WOW - I didn't know anyone had done an A98 in Australia, let alone an alum version! You learn something new every day. It's the car that AC built without Shelby's input. Controversial in the day for that reason, as well as their high speed pre-race testing on a public motorway!!!
(Borrowing this text from Specialk - CC member's website www.csxinfo.net
This is the AC Cobra Coupé [A98]. It was built to race at LeMans in 1964 by
AC Cars Ltd. The chassis is a mk2 item with many extra tubes to support the
body. This was designed by Alan Turner.
This project was given the title A98 following the Design Offices drawing
number. It started after the 1963 Le Mans effort were two cobras had run at
Le Mans, CS2131 and CSX2142. These were driven by Ninian Sanderson/Peter
Bolton and Ed Hugus/Peter Jopp respectively. The top speed was hampered to
about 163 mph. This included the slight benefit gained when using the long
hard top. CSX2142 put a rod through the block and DNF'd while CS2131
finished in 7th over all and first in class (GT3.0+). It was thought that a
more "slippery" shape would produce more speed...
The new coupé was designed independently of the Shelby team.
It was tested first at LeMans and showed overheating and stability
problems. These were rectified by, at the front, venting the radiator out
through the hood, and at the rear, by the addition of a spoiler. At least
two were made.
However, there was no possibility of testing this again at Le Mans, and
there were no suitable race circuits available in the UK. So an early
morning run down the newly opened M1 motorway was conducted. The changes
were a success, but the testing proved so controversial that it was
discussed in Parliament !
The engine (289 with webers etc) was not highly tuned, but ran an endurance
specification at 350 hp or so.
At Le Mans the car qualified 13 overall and second in GT5 to Dan Gurneys
The race started well with the cobras running 1,2 & 3, easily ahead of the
GTOs. A fuel starvation problem dropped the car back and this was traced
back to a news paper being dumped in the tank ! However, after 77 laps an
accident due to a tire blow-out badly damaged the car and the race was
over. Fortunately, Peter Bolton received only minor injuries.
The car has since been rebuilt.
It should also be noted that another roadster cobra ran at Le Mans in 1964
(COX6010) this was driven by Jean de Mortemart/Régis Fraissinet. It ran a
standard (short) hard top and minimal race preparation. They finished 18th
over all and second in the GT5 class.
The color was specifically this particular shade of green. Green being the
British racing color, just like blue was French, red Italian, blue and
white USA, white Germany etc. The British manufactures chose to use their
own shade or combination and AC's used this light metallic "mist green".
The manufactures used these colors particularly when indulging in
international motorsport. It is interesting to note that at this time
Porsche used silver. AC's have used this certainly since the fifties when
running their team cars. Many privateers used their own colors however. To
name a few; Chequered Flag Team, Willment Racing Team, David Piper Auto
Racing Team, Radford Racing etc.