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Our Technical Manager's AC Cobra Dream

Publisert 11.10.2023

Having a strong technical aptitude is crucial for building your own car! It took 1500 work hours, but now the dream has finally become a reality.

In a world often defined by busy daily routines and responsibilities, it's inspiring to hear stories of individuals who take the time to pursue their passions.

Anda-Olsen's Technical Manager, Svein Gunnar, is one of those who have done just that. In his free time, he dedicated himself to fulfilling the dream of constructing his very own classic AC Cobra Replica.

The Story Behind AC Cobra

The AC Cobra, also known as the Shelby Cobra, is an iconic sports car with a rich history in the automotive world. It came to life through an exciting collaboration between the British automaker AC Cars and the legendary American racing icon Carroll Shelby in the early 1960s.

This unique car combined British elegance with American power and quickly became a success both on the race track and on the road. In the 1960s, there was hardly anything more impressive than a Cobra.

The potent V8 engine and lightweight body made it a formidable racer and a sought-after luxury car for enthusiasts. The AC Cobra has long since become an iconic classic, symbolizing the golden age of the automotive world even today.

The Right Time

Although Svein Gunnar has always had a passion for Cobra cars, the dream of owning one seemed unattainable at first. It wasn't until his late teenage years, when he saw an AC Cobra in Cyprus, that the goal of someday owning such a car himself began to take shape.

It was only in 2017, when the one-time fee for amateur-built cars was eliminated, that the opportunity to realize the dream became closer. Finally, it became realistic to undertake the project, and there was more time at home as the children had grown up.

His family supported his passionate commitment to the Cobra project. His wife encouraged him to pursue the dream and was prepared for the time and effort it would require. Svein Gunnar had previously restored motorcycles, so he had prior technical knowledge.

Foto: Trym Aasen

Building Process

It was only after meeting a like-minded individual who had completed a similar building process that Svein Gunnar truly felt inspired to take the first step. He approached the task with curiosity and obtained a kit from the same source as the person he met.

An online community (Factory Five) provided him with inspiration, advice, and photos that helped him get started. He also found an engine builder in the USA to ensure that he would have the perfect engine under the hood.

The building process was far from easy for Svein Gunnar. He had to customize the car to his own preferences and vision, and what was originally supposed to take about 400-500 hours ended up requiring a total of 1500 hours. The most challenging part of the whole process was the bodywork, which required a patient effort and countless work hours.

Driving this powerhouse is like a journey back in time. It's an analog experience without modern aids like traction control, ABS, or an automatic gearbox. The driver is completely in control, making it a pure driving experience for enthusiasts.

Foto: Trym Aasen


The work of building the car began in January 2022, and he finally hit the road with license plates on August 16, 2023. Svein Gunnar's expectations now point toward fantastic road trips in 2024.

Svein Gunnar's Cobra made its debut at a small and informal car gathering, where it quickly captured the attention of car enthusiasts and curious onlookers.

However, the real surprise came one day when he was driving along a scenic route. Just after a bend, he encountered a sight he never expected. Many enthusiastic car enthusiasts and photographers were lined up along the road, eager to capture images of his Cobra. Word had spread rapidly through various channels, highlighting that a Cobra on the road that day was something extraordinary.

Foto: Trym Aasen

Plans for the Future

Svein Gunnar still has plans for his car. He will spend the winter fine-tuning it and intends to showcase it at car exhibitions and take it on road trips to iconic places. So, there is a high likelihood that you might suddenly see this unique car with your own eyes in the coming year.

Svein Gunnar's story reminds us of the importance of pursuing our passions and dreams, even when the responsibilities and duties of daily life demand our attention. The journey, from the initial spark of interest to the finished, approved car on the road, is a strong testament that dreams can become a reality.

Despite the twists and turns along the way, he can confidently affirm that the effort was well worth it.

Foto: Trym Aasen

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