Dep-O Magazine

50 Years of The Cobra at Cholmondeley

Simon Charlesworth February 28, 2012 No Comments on 50 Years of The Cobra at Cholmondeley

THE CHOLMONDELEY Pageant of Power will this year mark the AC Cobra’s 50th anniversary with a major vehicle display and thrilling, high-speed action on the venue’s circuit.

The Pageant (15th-17th June) will host the largest gathering of the Anglo-American sports car in the UK this year in a special display entitled ‘Cobras at the Castle’. The event is also introducing a special race category – the ‘AC Cobra 50th Anniversary Class’ – that will see the most famous Cobras, including one of only three ‘Lightweight Cobras’ ever built, compete for top honours.

When introduced in 1962, the MkI AC Cobra featured a Ford 4.2-litre V8 engine, before upsizing to a 4.7-litre unit in 1963 for the MkII. Race-derived versions of the Cobra were dominant on the domestic US and international racing calendars.

The fearsome AC Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupé won the 12 Hours of Sebring GT class twice in 1964 and 1965, finished fourth overall in the 1964 24 Hours of Le Mans, winning the GT class, and recording victories across a number of other endurance events – often ahead of its main competitor, the Ferrari 250GTO. The car also won the 1965 International Championship for GT Manufacturers in the World Sportscar Championship, winning eight out of 10 races.

In the face of rising competition from other manufacturers, particularly GM’s Grand Sport Corvette, the MkIII Cobra (427) was introduced in 1965 with a 420bhp 7.0-litre V8 engine, becoming the most powerful production car in the world at the time.

Now in its fifth year, a full event schedule and list of participants will be announced over the coming weeks, with Pageant organisers set to reveal some exciting new additions and features for 2012.

To buy tickets or find further information, visit

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