Classic Cars

Unique of the Week: 1985 AC Cobra Mk IV

Nearly 15 years after the original AC Cobras ended production, the Mk IV came along.

It goes without saying that gearheads everywhere are quite familiar with the AC Cobra. By the time the great Carroll Shelby began stuffing Ford V8s in them in the early 1960s, the body that was built by British automaker AC was already a familiar shape to English sports car fans. However, Shelby had some different plans for it and the rest is history. The original Mk I began production in 1962 and the Mk II arrived the following year. The Mk III debuted in 1965 and ended production in '67.

No immediate replacement came. However, that changed in 1982 when the Mk IV Cobra was launched. It was even built by the same people who produced those original AC Cobras in '60s. Although it has the same basic design as those original generations (as well as an aluminum body), it utilized the latest engineering technology of the era. For starters, it had an enlarged cockpit for improved comfort for drivers and passengers, but it retained the exterior dimensions of the 427 AC Cobra. What's interesting about the Mk IV is that they were hand-built in England by the same people, also known as "panel beaters", who worked on the original Cobras.

All told, these 'reborn' Cobras took over 900 hours to construct from start to finish. Production lasted until 1995, with less than 84 units built every year from 1986 onward. All told, only around 300 Mark IV's were sold at Ford dealers in the U.S. And now one of those is for sale on eBay Motors. Powered by a 302 cu in V8 with 345hp mated to a Borg-Warner T5 five-speed manual transmission, it also has a Salisbury limited slip differential. In addition, there are stainless steel exhausts with polished tips, Halibrand style wheels, and just 24,000 miles on the odometer. The seller also has the original top, side curtains and Tonneau top.

He also claims that it's only been gently used throughout its life, with only about 1,000 miles put on the car every year. It's in excellent shape both inside and out and still has the original Mercedes Signal Red paint and black Wilton wool and leather interior. It has a 'Buy it Now' price of $89,000, which isn't bad considering we found a similar Mk IV going for $125,000 (although the latter only has around 1,500 miles on the odometer). Anyone looking to own a piece of classic American and English automotive history with semi-modern engineering thrown in, this AC Cobra Mk IV is a solid choice. Photos courtesy of marklotus

Read Next

SEE MORE ARTICLES