(Reading time: 2 - 4 minutes)
- Published: Thursday, 30 May 2013 10:46
AC Cobra history
AC & Carroll Shelby
Not many cars have had the same track record & inspiration as the AC Cobra in the mid 60's, mind you Dodge the people behind the Viper have recreated this many times through various replica models. AC worked by placing the biggest engine possible in the lightest frame, and dressing the car as a two seater sports car with definition and character, no roof and fun on country roads.
The AC Cobra company emerged back in 1901, the first car didn't actually materialise till 1953 with the intro of the second generation model. Renown motoring engineer John Tojeiro started to create his own two seater sports car, the model was based on the Ferrari 166 Barchetta
(aka The Little Boat). The car was flying, but it wasn't how it should have been, the racing model needed more power.
The firstly choice was a 2.7 V8, then a 4.2 was chosen. These engines were the work of Carroll Shelby who was greatly impressed by all of AC Cobra's cars racing in the US, powered by there either Bristol or MG engines.
However AC soon realised a 4.2 or even a 4.7 wasn't enough, they needed more power, over 350 BHP. A V8 with a seven litre capacity was needed pushing the 427 upto 485 BHP. Modifications were fitted to allow the car to cope including widening it and upgrading the shocks and springs.
This range of cars in the 1950's were the epitomy of racecars, by the 1960's and 70's the AC Cobra 427 and others started to show there age compared to modern autos such as the Lotus Elan. There cars lacked modern refinements however there performance was amazing 0 - 100 in under 13.7 secs. The competition version the 427 had 580 BHP and could accelerate to 100 mph in under 10 seconds. One of the most defining features was its side exit exhausts. Tojeiro's soon became part of AC's evolution, usually driven by MG or Bristol engines, when he sold one of his engine designs to the company.
These automobiles are now a very rare marque, only a few exist. The car was made famous yet again through its appearance in the film Twin Town filmed in Swansea starring Rhys Iffans. This British racing car truly made its mark.
(Reading time: 4 - 8 minutes)
- Published: Thursday, 30 May 2013 10:44
1948 to present day
During the war Ferdinand Porsche AKA Ferry and a select few of his proven employees had started development on the 356 in their workshops and he decided to move to Gmünd in Kärnten.
The first of these designs was completed on 17 July 1947, however on June 8th 1948 the Kärnten state government issued a special permit homologating the motor car. After returning from prison, Professor Dr.-Ing.h.c., Ferry's father, stated "every single bolt was just right".
No 1 was then followed by 52 additional cars built in Gmünd, production in Stuttgart took over from 1950 - 1965 subsequently amounting to 78,000 units of the 356 model Porsche No 1 - This was a mid-engined roadster, completed and homologated in Gmünd. The engine was 1131 cc & produced 35 bhp. The first few of the new 356 coupes were made of light alloy.
1948: The first Porsche 356 cabriolets were manufactured
1950: Production of all cars in took place Stuttgart, Germany.
1951: Introduction of the 1300 & 1500, the 1500 became the car of choice.
1952: The introduction of the much acclaimed 1500 S.
1953: The introduction of the 1300 S.
1954: This year marked the production of the first 200 Porsche Speedsters.
1955: Production of the 356 A series starts the proven 1300 and 1300 S power units soon joined by the 1600, 1600 S and 1500 GS - the first Carrera a 1.5 with 4 overhead cams, a symbol of the new porsche sports engine range - 1100cc engines dropped from the range.
1958: The 356 model was given an extra 10 horses 110 bhp, A 1500 GS Carrera GT. The Speedster was replaced by the Convertible D. 1300cc engines dropped from range.
1957: 1500GS de Luxe model launched.
1959: Porsche Carrera 1600 GS-GT, uprated to 1.6 115 bhp. The 356 B series is introduced, the Convertible D renamed the Roadster.
1970 - The search for ultimate Power
1971: September, 6 cylinder engine developed for the Porsche 911, 2341 cc and introducing a new power and performance range the T, 911 E & S. 916 sports cars running a powerful six cylinder 2.3 Litre capable of producing 190 bhp. Race models released the 914/8 models with an 8-cylinder racing engine already built 2 yrs previously (2997 cc, 260 bhp & 300 bhp/221 kW).
