The AC Cobra, also known as the Shelby Cobra, is a British sports car powered by a Ford V8 that has been produced intermittently in both the UK and the United States since 1962. The car came to be after American automotive designer Carroll Shelby wrote to AC in 1961 asking if they would build him a car modified to accept a V8 engine. AC agreed, provided a suitable engine could be found. At the time, Ford wanted a car that could compete with the Corvette and they happened to have a newly developed engine which could be used in this endeavor: the Windsor 221 in³ (3.6 L) engine – a new lightweight, thin-wall cast small-block V8. Ford supplied the power and Shelby went on to earn legendary status in the motorsports realm.