My Car Quest

June 19, 2024

A Time To Drive – No. 2 (AC Cobra Mk IV)

by Mike Gulett –

The weather has been great here on the central coast of California over the past few days, so I decided to make a new driving video. This time driving my AC Cobra Mk IV.

AC Cobra Mk IV

The AC Cobra Mk IV was handmade in England by Autokraft and AC using tubular steel space frame construction. The body is aluminum made from the same body bucks used by AC to make the AC Shelby Cobras in the 1960s. The engine is a Ford 5-liter V8 with electronic fuel injection, the transmission is a Borg Warner 5-speed and the differential is a limited slip Salisbury. It has ventilated disc brakes all around and both front and rear have independent suspension with coil over shocks. The wheels are 16 inch diameter Hallibrand style made of aluminum with the front being 7 inches wide and the rear being 8 inches wide.

Only 480 AC Cobra Mk IV examples were made.

AC Cobra Mk IV

This is a really fun roadster that gets a lot of attention from just about everyone. You can read more about the AC Cobra Mk IV here.

Watch the 4:30 video below – put it on full screen by clicking the arrows to the left of the “Vimeo” logo in the lower right and be sure the sound is on.

AC Cobra Mk IV

AC Cobra Mk IV Engine

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

AC Cobra Mk IV Keys

A Time To Drive - No. 2 (AC Cobra Mk IV)
Article Name
A Time To Drive - No. 2 (AC Cobra Mk IV)
A new driving video, this time with the AC Cobra Mk IV.


  1. Byron LaMotte says

    Yup, exercising our classic cars is an “essential activity”. Lovely and thanks for sharing!

  2. Rob Krantz says

    Mike, great video and the AC looks and sounds amazing! Glad you got it our for a drive. I need to exercise mine as well. One of these days, we should have a meeting of our Mk IV’s down your way once we are able to move about more freely.

  3. Wallace Wyss says

    Mike, you’re a astute horse trader. so here’s my question: Since there are lots of fiberglass bodied kit cars that could look like a double of this AC would you sell this one and buy one of those replicas a lot cheaper to replace it or do you feel the DNA of your car (made at AC factory) makes it worth much more? If it looks the same and feels the same, isn’t that enough if you could own it at one third the investment?

    • Wallace,

      Leave it to you to ask the tough question.

      There is value in having a car with provenance, in addition to the driving experience and the looks. Although, I am happy that others can find fun and excitement with a replica for a much lower price. If the replica were not available then some collectors would not be able to drive a Cobra at all. And don’t forget my AC Cobra is priced at about 15% or so of an AC Shelby Cobra made in the ‘60s.

      And there are some replica Cobras (e.g., Kirkham) that command a high price because of the quality of the build and the aluminum body where most of the replicas have a fiberglass body.

      • Wallace,

        I discuss this subject in more detail in this article:

      • Rob Krantz says

        Mike, agreed that replicas Cobras allow so many Cobra fans to drive a car of their dreams. What makes the Mk. IV special, to me at least, is the provenance (if you will) and connection to the original 1960’s cars. Though AC Cars in the 1980’s was no longer owned by the Hurlock family and was now Brian Angliss’s company, the Hurlocks sold the AC marque and tooling to Angliss and he continued the Company, albeit under different ownership. Besides the use of much original tooling, tweaked as necessary for a world 20 years later, the method of manufacturing these cars remained true to the originals, with a number of the workers working for Angliss having built the original Cobras back in the day. So, the Mk. IV being an AC produced car using the same manufacturing methods, tooling and using many of the same employees , makes the car unique. The AC Owner’s Club (ACOC) has many members who own Mk. IV cars, which are prevalent at many ACOC functions in England and Europe. A terrific community of owners who love their Mk. IV’s, original 260, 289 and 427 Cobras, AC Ace’s, Aceca’s and Fruas’ and so many other terrific cars that AC produced. That is what makes your Cobra and mine so very cool and special in the world of Cobra replicas.

  4. imwithstoopid says

    Is it more fun without a mask?

  5. Wallace Wyss says

    The whole saga of Brian Angliss making the cars, despite constant badgering from Shelby, was played out on the pages of CAR magazine in England, Shelby thought the Cobra was his invention but Angliss said it was AC’s invention and they went round and round issue in each issue. I think Angliss getting Ford dealers to put his car in US showrooms is what started Shelby into reviving the Cobra himself, So if you ever get a chance to buy old issues of CAR that have those letters from each party it’s worth it to read a car creator trying to hang onto the car he spawned

    Here’s a bit of history from the AC Owner’s Club website “During 1986, after 56 years of control, the Hurlock family sold the company, ownership passing eventually to a partnership of Autokraft Ltd and the Ford Motor Company. In 1988 AC Cars moved to a new purpose built factory located within the historic Brooklands race track and in 1992 Brian Angliss of Autokraft acquired Ford’s interest and assumed full control.
    From 1985 the revised Cobra in Mark IV form was the sole product, but, in 1990, a new Ace was designed which in 1993, with North American and EEC certification, entered production. “

  6. Rob Krantz says

    At the time in the 1980’s, Mr. Shelby was on to other things, such as working with Chrysler on a few Shelby branded products for them that were a far cry from the Cobra, which by then was in his rear view mirror so to speak! So, while Ford had the foresight to recognize a neat thing when they saw it with Mr. Angliss producing high quality, bespoke Cobras again, they had the “Better Idea” and joined up forces with Angliss. Mr. Shelby didn’t like that! It would have been interesting to see those interactions between Angliss and Shelby at the time. There is an interesting article from that time as well that was published in Kit Car magazine. It was too large to upload unfortunately. It explains the relationship between Angliss and Ford with a no too happy side bar from Mr. Shelby.

  7. Eric Gordon says

    These cars are wonderful to drive. More civilized then the early cars, with the same thrills. I am the original
    owner of #1080. BRG/tan and carburetor. The quality of these cars are 1st rate. There is a significant difference
    between driving my MK IV and my FFR Daytona Coupe. If I were in the market today, my money would be on the
    MK IV.

  8. SKIP HINOJOS says


  9. hello, i bought a MK IV two years ago and i realized that compared to other MK IV i saw on some pictures my car has only 2 windshield wipers, most of the other cars have 3 wipers. my car is listed in the cobra book under AK1070 and was originally delivered to switzerland – where i live.
    can anyone explain me what was the reason for assambling 2 or 3 wipers? many thanks for your answers.
    patrizio s.

    • Robert Krantz says

      Yours is one of the early Mk. IV cars based on the serial number (mine is AK 1216, October 1987). It could be that as it was an early car, they used two wipers vs. three, and later production Mk. IV cars had three wipers. I know some of the special Mk. IV cars produced later (early 90’s) known as the Mk. IV “Lightweight” cars, had two wipers and many other features true to the 1960’s AC Cobras. I believe that some customers ordered their cars with certain features that were not typical in the production Mk. IV cars, so since your car was sourced to Switzerland initially, maybe that owner had it made with two vs. three wipers. DOT regulations in the U.S.:may have made a custom specification impossible. Overall, not certain of a definitive answer though.

  10. Kurt Heiland says

    Neat video, great car. Someone let me know when one becomes available in the US.

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