AC Cars is a British car manufacturer with a long and storied history dating back to 1901. The company was founded by John Weller and John Portwine as Auto Carriers Ltd, producing three-wheeled delivery vehicles. In 1911, the company changed its name to AC Cars Ltd and began producing four-wheeled cars. AC Cars produced a variety of models during the 1920s and 1930s, including the AC 16/80, which was well-known for its excellent performance and handling.
During World War II, AC Cars produced military vehicles such as the AC Buckle, a lightweight transport vehicle used by the British Army. After the war, AC Cars returned to producing sports cars, with models such as the Ace, Aceca, and Greyhound. However, the company faced financial difficulties in the 1960s and was on the verge of bankruptcy.
In 1961, AC Cars approached Carroll Shelby, an American racing driver and entrepreneur, to help them create a high-performance sports car. The result was the AC Cobra, a legendary sports car that combined AC’s lightweight chassis with a powerful American V8 engine. The success of the AC Cobra helped revive AC Cars’ fortunes, and the company continued to produce sports cars throughout the 1960s and 1970s, including the AC 428 and the AC 3000ME.
In the 1980s, AC Cars turned its attention to producing electric vehicles, and produced the AC Propulsion system, which was used in the first Tesla Roadster. The company also produced a number of electric vehicles for various customers and partners. Today, AC Cars is owned by Alan Lubinsky, a South African businessman, and continues to produce sports cars inspired by the original AC Cobra, including the AC Cobra MkVI, the AC Cobra 378, and the AC Cobra Series 4-electric.
Overall, AC Cars’ contribution to the automotive industry has been significant, with a legacy of producing innovative and high-performance sports cars. The company’s revival with the creation of the AC Cobra, and its continued production of sports cars, has cemented its place in automotive history.
- AC Aceca (1954-1956): The first model of the Aceca, powered by a Bristol straight-six engine.
- AC Aceca-Bristol (1956-1963): The upgraded version of the Aceca, featuring a more powerful 2.0-liter Bristol engine.
- AC Aceca 2.6 (1961-1963): A limited edition model, powered by a Ford 2.6-liter six-cylinder engine producing 150 horsepower.
- AC Aceca Coupe (1954-1963): The standard body style of the Aceca, featuring a fastback roofline and a two-door coupe layout.
- AC Aceca Drophead Coupe (1956-1963): A convertible version of the Aceca, featuring a retractable soft top. Only a small number of these were produced.