Author Topic: Paperwork showing Ford had legal right to use 'Cobra' name on their Mk IV's  (Read 2617 times)

BGlover67

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I recently made friends with a nice gentleman out of South Carolina who owns a 1986 Ford AC Cobra Mk IV.  He acquired a Ford Press release from 1986 showing that Ford granted a license to Autokraft Limited of Brooklands in Surrey to use the name 'Cobra' for their AC Mk IV Sports Car.  He asked me to post this on the forum to show that (his words, not mine) only the Mk IV's can legally be called 'Cobras' when speaking about cars built after 1970. 

It is a pretty cool car though.  For a little over a $100k, you can have a Cobra with an aluminum body as opposed to a fiberglass CSX.  Let the flaming begin.   :o

 
Thanks,
Brian R. Glover
SAAC Carolina's Northern Representative

98SVT - was 06GT

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AC Cars were granted a license to use the name - for a period of time. They do not own the name. Ford still owns the word Cobra, GT350, GT500 etal. Why do you think Shelby had to put his own name on his Mustang based cars? If you check you can probably find in the post 2005 agreements that Ford also licensed CS to use the name Cobra for his replicas of the 1960s cars. He had forgotten he no longer owned the trademarks when he sued Ford in the mid 80s for their use of GT350. Shelby's original deal with Ford (involving a loan to start SA) in 1962 expired in 1967. At that time the note was due and Ford took over assets and copyrights - as well as moving the 68 production to a new place so they could build a higher number of cars. SA remained as a contractor to Ford handling some of their race programs. When that contract was over CS retired to Africa and considered himself out of the car business - until SAAC came along and made his name and cars a legend in the automotive world.
The AC car deal was a typical ad ploy to put some eye candy in the dealer showroom and draw the buyers in. Ford was involved to the extent of supplying drivetrains and federal certification by using already certified Mustang components.
Previous owner 6S843 - GT350H & 68 GT500 Convert #135.
Mine: GT1 Mustang Track Toy, 1998 SVT Cobra, Wife's: 2004 Tbird
Member since 1975 - priceless

Don Johnston

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Shelby Licensing has the GT350 and GT500 trademarks, which is why Ford pays a fee for all the Mustangs they built with tha designation. 
http://www.shelbylicensing.com/?topic=CSL&art=IntellectualProperty

Bob Gaines

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Least we not forget that the MK IV's ( Cobra named for a a while) where substantially different in construction compared to a MK III Cobra.Even though it is based on a MK III Cobra it is a very different car compared to the MK III .  Few parts relatively speaking were the same between MK IV and the vintage MK III. The MK IV was a more modern version of the MK III. Just compare the nose between the two for a example . The front of the body ,the sides,interior ,engine and engine compartment are all different . It is so substantially different compared to the vintage MK III is the reason why so many people would rather spring for the more expensive present day CSX MK III continuation version then the more modest priced MK IV. I had a MK IV for about 20 years and it was a very nice driving car. It was much more civilized driving compared to my vintage Cobra.
Bob Gaines,Shelby Enthusiast, Shelby Collector , Shelby Concours judge SAAC,MCA,Mid America Shelby

98SVT - was 06GT

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Shelby Licensing has the GT350 and GT500 trademarks, which is why Ford pays a fee for all the Mustangs they built with tha designation. 
http://www.shelbylicensing.com/?topic=CSL&art=IntellectualProperty
I think Ford granted them rights to the early trademarks. The results of the 80s lawsuit have never really been fully known.
Previous owner 6S843 - GT350H & 68 GT500 Convert #135.
Mine: GT1 Mustang Track Toy, 1998 SVT Cobra, Wife's: 2004 Tbird
Member since 1975 - priceless

1bigfish

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There are no Mustang components used in the MkIV other than the engine and transmission. The car was designed to comply with US DOT safety requirements before Ford became vested in 1986.

There is no real MKI, II, III,  that is a desination that evolved over time. Leafspring and coilspring denotes the cars in proper terms. The MkIV is a coilspring Cobra similar to the big block 427/428 cars and the AC 289 Sports. Yes, the nose is a little longer and the foot well are a tad bit larger. The MkIV is exceptionally well built. The aluminum body is a little thicker than the original Cobras but that is not were it ends. There is heat insulation riveted in place on the underside and firewall. There are inner fenders to protect against rock dents from inside the fender wells. The bumpers are telescopic mount. The wheels are 16". The dashboard is different. Headrest and seatbelts are included because of safety regulations. The shock absorbers are the same part number as used on the Ford GT40. The transmission is a Borg Warner five speed. The differential is Salisbury. The fuel fill is in the center. The paint is exceptional. The door latches are Rolls Royce. I have been along side Ron Finger's 1964 USRRC Competition. The similarities far outweigh the differences. If you want a MkIV that is truer to the original coilspring Cobras, Autokraft build 73 "Lightweight" versions with a short nose, hood scoop, original style dashboard and 15" wheels.  Most of these cars were equipped with the Ford 340hp SVO engine. Please keep in mind that Autokraft built a few Cobras for Shelby. By the way, although the standard 302 engine was installed by the factory in most the MkIV's there were some 427's factory installed.

