Ships in the Original Elite had different personalities, unlike FFE where they mob you in the same way whether it be a Falcon or a Imperial Explorer, Original Elites ships reacted differently. Here is a list of the type of behavior you would expect from certain ships.

(I know the thumbs are from FFE but they portray the ship better)

Thumbnail Type Behaviour
Cobra Mk 1 Trader This ship should leave you alone if you leave it alone, dont fire on it or it will turn around possibly fire a couple of missiles and give you all its got.
  Wolf The wolf will harrow you until you either die, kill it or get out of range.
Cobra Mk 3
Like is younger brother the Cobra 3 Trader will leave you be if you leave it be. But be warned it is prepared to fight back. Beware the bite of a Cobra
  Wolf Watch out, These usually attack you by itself or in groups no bigger then 3
Moray Starboat There are very few trader Morays. Usually this ship will leave you alone when by itself but attack in a pack.
Python The Python "The Bounty Hunters Favourite" as soon as you attack these they wiggle around like crazy trying to avoid your lasers. Possibly letting off a few missile as they go. You may get attacked by a python on occations but they are pretty easy to dispatch. Usually the python will spit out a few cargo canisters upon death.
Asp The Asp is not a friendly ship it will attack with ferocity and speed. Asps will fly at you very quickly while firing then turn off at the last second. The time to get them is when they are flying away. Watch out for Asps on the edge of your scanner, they can attack with terrifying power depleating your shields very quickly.
Krait Kraits wont attack you when by itself but when in packs they can be deadly. If you attack a lone Krait it will instantly fire off 2 missiles then quickly turn around and shoot you.
Ferdelance These things are quick, they come at you with an astonding rate. What makes them harder to kill is their small frontal profile that makes them harder to hit. As with the asp the tactic is to get them while they are flying away.
Mamba The Mamba behaves much like the Krait, Firing off two missiles before attacing fiercley.
They tend to leave you alone when by themselves.
Transporter These ships offer little or nothing in the way of defence. They are a great source of alloys for a pirate and no threat to a trader
Shuttle Just like the transporter these ships offer little or nothing in the way of defence. They are a great source of alloys for a pirate and no threat to a trader
Sidewinder These things are harder to catch then a greased pig. They weave, duck, dive and dogfight you to the death. Remember FFE knowledge is useless in Elite, I was is a ship without ECM and thought I could shoot a sidwinder without it shooting missiles at me (FFE Sidewinder has no missile pilons) Oh how I was wrong.

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