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AC 289 Sports MkIII, aka an Englishman's Cobra


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This project began when Classic cars magazine introduced me to the "AC 289 Sports MkIII". ACs Ace was the starting point for the increasingly fearsome Cobra. As it evolved over the years from 62-67, the Shelby Cobra got heavier, wider and way more powerful, The final 427 was curvaceous to the point of caricature, with wide hips flaring over broad tyres, and the engine bay crammed full of a powerful, big and heavy engine. That later Cobras also boasted in improved chassis with coil sprung suspension all round. As Shelby parted company with AC, taking the Cobra name, the English company built one last batch of these: the AC 289 Sports Mark III. Combining the coil spring chassis with the lighter 289 cu inch Ford V8 for better handling on twisty roads, and a narrower body better suited to British B roads (and picturesque continental mountain byways), it's a Cobra in all but name, a thug in a Jermyn Street suit, if you like... If you want to see the real one that inspored this build (and provided lots of useful reference photos, it's here:

https://girardo.com/car/1967-ac-289-cobra-sports-mkiii-1/

 

The starting point was the still-good-after all these years Monogram 1/24 Cobra 427, in a "Dream Rides" box that has no scoop in the bonnet, and chrome bumpers that can be adapted to the over-riders only look I needed. The major changes were narrowing the body substantially at the rear, flipping the cockpit from left to right-hand drive (which is not just the dash but rebuilding the foot wells with pedals shifted to the driver's side, and replacing the massive 427 mill with the 289 from a Revell Mustang GT350. Lots of work under the bonnet as well, to add the details that are missing from the 427 S/C because you can't see them around that mahoosive engine. The full blow-blow account is here:

 

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And if you were wondering exactly how an AC289 Sports MkIII compares to a full-fat Cobra 427 S/C, here's one I prepared earlier:

 

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Now to go and do something a bit less complicated!

best,

M.

 

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Lovely model, I have to say though that despite all your work in the engine bay what has impressed me most if how successful the narrowing of the body has been. You wouldn't guess from these photos that you'd done so much surgery, there's less evidence of surgery here than there is on most of my models which haven't had their shape altered from the kit.

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Stunningly successful surgery and beautifully subtle result.  To get those curves just right took talent of a high order.  The engine bay work is exceptional but eclipsed by the bodywork reshaping.  Well photographed, too.

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That is so cool, to see those two models next to each other! Fantastic result, love the blue color and amazing what you have done with the body. And very good photography indeed!

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That has turned out very nicely indeed.  I really enjoyed following the WIP - some fantastic workmanship in there.  

Trevor

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If I hadn't have seen your WIP thread I would have assumed that you'd managed to by a kit of the 289, see looks spot on to me , top work - Andy 

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A thing of great beauty. All your efforts were worth it Matt, your 289 is really gorgeous.

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Superb work on a unique model. The changes re-inject the "British sportscar" heritage back into this car. Love the magazine cover shot at the top of the post. 

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