At $25,000, Is This 1965 AC Cobra Replica A Super Deal, Or Just Super Blasphemous?

Photo: Craigslist
Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

Hold onto your hats, friends. Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Cobra replica is built on none other than the original car’s most bitter rival, the Chevy Corvette. Once you recover from that shocking revelation, we’ll get down to its price.

The French actress and activist Simone Signoret gave her 1979 memoir the Yogi Berra-esque title, Nostalgia Isn’t What It Used To Be. I was reminded of her witty and engaging tome whilst we were all perusing yesterday’s 1985 Honda Civic CRX ad. We applied scrutiny not only to the car itself, but to a unique and somewhat arcane aspect of its ad’s photos as well. Those were all marked with a timestamp, and both that oddity and the car felt like relics of a past that few of us can place today.


At just $3,850 and in reasonably decent condition, that CRX seemingly proved a suitable time machine to freshly experience that past, and it won a respectable 62 percent Nice Price victory as a result.

Have you ever worn a rival’s underwear? You know, slapped on your high school bully’s tighty whiteys or the thong of an ex-boyfriend’s new THOT? Yes, it’s an odd inquiry, but then, I’m here to ask the tough questions.

I raise this question of hiding an oppugner’s undies beneath your daily wear as way to prepare you for something shocking, disturbing, and potentially permanently damaging to your core mental well being.


I’m referring of course, to this 1965 AC Cobra Replica which has been built over the revived corpse of a 1977 Chevrolet Corvette.

Now, as we all know, Ford (the company whose engines powered the Cobra) and Chevy have enjoyed a decades-long bitter rivalry. Fans of each brand take great pleasure in dissing their adversaries and most aren’t shy about making those disses public. With this macabre marriage of Corvette and Cobra, I don’t even know which marque you’d have Calvin pissing on in the inevitable brand bashing window decal.


Let’s do some digging. The ad says that the car was built in 1986 by an Indianapolis, Indiana company that went by the name of Elegant Motors. They were better known for their Auburn Speedster replicas, but also offered the Cobra as well as—and this is where it gets interesting—copies of Bill Thomas’ famous Chevy-powered Cheetah.


Elegant Motors went belly-up only to be reconstituted as Classic City Motors. That only lasted a couple of years before it too faded from the picture. Okay, Cheetahs and Cobras from the same shop? You can see how a Chevy 350 and THM400 transmission might have found its way behind enemy lines.


That doesn’t make it any less jolting to pop the hood and stare down at a long oval Cobra air-cleaner housing only to find it ending on a distributor that sits at the wrong end of the engine. It should be additionally noted that the air-cleaner in question is also installed ass-backwards in the pics. The ad claims that the engine, transmission, and the suspension was pulled from a ’77 ‘Vette. There’s also the Chevy’s tilt column and Corvette three-spoke steering wheel to serve as visual reminders of this forbidden tryst.

The bodywork looks to be a fairly faithful approximation of the 427 Cobra only with way-longer doors and accompanying passenger cell. That’s fitting if it’s actually riding on the Corvette frame since the Chevy’s wheelbase was a good nine-inches longer than that of the real deal Cobra. External door handles and side exhaust exiting below rather than through the fenders are even more visual indicators of faux-dom.


The interior looks to be in pretty nice shape although the red on the steering column is a bit over the top. A slew of Stewart Warner gauges populate the dash above a console-mounted shifter. Of those dials, all save for the oil and transmission temperature are in working condition. Regarding that transmission, it’s claimed in the ad to have been rebuilt at 14,000 miles. The car as a whole only has 17,000 on the clock and comes with a clean title. The fat BFGs are also said to be new and the car comes with both top and side curtains as well as a full tonneau.


Now, we all know that we’d each love to own a Cobra. We also all know that few of us could afford the six figures or more that an original car would cost. That’s what’s made the replica market so robust and why today there are more cobbled together Cobras than real AC-sourced cars to buy.


Owing to its Corvette origins, this one is one of the weirdest ones you could own. That doesn’t however make it the worst, and at $25,000 it’s certainly not the most expensive. There doesn’t seem to be any red flags on the car other than its oddball provenance and the need to tell the parts guy that you need a Chevy this-or-that for your should be Ford-powered Cobra. There’s a certain shame in that.


But is there any shame in that price? Would you pay $25,000 for this Romeo and Juliet Cobra? Or, is that too much to jump into the middle of so historic a feud?

You decide!


Minneapolis, MN Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

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About the author

Rob Emslie

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.