Author Topic: questions on early Cobra  (Read 438 times)

jerry merrill

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questions on early Cobra
« on: June 20, 2020, 04:03:19 PM »
 Did the 260 engine used in early Cobra's use the same stronger rods , solid cam and thicker main caps the 289HP used? Also why did Herbie Hancock's Cobra come with a two barrel carb?

A-Snake

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Re: questions on early Cobra
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2020, 05:11:43 PM »
Did the 260 engine used in early Cobra's use the same stronger rods , solid cam and thicker main caps the 289HP used? Also why did Herbie Hancock's Cobra come with a two barrel carb?

Jerry, I'm not going to try to answer your questions but suffice to say the answers will not be simple or 100% complete as not all is known about HP260 & XHP260 & 260 c.i.d installed in Cobras. Very, very few original 260's that were in Cobras still exist today. Perhaps Dan Case will reply to this thread with some answers ;)

Dan Case

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Re: questions on early Cobra
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2020, 05:25:58 PM »
Did the 260 engine used in early Cobra's use the same stronger rods , solid cam and thicker main caps the 289HP used? Also why did Herbie Hancock's Cobra come with a two barrel carb?
I can’t tell you the why of CSX2006’s 2V induction system. I can’t tell you anything about what made up the engine day one.

Two versions of Ford engineering custom 260 c.i.d. engines with 4V induction were supplied to Shelby American, Inc. (and other limited production car makers or racers).

Experimental High Performance 260 4V (XHP-260)
Super labor intensive hand made prototype engines. Many of the parts were unique or they were production parts that got modified. Almost every part in the engine was serial numbered.  They used a heavy duty connecting rod design that was the parent of what would become the High Performance 289 production rod and later the Boss 302 production rod.  The single intact unrestored engine has a very custom camshaft ground from a Ford blank. You cannot take any Ford cam and regrind it and get the same thing so it started as a raw blank.  Custom mechanical lifters were required. Otherwise it is not a lot different than what would become the High Performance 260 camshaft and later the High Performance 289 camshaft. The main bearing caps were standard Ford 260 pieces. The cylinder head castings and all the valve train parts were unique to this engine at the time.

High Performance 260 4V (HP260)
An almost mass production child of the XHP-260 prototypes. Ford considered offering the HP260 in Ford Falcons. Dearborn Steel Tubing Company built up a HP260 powered Falcon prototype car and Ford allowed a magazine company to do a road test and publish the results.   The cylinder head castings and connecting rod forgings were still at prototype stage.  The camshaft in production HP289s was for practical purposes the same as the HP260 version. The same rods of the XHP-260 were carried over.  Still stock main caps.

The subject of “Cobra” engines is quite complex. My current notes take up 101 pages and that does not any in depth detail for the study made on XHP-260-4 that once powered a new Cobra and remains almost completely intact and unrestored.  I have hundreds of pictures and copies of all the work done studying that one engine.
Dan Case
1964 Cobra owner since 1983, Cobra crazy since I saw my first one in the mid 1960s in Huntsville, AL.

jerry merrill

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Re: questions on early Cobra
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2020, 05:58:39 PM »
Thanks a lot, I have been looking for that info for a long time. In the case of the Hancock car you would think that if they simply did not have enough 4 brl manifolds on hand they would have later replaced it after the sale.

Dan Case

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Re: questions on early Cobra
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2020, 06:29:25 PM »
You are welcome.
Dan Case
1964 Cobra owner since 1983, Cobra crazy since I saw my first one in the mid 1960s in Huntsville, AL.

A-Snake

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Re: questions on early Cobra
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2020, 07:09:24 PM »
Thanks a lot, I have been looking for that info for a long time. In the case of the Hancock car you would think that if they simply did not have enough 4 brl manifolds on hand they would have later replaced it after the sale.

Many cars that first had 260 installed had them replaced with 289's even before delivery. Whether an early car received a 260 or 289 also depended on where the car was completed, thru Hugus or Shelby. Handcock's car was completed by European Motors and sent to the selling dealer.

Dan Case

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Re: questions on early Cobra
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2020, 07:28:34 PM »
When and where. HP289 production started as March started 1963. Roughly 400 engines a month were made. It appears Shelby American implemented HP289s as soon as they arrived while Continental Cars and AC might have kept using 260s on hand until inventory was depleted. 

 
During the summer of 1964 Shelby American had a used “260 Cobra” engine sale. They had five lightly used engines to dispose of. Two were purchased and installed in hot rods. One is still in use in its hot rod. The owner told me the car has been driven 400,000 plus miles since. Yes, engine rebuilds were required. I have its original HP260 camshaft.
Dan Case
1964 Cobra owner since 1983, Cobra crazy since I saw my first one in the mid 1960s in Huntsville, AL.

6s1802

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Re: questions on early Cobra
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2020, 12:21:25 AM »
My close friend and fellow G.T.350 owner has taken care of Herbie's cobra for 25 plus years and has had it in his possession all this time. The drive train in 2006 has never been out and aside from a valve adjustment the engine has never been opened up. The Autolite 2100 and manifold are original to the car along with the tach that's driven off the back of the generator.