AC Cars

May 4, 2015 By Mike Lee
Last updated on December 15, 2021

AC  LogoBrief History About AC Cars

AC Cars – A British manufacturer established in 1901 by the Weller Brothers. Car production then began in 1903 with various cars (including a 3 wheeler) being produced and export of the cars to the USA started in 1937. In 1953 the familiar AC Ace was produced, which was designed by John Tojeiro.

In 1962 Carroll Shelby fits a small block Ford V8 in the Ace to go against the Corvette race cars. In 1964 a big block 390 V8 is fitted, after that a completely new chassis is needed, along with the well known 427 V8 to compete against Ferrari. A 70mph speed limited is imposed on UK motorways due to a 183mph test session prior to Le Mans on the unrestricted M1 motorway. The Cobra name is sold to Ford in 1965. In 1966 unused competition cars are sold to the public as Cobra 427 S/C (S/C = Semi-Competition).

Several types of cars are built with various engines and owners of the company over the next few years. Including the ME3000 in the late 70’s to early 80’s, as well as numerous kit car makers, most notably Autokraft who acquired most of the original tooling, jigs and AC name building the Cobra MkIV. The Cobra MkIV was I believe built between 1982-1994 (with the AC name belonging to the Hurlock family until 1986). The cars were built by Brian Angliss of Autokraft (along with Ford Motor Co until Brian bought Ford’s interest out in 1992). Brian Angliss also introduced the new AC ACE to the line up. but due to costs of production of the ACE, lead to receivers being called in by 1996.

From 1996/7 to 2002 AC Cars Group Ltd had taken over production, under ownership of South African businessman Alan Lubinsky, who transformed the production of AC Cars at the Weybridge, Surrey production facility.

Also worth noting here that in 2004 Carroll Shelby authorised continuation Cobras with serial numbers starting with CSX4000, CSX6000, CSX7000 and CSX8000.

In 2004 Alan Lubinsky incorporated AC Motor Holdings Ltd in Malta and with a new factory, built carbon fibre bodied AC Cobra MkV’s, but then ceased production of them in 2007.

In 2008 Acedes Holdings LLC was incorporated and joined the Brooklands Motor Company in Weybridge, Surrey, followed in 2012 with the production of the Cobra MkVI in Germany using many GM parts.

There were some other collabortaions that saw such cars as the AC Roadster and 378 GT Zagato.

From 2020 AC Cars are building electric sports cars, as well as smaller capacity combustion engined cars.

Ac Ace
Ace 1953-1963 & 1994-2001

Ac 289 Cobra
Cobra MkI 1962-1963, MkII 1963-1965 & MkIII 1965-1968

Ac Cobra CRS
Cobra MkIV 1982-2002

Cobra MkV 2004-2007

Cobra MkVI 2009 on

Ac ME3000
3000ME 1979-1985