be used on a MK III Cobra chassis stretched by 6 inches.

AC 428 Frua

The new car was shown at the 1965 Turin show. A few early models were fitted with the 427 cid Ford motors.

In 1967 the long-stroked 428 cid motor became available and the car was known as the AC Frua. Built out of steel rather than aluminum, the Frua is heavier than a Cobra at slightly under 3,000 lb. It is still a light and very fast car built on a racing chassis.

AC 428 Frua engine

It was not fully developed and the cost of sending a chassis from England to Italy and back for final assembly made it so expensive that only a few were produced. Production ended in 1973 after eighty cars (twenty-nine convertibles and fifty-one coupes) were made.

AC 428 Frua interior

What a beautiful interior – I love the toggle switches.

This is a rare British/Italian American powered exotic that has been increasing in value.

AC 428 Frua engine

I photographed this car at the Carmel Concours on the Avenue in Carmel, California in August 2012.

I wonder how it drives and rides compared to an Iso Grifo or a Ferrari 365 GTB Daytona? It seems like they would have a similar ride, except for the AC’s automatic transmission.

Does anyone have experience driving an AC 428 Frua and an Iso Grifo or a Ferrari Daytona?

If so let us know what you think in the comments.

AC 428 Frua

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AC 428 Frua logo

Two different AC logos.

AC 428 Frua logo


  1. Alfa taillight, FIAT Dino Coupe rear glass and Maserati front windshield. All combined in an extremely nice car.

  2. I have never driven one, but I hear they are pretty bad, the Frua is big and heavy and the Cobra was small and light, makes sense. There is one in Burlingame that you might be able to drive.

    • Hello ,
      There is a difference with hearing what people say and how reality is .
      I am an absolute Grifo lover , the first one I bought I was 20 , that’s 34 years ago and I still love the car and driving.
      The frua 428 is also a fantastic and well driving very fast car when sorted out well !!
      I just send my frua 428 gold convertible over to drive the touramerical rally starting in New York on 7 oct going to Miami arriving ten days later( together with 100 more cars and people all from the Antwerp area in Belgium)
      A fantastic us /eng hybrid car , and I am very intrested t how the reactions will be from the spectators if they find out that there is an other cobra based car on the road that most people don’t even know the existence from..
      Happy classic car driving

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