The AC 428 was a Shelby Cobra in a fancy Italian suit

When Carol Shelby and the British AC cars merged in 1962, they created something that set new standards for performance, but the Cobra was hardly the last word of elegance and sophistication.

But what if you picked up that old-fashioned 1950s Roadster body from the chassis, left the running gear intact, and dropped it on a new set of clothing made by those fancy Italian-designed houses? Shelby has already done something similar to maximize speed on the race track by building the Daytona Cobra, but was more interested in building a luxury GT for AC roads.

The result was the AC Frua, now better known as the AC 428, which appeared in late 1965 wearing a 6-inch (152 mm) stretched Fruer designed roadster body over a coil-spring Mk3 Cobra chassis. .

This Italian connection was made for a complex manufacturing process that required the rolling chassis from AC’s Thames Dayton base to be shipped to Turin outside London, where it was fitted to the body before being sent back to England to be matched with engines and interior trims. .

Related: You can now buy a brand new AC Cobra with an all-electric powertrain.

Early cars received Ford’s hardcore 427 Q-in (7.0-liter) V8, but it was long overdue for softening, but the 428 Q-in (7.0-liter) engine fastback model used in cars like the Galaxy was added to the range in 1969. , Which gives the AC a car rival like the Aston Martin DB6.

The extra weight of the 428 on the Cobra means it’s not too fast, but with a gross power rating of 345 hp (350 PS), performance by standard European cars in the late 1960s was still quite epic. Autocar The 1968 road test recorded zero to 60 mph (96 km / h) in 6.2 seconds, a 14.2-second quarter mile and maximum speed of 142 mph (227 km / h), and even at 17 the fuel consumption seemed surprisingly reasonable. mpg (Imperial; 14 mpg US).

Less reasonable, however, was the price. At £ 5,573 (sold more than the manual two-to-one) for a coupe with optional three-speed auto in the UK in 1968, the AC is priced like 2.5 Jaguar e-Types, and even 25 percent more expensive. An Aston DB6. At the time of production in 1973, the AC sold only 81 cars, of which 29 were convertible, making 428 cobras very rare.

Today, though, a cobra is many times more valuable. Insurance company The hagerIts valuation database cites 850,000 for a 1965 Shelby Cobra 428, but only $ 161,000 for a 1971 AC 428 coupe in good condition and $ 190,000 for a conversion.

And you can take home the car pictured here, which is due to cross the auction block Bonhams Gstaad sales in Switzerland in July were significantly lower, judging by the CHF70,000-100,000 ($ 72,000-102,000) estimate and lack of reserve price. Originally supplied to Belgium, it was recorded as having only 6,000 km (3,720 miles) on the clock at the time of acquisition in 2010 but will need to be launched as it has been unused since then.

Even the factoring of the necessary renovation work that sounds like a great deal to us. With its Cobra lineage, the month style and incredibly low production numbers, this is a car we would like to add to our Fantasy Garage. How are you

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