Autosport International Sale 2019

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1990 AC Cobra Mk IV 'Lightweight'

Lot No.: 305

Registration: COB 36
Chassis Number: SA9AK3020LA017363
Engine Number: LF178229
Number of cylinders: 8
CC: 5000
Year of Manufacture: 1990
RHD/LHD: Right Hand Drive
Sold for (£): 139,500

 

  • One of only 21 genuine, alloy-bodied, lightweight right-hand drive examples and finished in a beautiful metallic dark blue.
  • Owned by our vendor since 1996 and recently serviced and recommissioned
  • The wonderful registration number 'COB 36' will stay with the car
  • Sensibly guided for a genuine, alloy-bodied, 350bhp, AC Cobra with great provenance

 

Upon the mention of AC Cobra, only one man's name immediately springs to mind - Carroll Shelby, as it was this Texan racer who saw a bright future in the plucky British-built AC Ace and experimented by fitting a small block Ford V8 underneath its elegant bonnet. It's a long and fascinating story, not for telling here, but from that "I wonder if that would fit" moment, the legendary Cobra was born.

During the 1970s, a service and parts business run by Brian Angliss began to build a strong reputation for maintaining ACs, and the closure of the AC factory in Thames Ditton created the opportunity for him to buy tooling, jigs, bucks and dozens of specialised parts enabling him to fabricate new aluminium Cobra bodies. In 1986, after prolonged negotiations, he was allowed to purchase the rights to the AC name and in a joint venture with Ford, his company, Autokraft, began offering the, now legally titled, AC Cobra Mk. IV.  Keeping the overall style of the MkIII, Autokraft produced the MkIV, which was appropriately updated to meet current legislation and powered by a 'Federalised' Ford 5.0-litre V8 engine. When production ceased in 1996, around 480 MkIVs had been finished.  

The car offered here is one of 26 Cobra MkIVs completed by Autokraft to a 'lightweight' specification with a number of weight saving modifications, not least of which is its beautiful, hand-beaten alloy body. 21 of these were built in right-hand drive and the superb example offered here is 'AKL 1363'.
This, very special, right-hand drive 'lightweight', 350bhp Mk IV Cobra has been owned by our private vendor since 1996 having purchased it from the well-known philanthropist and avid car collector, Sir Anthony Bamford, who had changed the car's colour from White to Dark Blue during his ownership. It has resided in our vendor's private collection for the past 23 years where it has been kept safe and warm and well-maintained.

Prior to the sale, our vendor commissioned TT Motors to prepare the car and this attention has included a new battery, new tyres, the radiator re-cored, a new water pump, most of the suspension taken apart and re-painted/powder coated, and numerous parts re-chromed. There are more details of this in the accompanying history file.

COB 36 looks fabulous in a Dark Metallic Blue sitting on black-centred Halibrands. The interior looks almost unused in black leather piped in red, as is the carpet. Unusually, that same red piping frames the alloy stone-chip protectors on the rear wheel arches and the leather gear lever and handbrake gaiters also contribute a flash of red. A stunning example, few sports cars sound as good and have such immense presence with performance to match. Exhilarating and ruggedly beautiful, this iconic British sports car is certainly a star of the future and we can only see the market strengthening for these cars which currently seem good value for a genuine AC with an alloy body.

Silverstone Auctions are very proud to offer this very rare and desirable V8 muscle car from long-term ownership with a very sensible and realistic guide price. We encourage and welcome any pre-sale inspections (the car is being stored with our storage partners) of this wonderful motorcar.