50 Years of the AC Cobra
What’s your favourite indulgence? Mine varies according to my mood and time of day. First thing in the morning, a strong cup of Yorkshire Tea is essential. Summers evenings, a glass of ice cold Voignier. Winter times, a warm Pinotage or even a Glenmorangie on a special occasion. Whatever your preference, if you order a copy of Cobra by Trevor Legate and Kay Hafner, have it to hand when you sit down to read this great AC Cobra 50 years book.
I’m probably one of many that admire the Cobra from afar. I’ve yet to drive one and I’m not possessed of in depth knowledge, so this book is full of useful facts for me. It’s a heavyweight, thick book of high quality, with large, clear fonts and a nice layout that paces itself throughout. The full story of the birth of the Shelby Cobra is told, from the initial ideas by a Texan wanting to go racing, how AC Cars were brought in to the project with their chassis, all the way through to the fastback Daytona Coupe’s competing at LeMans.
The second half of the book is a commemoration of some recent celebrations of the 50th Anniversary of the Cobra. In Europe in 2012, a group of owners and enthusiasts got together to celebrate Carol Shelby’s achievements before traveling across to Goodwood to bear witness to the commemorative One Make race at the Revival that year, with a full grid of Cobras racing on track. We caught up with co-author Kay Hafner for a short chat about the book.
HR – This book is a combination if a history of the Cobra, but also a personal account of your 50th anniversary celebrations. When did you have the idea for the book and where you already creating the contact throughout the celebrations or did you decide afterwards?
KH – As a longtime enthusiast of Cobras (more than 30 years now….) I always had the idea if writing a book and waited for the 50th anniversary to comine history and actual celebration- and my friend Trevor Legate, who is a well-known writer on Cobra & GT40 books, was enthusiasted as well and so we did the project together – also I must admit, that he did the major part and deserves the most credit
HR – The printing and reproduction is of high quality. You could probably have printed it a tittle smaller, was the size, quality and weight of the paper a big priority to you?
KH – Size and weight was not a priority – we just wanted to make something unique and the big sizes and lettering makes it visually different to other books…
HR – It was interesting to see the 29 Cobras that attended the celebration detailed in the book. But they produced 998 cars! Have you any plans to track down and document the entire family of Cobras?
KH – I am tracking the history of all Cobras since 25 years in my own registry and I am supporting the Shelby American Cobra Register and the UK Register of the AC Owners Club since many years
The book now is already a collectors items, because very few (under20) are left from the 289 copies – some book stores (Horton, Chaters) are already selling them for more than 200 GBP….
I still love the weightiness of a well bound, nicely printed book that in this digital age is sadly lacking. I love my iPad as much as the next person, but a good book gives a sense of occasion that a sideways swipe just doesn’t offer. And when the book is created by people with man obvious passion for the subject, it makes it all the better. If you’re lucky, you head over to Vintage Style and try and obtain a copy. My copy is not available….
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