AC Cars Ltd. is a British specialist automobile manufacturer founded by The Weller Brothers in 1901 in London. They made several consumer cars. In 1953, the firm began production of the AC ace.
All was mundane until 1962, when they were approached by Carroll Shelby, who asked them to use a small block Ford V8 engine in the Ace chassis, producing the AC Cobra. This new roadster was quite powerful, clocking 315 km/h at one point during a test run, and was capable of competing with Chevrolet's new Corvette. Some say that this is the reason why British motorways introduced a 70 mph speed limit.
At the end of the 1964 racing season however, the AC cobra was being outclassed by Ferrari. After adding a bigger engine and noticing that the car was uncontrollable, the engineers decided that a new chassis was necessary. With the combined help of Ford’s computers and the experience of the AC engineers, the new MKIII Cobra was born. A 427 version of the car was also developed.
They then made a bunch of other cars that were grand tourers in order to appeal to their wealthier customers.
In March 1996, the company was short of funds for developing their new Ace, and so went into recievership. They were later sold to Pride Automotive in December 1996, who continued car production in Weybridge, Surrey under the name of AC Car Group Ltd.
In 2010, AC announced a joint venture with the USA-based company Iconic which resulted in the design of the ultimate "Cobra": the "Iconic AC Roadster".
At the Geneva Motor Show in 2012, AC Cars showed three different models: the AC MK VI, AC MK II, and AC 378 GT Zagato.
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