1964 AC Cobra


Pendine is offering this AC Cobra for sale. One of the very few RHD AC Cobras that remains largely untouched. 


Rightly regarded as one of the all-time great sports cars, the AC Cobra captures the hearts and imagination of any petrolhead. A true icon, recognisable to anyone.

There have always been differing American and British views as to who should claim ownership of the Cobra; American’s tend to believe that AC Cars, Ltd. was just a subcontractor to Shelby American, providing partially completed cars to Shelby’s specifications. However, the British tend to think that AC Cars were the true manufacturer, supplying almost complete, engineless cars to its primary customer, Shelby American—who merely installed their own engines and transmissions and sold the cars through their own network. As is usually the case, truth can be found in both camps, but there is no doubt that the majority of the physical construction occurred on British soil.

Almost as soon as Cobra production began, AC Cars saw a market for them in the United Kingdom and Europe. Shelby was busy with the demand in the U.S. and the European market seemed like a modest one. He was happy to let AC Cars assume the responsibility of supplying cars in Europe and consequently a contract was signed allowing AC Cars to produce and market the Cobra in Europe.

These cars were standard specification leaf spring Cobras powered by 289 Hi-Po Shelby engines with Borg Warner four-speed transmissions which AC received from Shelby. They carried the recognisable Cobra badge on the nose but the circular “AC” badge was affixed to the trunk lid, no doubt because AC was proud of their heritage and unwilling to allow it to be totally overshadowed by Shelby American.

The serial numbers were COB (‘CObra Britain’) for the right-hand drive cars sold in the United Kingdom, of which just 45 out of the entire Cobra production were produced. Many do not survive having succumbed to racing incidents and terminal episodes that were the result of too much power for damp British roads.

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COB 6035 is one of the 45 Right Hand Drive Cobras, and is one of just a handful remaining in largely original condition, having never been subjected to the fashionable flares of the 1970s or poor restorations of the 1980s.

Originally finished in Bright Blue (the AC name for Guardsman Blue) over a red interior, the colours it wears today, and registered 1st January 1965 to Brendan Bowles of Glamorgan, Wales. The Cobra would be in his ownership for two years before it was replaced by a road specification GT40 (P/1013). Clearly a man of great taste and with a thirst for performance!

Purchased by Lord Dundas in 1967, it remained in his possession until being sold to its 3rd owner Kenneth Thaine via dealer Raymond Phillips. Mr Thaine would keep the Cobra for a further 12 years, when in 1973 he emigrated to Australia, taking COB 6035 with him. By 1975, the Cobra had been repainted yellow and retrimmed in black. Thaine would keep the car until in 1982 it was bought by Kevin Donnelan (Victoria, AST) who rebuilt the engine, powertrain, and suspension on the car.

In 1985 it was purchased by Geoff Burrowes, who registered it to his movie production company name Yenan Productions, and it even had a staring roll in the action movie Running from the Guns. In 1989 it was sold to Barry Batagol (Melbourne, AST) at which time the Cobra was sympathetically restored and repainted to its original colour and reupholstered. Barry actively used the car in road events before selling it in 1996 to Lance Dixon (AST).

It wasn’t until 2002 that COB 6035 would return home to England, when it was purchased by a well-known British AC collector who reunited it with is original UK registration, before selling it in 2003 to another prominent figure from the U.K. AC Cobra community. Coincidently, both great friends of Pendine who Pendine has sold Cobras for in the past!

Bought by the current owner in 2018, COB 6035 has been well looked after and the subject of on-going maintenance by Moto-Historics and most recently, prior to sale, RW Racing Services to ensure the car is in fine fettle.

Present with COB 6035 is its original weather gear and a sizeable history file, documentation from new, the original UK log book, an MOT record from 1971 as well as most Australian registration certificates and past invoices.

COB 6035 is an extremely rare example that boasts known ownership from new and remains largely as it left the factory with its original unmodified body, all the right numbers in all the right places and finished in the most desirable of all colour combinations.

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Pendine specialise in the sale of historic cars for road and track. Whilst focusing specifically on the immediate post-war period through to the 1970s, their experience ranges from Edwardian racers through to the supercars of the 1990s. James Mitchell: Having worked as Business Manager at the world’s leading historic car specialist for over a decade, James’s specialist knowledge is of post-war British sports and racing cars. He has a reputation for being one of the foremost authorities on early Jaguar E-Type’s. James is also the Senior Editor of Speed Age Books, a publishing company dedicated to the publication of bespoke, limited edition volumes on important cars and collections. Historical research is an increasingly important factor within the classic car market, making his specialist knowledge a great asset. James founded Pendine in 2014. Jonny Shears: Raised in and around classic cars, it was only natural for Jonny to pursue a career in the motor industry. Initially starting as an automotive photographer, Jonny helped build one of the country’s leading auction houses. As such, Jonny has been involved in the sale of a great breadth of significant cars, specialising in both the Porsche and Alfa Romeo marques. As an avid enthusiast and historic racer you will often find him at race meetings, either spanner in hand or piloting his Austin Healey Sprite.