A special run of nine £500k Cobras will be built using original tooling at AC Heritage
Steve Cropley Autocar
7 September 2016

AC Cars will built nine new aluminium-bodied AC Cobras as part of a ‘legacy’ series.

Priced at £500,000 before taxes, the cars will be built to the exact specification of the very first 1962 Cobra, which was sold at auction in Monterey a few weeks ago.

That sale raised £10.2 million and made the original Cobra, powered by a 260-cubic-inch (4.25-litre) Ford V8, the most valuable road-going British car to have been sold at auction.

The nine new cars will be known as the AC Cobra Mk1 260 Legacy Edition. They will be handbuilt at AC Heritage, whose factory is based in the converted former Brooklands Members’ Hill restaurant and operated by car dealer and AC historian Steve Gray.

Pictures of the factory's interior and cars can be seen in the gallery.

Gray, an expert in repairing and servicing ACs of all kinds, has collected many of the company’s early plans and records and owns much of AC’s post-war tooling. AC was established in 1901 and retains the distinction of being the oldest British car maker still in operation.

The original Cobra, which was built at AC’s former Thames Ditton factory in Surrey, was in effect an AC Ace with its 2.6-litre six-cylinder Ford Zephyr engine replaced by a much larger Ford V8 engine. It was extensively tested at MIRA and Silverstone before being exported to the US.

The legacy-edition cars, all of which will be left-hand drive, will use traditional materials and crafting techniques and will be built on original tooling. They will come in just two colours: the original factory blue or the re-paint yellow subsequently used in the US to fool road testers and buyers into thinking more than one car had been made.

The new cars will use freshly fabricated but dimensionally exact versions of the original John Tojiero-designed Ace twin-tube chassis, complete with a transverse-leaf independent front suspension and a live rear axle.

Gray expects to start building cars in batches of three before the end of this year. The first ‘new’ Mk1s should be in owners’ hands halfway through next year.

“We’re passionate about building the legacy cars exactly to the original specification,” said Alan Lubinsky, who bought AC Cars 20 years ago. “We’ve even managed to find a source of brand-new 260-cubic-inch V8s for this project — and I can assure you that wasn’t easy.”

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Comments
13

289

7 September 2016
This is just ridiculous and is blatant profiteering hitching a ride on the back of JLR's 'Heritage' products.
About 3 years ago I spoke to Steve Gray about a 'new' 289 Mark 2....original ones being in the realms of the ridiculous already by then.
Steve had a Primrose yellow demo on the road at the time, and i had been looking at a Kirkham recreation (alloy bodied) Mark 2 at about £80k at the time.
The Gray built 289 was about 40-50% dearer than a Kirkham....so lets say £150k.
So where does the extra £350k come in now? They are not exactly swamped with orders so its not a 'supply and demand' thing!

I really hate this 'mugging of enthusiasts' in the name of some 'special edition'. The original 260 wasn't even as good as a 289, so where's the value.
Oh, and by the way the unpainted car in the pictures is not a 260....it is a mark 2 289.
This has got Lubinsky's m.o. written all over it.

7 September 2016
My understanding is that this price is if anything higher than you would pay for a Pur Sang Bugatti 35 or Alfa 8C. Pur Sang make just about everything, including the tires. Just take a look at the beautiful supercharged aluminum straight 8 in the Alfa, all made from scratch. Compare that with buying in a job lot of cast iron Ford V8s. I like Cobras but I know where my half million would go.

7 September 2016
My understanding is that this price is if anything higher than you would pay for a Pur Sang Bugatti 35 or Alfa 8C. Pur Sang make just about everything, including the tires. Just take a look at the beautiful supercharged aluminum straight 8 in the Alfa, all made from scratch. Compare that with buying in a job lot of cast iron Ford V8s. I like Cobras but I know where my half million would go.

7 September 2016
What's with this, I thought they were supposed to be as per the original?

289

7 September 2016
.....the Cobra had a Live Rear Axle as standard (leaf sprung until the Mk111 which was coil sprung)

7 September 2016
289 wrote:

.....the Cobra had a Live Rear Axle as standard (leaf sprung until the Mk111 which was coil sprung)

Good grief! Suggest you do a bit of research....

Just because it had leaf springs doesn't mean it had a live axle...even the AC Ace had four wheel independent suspension before it!!!

Yes the mk3 had coils but the mk1 was already independently suspended at all four corners

7 September 2016
Look like a bargain - it's after all going to be at half the price, but with new chassis and engines. While the ancient tech Cobras will be laughably crude by almost any comparison.

7 September 2016
Look like a bargain - it's after all going to be at half the price, but with new chassis and engines. While the ancient tech Cobras will be laughably crude by almost any comparison.

7 September 2016
Einarbb wrote:

Look like a bargain - it's after all going to be at half the price, but with new chassis and engines. While the ancient tech Cobras will be laughably crude by almost any comparison.

The crudity won't matter, they won't get driven, just locked away with the other investments.

Citroëniste.

7 September 2016
Can anyone keep track any longer, or say with any certainty what constitutes a genuine AC Cobra?

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