We often see brands reissuing sneakers, watches, and even knives, but on the rare occasion of an automobile company making a new vehicle that looks like one of its classic models, we can’t help but get excited. Britain’s own AC Cars has had its ups and downs since it was founded in 1901. Yet it will forever be most known for helping Carroll Shelby get his first automobile, the Cobra, into production. Now, AC has made a new version of the Cobra, dubbed the GT Roadster, that it’s calling the most powerful ever, and it looks very much like the original models — most notably, the coveted 427.
Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. Turns out, there’s a lot of happenstance involved as well. By 1961, Carroll Shelby, having just retired from a legendary career racing behind the wheel, had contacted some of the biggest automakers overseas in hopes that he could develop his own vehicle and fulfill his dream of putting an American V8 into a super-fast European sports car. Rejected by everyone, Shelby got the news that a smaller British marque, AC Cars, was looking for a new engine supplier after Bristol suddenly ceased production on its ubiquitous straight-6. The company agreed to work with Shelby, who had recently tapped Ford who was looking to beat Chevy’s Corvette with its latest 3.6L small-block V8. Unlike anything anyone had ever seen, the AC Shelby Cobra was only produced until 1967, with fewer than 1,000 ever made.
Nearly a foot longer than the original, the new GT Roadster is also fairly lightweight, with its bodywork weighing just 110lbs and the car weighing in at 3,196lbs overall. Powering the new vehicle is a 5.0L V8 engine putting out 448hp and 420lb.ft of torque in the standard version, or 645hp and 575lb.ft of torque in the supercharged version. With a 0 to 60 time of just 3.4 seconds, the sports car will come with the option of a 6-speed manual gearbox or a 10-speed automatic gearbox with steering wheel-mounted shift paddles.
Outfitted with a beautiful, classically-styled interior with some modern touches such as an infotainment system and start/stop button, the new AC Cobra GT Roadster will be made in limited quantities of 250, and in both left- and right-hand configurations. Pricing has not been given, but you can reserve yours now on AC Cars’ website.