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Marque: A.C. - Company History & Models - Cars By Brand

A.C.

A.C.

The famous A.C. name is well over than a century old and while it’s best remembered for the classic Cobras, the outfit made a wide variety of vehices, including invalid carriages. ‘A.C’ from the three wheeled commercial ‘Auto Carrier’ vehicle, made by the firm established by John Weller (an engineer) and John Portwine, ‘Autocars and Accessories Ltd.’ A passenger carrying version of…

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A.C. 3000ME

A.C. 3000ME

RATING:

7 / 10

PRICE: £3000-£13,000

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Fast Facts

  • Produced:
    1979-84
  • Bodywork:
    Two-door fixed-head coupé
  • Engine:
    Ford Essex overhead valve, in-line
    six-cylinder 2994cc 138bhp
  • 0-60 mph:
    8 sec
  • Top Speed:
    130+ mph
  • MPG:
    18-25

PAST: In 1973 A.C. dared to be different among specialist car makers by introducing the radical mid-engine ME although sadly not actually produced for sale until 1979. A striking fixedhead two-seater, it featured Ford’s Capri V6 engine mounted amidships. Keenly priced with respectable performance approximately 80 examples only were built. A good idea and an equally good car even at £13,000 new), it’s a mystery why it flopped so badly.

PRESENT: A sort of British MR2, the ingredients were right if not the actual mix. Performance was only slightly better than a Capri and road tests at the time said the handling, although okay, needed more work. Certainly the car looks the part even if it can be mistaken for a kit car!

FUTURE: Given the car’s rarity (how many of the 80 still survive?), and the average prices other A.Cs sell for, the 3000ME looks a bargain. Parts supply isn’t too bad either. How long it will stay that way?

A.C. 427 And 428

A.C. 427 And 428

RATING:

7 / 10

PRICE: £30,000 - £100,000+

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Fast Facts

  • Produced:
    1965-73
  • Bodywork:
    Two-door open sports or two-door fixedhead coupé
  • Engine:
    American Ford overhead valve V8 427 6984cc
    (427 cu.in.)428: 6997cc (428 cu.in.) 345bhp (428)
  • 0-60 mph:
    6 sec
  • Top Speed:
    140+ mph
  • MPG:
    15-20

PAST: Launched in the mid 60s as a softer, more civilised take on the hardcore Cobra (with a longer chassis and coil spring suspension), the 427 (taken from the size of its American V8 engine) was styled by Italian Frua in open and fixedhead guises. In 1967 the 427 evolved into the 428, using a Ford V8 of slightly larger capacity. Only 80 examples in total had been produced by 1973 when body making problems caused the car to be dropped.

PRESENT: These more cultured A.Cs give little away to the Cobra it’s based upon. Performance levels are electrifying even by today’s standards with 60 mph in appearing in around six seconds, maxing to 140mph. Handling is Cobra like, as are the thrills but with more civility. 

FUTURE: It wasn’t so long ago that these overlooked supercars could be picked up for average E-type money or less but the table has turned and six figure sums are commonplace, especially for the rag tops (29 made).

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