When I was in the market for a Cobra, I could not afford an original nor did I want fiberglass kit car. I found an ad for my car on Autotrader. I started doing some research and came across the AC Owners Club. On their forum there is a page dedicated to the MkIV's I engaged with them and found that the Club had a register for the MkIV's similar to the SAAC registry. Because Autokraft bought AC Cars Ltd from the Hurlock family, the car is a true AC with proper DNA. The source of all the original Cobras and unlike anything produce by any other company anywhere. As we know, there were CSX, COX and COB variants of the original Cobras. My car is an AK (Autokraft) not attempting to fool anyone into thinking it is an original Cobra. My car is AK1131 which is plated on the car in three locations and stamped into the frame. There was a total of 386 AK's built in England from 1978 to 1996 with an additional 73 AKL's (Lightweights) per the ACOC AC MkIV register. 459 total, less than half of the original Cobras produced. 183 built for the US market. It is what it is but it is a Cobra.


« Last Edit: February 01, 2019, 01:05:39 PM by 1bigfish »

98SVT - was 06GT

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It is what it is but it is a Cobra.
But the window sticker says it's an AC MKIV and makes no mention of Cobra. Vin tags also make no mention of "Cobra"
Previous owner 6S843 - GT350H & 68 GT500 Convert #135.
Mine: GT1 Mustang Track Toy, 1998 SVT Cobra, Wife's: 2004 Tbird
Member since 1975 - priceless

1bigfish

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That is not the vin plate. Looks like something you swiped from the internet.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2019, 04:30:54 AM by 1bigfish »

BGlover67

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It seems different years received different VIN plates.
Thanks,
Brian R. Glover
SAAC Carolina's Northern Representative

Bill

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Pre & Post Angliss issues I believe are what account for the variations. That, or a cunning dealer. Iíll check with Rick Muck and let you know what I find out.

Bill
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1bigfish

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Re: Paperwork showing Ford had legal right to use 'Cobra' name on their Mk IV's
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2019, 12:11:47 PM »
Brian Angliss was restoring Cobras in the mid 70's. In 1982, he start production of the MkIV's. AK1023 was built in 1983 and originally sold to B. Rhodes per the World Registry of Cobras & GT40's 4th Edition. Below are three VIN plates the first CSX2492 was taken from the Registry. I found CSX3301 on the internet. AK1131 is my VIN plate.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2019, 12:27:53 PM by 1bigfish »

1bigfish

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Re: Paperwork showing Ford had legal right to use 'Cobra' name on their Mk IV's
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2019, 12:31:05 PM »
From the AC Owners Club website.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2019, 12:41:54 PM by 1bigfish »

mark iv

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Re: Paperwork showing Ford had legal right to use 'Cobra' name on their Mk IV's
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2019, 07:44:08 AM »
The "Cobra" trademark was granted to Autokraft for use in all markets EXCEPT North America. The real reason was that products liability insurance requirement Ford specified. Ford was to be named as "additional insured" and indemnified. Autokraft was unable to find such insurance at a price that was not seriously out of line as insurance companies saw Ford as a much better target than Autokraft. It was economics pure and simple so Brain Angliss accepted the trademark license with North America excluded.

I was there so this is not "hearsay".

1bigfish

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Re: Paperwork showing Ford had legal right to use 'Cobra' name on their Mk IV's
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2019, 08:12:58 AM »
Thank you MR. Muck for your clarification. I know that was the case but wanted to see the response from the Shelby community. I was quiet until someone comment the MkIV was built with Mustang components. Once in the past I was told on this forum  that Shelby bought AC in the 60ís. Thank you for the radio delete cover I got from long ago. I still have my MKIV Cobra and have thoroughly enjoyed the car. I once was asked if it was a VW so I take this all with with a grain of salt.

My car is aluminum, my boat is fiberglass.

Best regards,
1Bigfish

Bill

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Re: Paperwork showing Ford had legal right to use 'Cobra' name on their Mk IV's
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2019, 09:40:45 AM »
Ah yes, Burtis, the death of the Contemporary Motorcar company that Peter Bayer made famous. Sad, but true.
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