Some properly beautiful cars came out of Britain in the 1960s, including AC’s Cobra. Just look at those lines!

The car became well-known when the American tuner, Carroll Shelby, begin stuffing powerful V8 engines under the bonnet, most famously Ford’s 7.0L 427 ‘side oiler’, making 425bhp (on paper – manufacturers of the day notoriously understated power figures for insurance purposes). Though it was a financial disaster for Shelby, it dominated on the track due to its power-to-weight ratio. 

To this day, it’s the 427 Cobra that every young petrolhead dreams of, and understandably so: it has an in-your-face factor that’s hard to beat, especially when that massive V8 thunders out of un-silenced side pipes. But I’d much rather have the 289, like the example above, because while it would still have the commanding V8 presence and noise, it would be much more driveable.

(The car pictured above is a recreation by Hawk Cars – originals really can’t be found for under £250,000 – and is currently for sale on eBay.)

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