A 914 is given to Professor Ferry Porsche 260-bhp version for his 60th birthday.
1972: The Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 and the 2.8 Carrera RSR released. 914 receives extra power 1971 cc, 100 bhp.
1973: Following the plant shut-down in summer the new range reveals significant modifications in body design, Release of Porsche Carrera RS 3.0 Sport, a 2994 cc, 230 bhp engine. The RSR 3.0 2994 cc, 330 bhp with a larger rear wing & widened wheel arches with air intakes. Within the 914 series uprate dfrom 1.7 to 1.8 litre version.
1974: In autumn the first Porsche Turbo code-named the 930 then came, the code-named 935 in the years to follow, with maximum output up to 850 bhp.
The Porsche 935 - 850 BHP
1975: The Carrera 3.0 dropped after plant shut-down summer. Last 914 range receive a two-liter power unit, with lower compression 95 bhp. Autumn the 912 E (USA only) featuring a VW engine jins lineup.
1976: Porsche's new entry-level 924, the 1st water-cooled engine fitted up front - running an Audi engine 1984 cc, 125bhp. The introduction of bodyshell hot-galvanizing on both sides extending the life of all models.
1977: The 928 launched late autumn a top model seen as the successor to the 911 utilising V8 power using American dimensions 4474 cc, 240 bhp. The 911 now known as "Porsche 911 SC".
1978: The 928 1st and only sports car in world history to be voted Car of the year.
1979: The 924 remains Porsche's best seller.
1980 - Onwards and upwards
1980: The 924 Carrera GT 210 bhp given greater power than the 911 (204 bhp)
1981: The 924 Turbo now features a 177 bhp engine. Frankfurt Motor Show the concept Turbo Cabriolet four-wheel drive.
1982: The Porsche 944 based on the 924 with wider wheel arches and 4 cylinder engine introduced, a clear effect on sales of the car, which start to go down for the first time.
1983: After 20 years another status car, the Porsche 911 SC Cabriolet becomes a best seller right from the start.
1984 & 1985: The 928 S becomes even more powerful, all 911 Carrera models are now also available in a Turbo look. The status of Porsche success points up, the 924 and 944 remain best-selling models.
1986: A four valve 928 S4 enters the market. The Porsche 911 Turbo now available as Targa Top and Cabriolet models.
1987: No significant changes or releases.
1988: The new generation Porsche 911 Carrera 4 four-wheel drive. The 964 series is available first as a coupé, running a six-cylinder Boxster engine. The 944 S2 is available as both a coupé and cabriolet, the Turbo version receives an all-new five-speed gearbox.
1989: The Porsche 911 Turbo is dropped from the range, production ceasing in autumn 1989. Tip tronic released over parts of the range.
1990 - A new breed of performance
1990: The new Porsche 911 Turbo released September sporting a 3299 cc, 320 bhp.
1991: The 968 based on the 928 replaces the classic 944. The 8-cylinder power unit of the Porsche 928 featured in the GTS 5397cc, 350 bhp, 911 Carrera RS competition boosted in power to 260 bhp.
1992: The 911 Turbo comes with a 3600 cc, 360 bhp. The 968 released as a two seater with Clubsport trim with less features and a lower price.
1993: Porsche presents modified 911 code-named the 993. The car featured a more streamlined body, new multi-link rear axle and either a 6 speed manual gearbox or 4 speed Tiptronic and a 3600 cc, 272 bhp water cooled engine. The new 993 built as a Carrera coupé featuring rear-wheel drive.
1994: The new Carrera 4 enters production A 911 featuring an extra-light chassis, a larger rear spoiler and engine increase 3746 cc, 300 bhp production starts on a 993 Cabriolet.
1995: The new 911 T with its 3.6 litre engine running at 408 bhp released. GT2 Turbo given rear wheel drive and 430 bhp. 911 Carrera receives 285 bhp, New Targa with a sliding glass roof enters the market.
1996: Boxster released 1996 Paris Motor Show
1997: New Porsche 911 model released running a 3387 cc, 300 bhp. Carrera 4S, Targa and 911 Turbo remain unchanged until March 1998.
1998: The new 911 Cabriolet released March.
(End of an era Ferdinand Porsche, passes away)
2000: New versions of the most famous version released.