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  • 1 Post By xb-60
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Old 06-10-2021, 12:53 AM
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Default COX 6000 Cobras

I am hoping that some one here can help me on some Cobra trivia that has bugged me for at least 35 or so years. I know what CSX stands for. C third iteration of the the Tojeiro Ace design. S for Shelby and X for export. So on the COB and COX cars, C is as above, X is also as above and B is for UK, mainly right hand drive, though some B were exported and some X remained in England. So what the heck does O stand for?
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Old 06-10-2021, 05:22 AM
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Hello Harpoon.

Easy explanation. According to the World Registry, UK Cobras had the prefix COB for "CObra Britain"
and COX cars were "CObra eXport", covering left hand drive cars for sale in Europe.
The four digit number that followed both the COB and COX prefixes numbered from 6001 through to 6062.

I believe that the prefix "CSX" comes from "Carroll Shelby Experimental", not "export".
Arguably, the "C" in COB and COX could refer to those English/Continental COB/COX cars being the "C" iteration of the AC Ace.

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Last edited by xb-60; 06-10-2021 at 05:38 AM.. Reason: edit
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Old 06-10-2021, 08:50 AM
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The AC’s in first Vin numbers had AC’s engines. The BE in second design stood for “Bristol Engine” not B version. Production of the Bristol engine stopped in 1961
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Last edited by sunman; 06-10-2021 at 09:36 AM..
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Old 06-10-2021, 12:48 PM
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Remember that the Bristol engine Ace was not the car immediately preceding the Cobra. That was the RS2.6. Cobra's early in production, were still referred to as Ace's.

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Old 06-10-2021, 11:03 PM
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LMH is correct, the Ford Zephyr 2.9, (not to be confused with our V12 Zephyr engines) powered the true third iteration. With the new engine and face lift, it should have been C, then 260-289 Cobras D and 427, with it's complete overhaul should have been D. However we are talking AC, which belonged to the Hurlock family. AC LTD could have bought Carrol out of petty cash! AC cars was a hobby for Derick Hurlock.
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Old 06-10-2021, 11:33 PM
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Just found out what O stands for, Other, meaning not assembled by Shelby, instead Assembled by AC. Although, that levees out Ed Hugas and TASCA Ford, who assembled early Cobras back East. Ed sold the first private Cobra, CSX2001. If you want to see some wild badge placement on a Cobra, then look it up, not talking about what it looks like today, but back in 62. That car had on it's nose, the winged Shelby AC Cobra badge, then below it the AC round medallion. At least one other car had the same placement. If you don't know who Ed was, he's the one who saved Shelby twice! Once at the beginning, when the whole Cobra thing was starting out and then, when Ford was going to take the Cobra program away, Ed talked Ford into sending an accountant to get things somewhat into the black instead.

Last edited by Harpoon PV2; 06-10-2021 at 11:40 PM..
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Old 06-10-2021, 11:37 PM
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The X for experimental can be disproved easily, both the Ac engine and Bristol powered Ace and Aceca used X for left hand cars, exported. As for the CObra, well old wives tails die hard!
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Old 06-14-2021, 05:23 PM
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So today’s AC Cars Ltd. that make a True AC Cobra with a Chevy LS engine they also carry a true COB or COX serial number?
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Old 06-14-2021, 06:11 PM
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AC’s website says yes “COB”. They didn’t mention “COX”. The Chevy LS, the Mustang 2.3 and the electric powered car all get it. You can’t make this stuff up. Party On
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Old 08-02-2021, 10:54 AM
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I finally managed to decipher the AC codes, as you will see in my next post. Not easy, they left a lot of blank spots in their ledgers. Sunman was right, (take a bow) on the AE and BE for AC and Bristol engine. Sorry, no CObra, but there is Cobra. It was a lot of fun, even the AC Owners Group did not have all the answers! Rinsey Mills book Original AC Ace & Cobra, has the basic vin numbers, but not most of the codes. E. Wilson McComb's book, AC (Shelby) Cobra has a lot of the definitive codes, but some had to be deduced from other AC cars. A fun fact, in Mills book he stated, and I am paraphrasing, if you take all the Ace based cars, Ace, Aceca, Cobra, and even throw in the AC289 cars, it totals less then the second year of export only Jaguar E Types.
I will leave you with one of the fun stories that people at AC swore was true, but I have my doubts, still funny. Apparently, a while before the Cobra was even started, a storeman at AC knocked on Derek Hurlock's office door. Said he had a mystery engine, "an engine? What kind of engine?" "I don't exactly know, Mr Derek, for there wasn't no paperwork, but I think maybe it's Japanese. It says FOMOCO on the side of it."
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Old 08-02-2021, 10:57 AM
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The First Ace and Aceca cars were AE and AEX. A is for AC powered cars, E is for engine and X is for export. Next generation were BE and BEX. B is for Bristol and E is for Engine and X is export. Fun side note, AC in their ledger had a space to write in which country their cars went to, in 1957 three Ace and one Aceca cars went to the country of Hawaii. Now comes the Ford 2.6 Zypher powered cars. You would think they would be FEX, instead they are RS, RSX, and one oddball Ace, RXS5001. The RS stands for RuddSpeed and X is export. RuddSpeed was the performance shop owned by Ken Rudd, a race car driver and the biggest AC enthusiast. He was instrumental in getting AC to put the Ford motor into the ACE. If you want a rare car, find one of only 8, 2.6 powered Aceca's!

