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Manufacturers / U.K. / AC


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AC vehicles


1900


5/6
AC 5/6 , Sociable  (1908)

Founded in 1901, AC (stands for "Auto Carrier") is the oldest British car maker. Like Rolls-Royce, it was founded by an engineer (John Weller) with the support of a wealthy trader (John Portwine). For nearly 2 decades, the company built just tricycle.


1910


The first four-wheel car arrived in 1918, which competed well in hillclimbs.


1920


The Aceca was born in 1928 in various forms, from 2-seater to a long wheelbase saloon. AC started using its own six-cylinder engine until the arrival of Cobra.


1930


16/56
AC 16/56 , 16/66  (1930)

AC changed ownership times and times - in 1921, 1930, 1986, 1992 and 1996. Financial instability affected the development of cars and even stopped production. For a half century, it was controlled by the Hurlock family.


1950


Ace
AC Ace   (1954)

During that period the first Ace was launched (in 1953). The sports car had a fine chassis and performed well in motor racing. It also gave the company a rare sales stability. Ace impressed American ex-racing driver Carroll Shelby very much in the early 60ís. He obtained Fordís V8 engine and collaborated with AC to turn the Ace into Cobra. With the good British chassis and American power, the car was immediately proved to be an all time great. It became the fastest car in the world, no matter in top speed (once ran at 196mph in highway !) and in acceleration. The 427 Cobra, with 7 litres displacement and 425 horsepower on tap, was especially awesome.


1960


Cobra
AC Cobra   (1961)

Therefore from 1963 to the 70ís, Cobra gave AC the golden years. In the post-muscle car era, AC tried to broaden its range but not successful. The mid-engined ME3000 and the í87 Ace were developed but not really put into production, again was due to financial reason.


1980


Cobra
AC Cobra   (1982)

Even though Ford had 51% shares between 1986 and 1992, nothing was done. At the same time, Cobraís production dropped to very low level as there were a lot replica appeared.


1990


Ace
AC Ace   (1998)

In 1992, the third Ace was developed. It was a modern convertible GT powered by Ford Taurus SHOís V6. However, the engine didnít match its price tag so that it was not really put into production. It was then switched to Mustangís 5.0 V8, but financial problem again delayed the production. By the time it resumed operation, the supply of the pushrod engine had already stopped, so more development was spent to put the newer dohc 4.6 V8. As a result, the Ace took 6 years to go into production.

After a lawsuit with Ford and Shelby, Ford got the Cobra name and used in its sporty version of Mustang. AC continues building the variants of Cobra but no longer uses the name.



Idea and design © 1999-2016 van Damme Stéphane.




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