Wednesday, May 04, 2005

AC 428

AC 428 Frua, sitting on a stretched Cobra Chassis, AC cars built this handsome Ford powered Roadster. Much more civilized than the original Cobra. Frua, was the Italian body designer.

History: With the winding down of the Shelby Cobra program resulting from a combination of languishing sales and diminishing Ford support for Shelby following its decision to take over the racing program and develop the GT40, AC was left without a viable product line. With the well-developed Cobra chassis as a basis, AC decided to produce a luxury GT. The Cobra chassis was lengthened 6 inches and Frua of Italy was assigned the task to design and build a convertible first (1965), followed by a coupe a year later in 1966.

Production: Production was plagued by many factors. The logistics of producing the chassis in England, shipping to Italy where bodies were fitted and then shipped back to England again for final assembly, was both time consuming and expensive. Production ceased in 1973 coinciding with the 1973 fuel crisis. A total of 81 cars were built of which 30 were convertibles. Only 8 convertibles were built with a manual 4-speed gearbox and only one of these was left hand drive. Subsequently, another 4-speed car has been converted to left-hand drive configuration.

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