Now finally the Cobra. The first mention of the car that became the Cobra, was on the AC chassis drawings. Ace 3.6. Why that, well 3.6L is almost 3622cc which is 221ci, the size of the Fairlane engine. Although this turns out to be wrong. Apparently Ford did not bother to tell Shelby or AC that they had already switched to the 260ci or 4.2L engine. Not the last time Ford did that, witness the 427 Cobra mess! Years latter, Barrie Bird of the AC Owner Club bought the original engine that AC put in CSX2000 for the short test hop. No, Carrol never drove it in England. Barrie of course pulled the heads off to see what condition it was in. When he measured the bores, it came out to 4261cc, or 260ci, so no 221 prototype! Finally, they got their own code, still no Cobra as we all know, Shelby still hadn't had his dream, and CSX2000 was in bare metal and Shelby hand lettered front and back. All early cobras were CS and CSX. We know what CS stands for, as it is in the margin on the ledger. C stands for Carol, (yes I spelled that correctly) S stands for Shelby, and as always X is for export. I am sure the shop steward thought, if some lady named Carol want's to buy a bunch of Ace cars, who am I to argue. Carrol did not spend much time at AC as he latter clamed, as usual, he was like a hurricane, came in fast and left AC to clean up the mess. The CS cars were home market cars mostly race cars and a couple that were sent Turin Italy, unlike the Daytona Coup Chassis which were sent from AC to Milan by air. The most interesting of the early cars was CS2030, which AC kept for a demo car. It is unusual that it is smack dab in the middle of the 260 Cobra run, and it was right hand drive and had rack & Pinon steering! A full year before these features became available from the factory. The big block cars reverted to just CSX, even though several stayed in the UK.


COB and COX. I had to do some searching to find what these letters stood for. The answer came with the fallow on car to the Cobra, the longer chassis, Frua designed body cars. Their letters were CF, Cobra Frua. Odd, since the AC428 never carried a Cobra badge from the factory. So C is for Cobra, O is for other, B is for Britain or right hand drive cars and X as always is for export. Other meant, cars not sent by air or ship to Los Angeles or New York. As always to confuse things, at least two cassis were sent direct by air to Dearborn. AC, Ford and Shelby maid an agreement, that once Homologation was meant, AC could start making cars for the home market and most of the world. Made sense, since it would be a waist of money to ship the cars to Shelby LA, then back across the Pond to AC, then to their final home. After a handful of CS leafspring cars were built, AC built 99 COB and COX small block leafspring cars for the home market and Europe, they had the Cobra badge on the nose and the AC script badge on the Boot, with no Powered By Ford badges. One of the most famous of these cars was, COX6057. This car was sold in 1965 to a man named Ken Weir, who was a young officer in the U.S. Air Force. He then took it to his new base in Spain, then to various bases in the USA, finally ending up in Richmond Hills, South Carolina, where Weir had retired. You can read the rest of the story in Tom Cotter's book, Cobra In The Barn, in the chapter titled Cobra In The Bedroom. When AC diverted to building the coil spring big block cars for Shelby they started production of there own versions called AC289, also coded COB and COX. The first cars had the narrow hip rear with skinny wire wheels, and the trusty 289 engine, hence AC289. They had AC scrip badges front and back, though, it's not uncommon to see them with Cobra badges on the nose these days! The final cars had the wide hip rear and wider wire wheals, though many had mag wheels installed. Many who have driven all the variants when new, consider this to be the best handling, and all around best mannered of all the Ace derived cars! 21 cars were made as COB, and six COX cars which were exported. One car COX6108 has no destination or date of completion. The last car COX6127, was exported, appropriately enough, to the USA, with the notation, "chassis parts supplied loose, no engine"


Like I have said before, AC was a millionaires hobby, not a big business, it was patterned off the sports car companies of the 30s, built for gentlemen, they did things their way and had a lot of fun. Though later on, Derek Hurlock wished he had not gotten involved with the Texan, who took more and more credit, and acted like AC had nothing to do with it. Derek did live long enough to see the big block Cobra become hands down, the most replicated car in history! Not bad for a hobby!
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Last edited by Harpoon PV2; 08-02-2021 at 04:04 PM..
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