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AC Reviews

AC - or Auto Carriers - is Britain’s oldest independent car marque. It built its first three-wheeled passenger vehicle in 1907, and then gradually moved upmarket; four-wheeled vehicles appeared in 1913 and, after WW1, the company expanded into sports cars.

It continued after WW2 as a struggling specialist manufacturer, even going back to three-wheelers, until it hit struck gold with the Cobra in 1962, its Ace roadster fitted with Ford V8 engines by US racing legend Carroll Shelby. The marque continued after the Cobra throughout the 1970s and '80s with models such as the 3000ME and remains active today, albeit building Cobra-influenced cars in tiny numbers in Germany and the USA.

Good: Good to drive, smooth six-cylinder power, great owners' club
Bad: Genteel cars that have been overshadowed by their more glamorous successors
Good: Stylish, unusual and powered by a Ford Essex V6, so it should be easy to keep running. Survival rate is exceptionally high
Bad: Rare, and some parts now impossible to get. Not as fast as it looks, and handling in the wet is of the 'take care' variety
Good: Towering performance, Italian styling, surprisingly good handling
Bad: Huge thirst, people will think you're in a Maserati
Good: Pretty styling, smooth AC engine, rorty Bristol engine, great specialist back-up, plenty of tuning options
Bad: Expensive, and in standard form, not that fast
Good: All the good points of the AC Ace
Bad: But without the wind-in-the-hair exhillaration
Good: Beautiful to look at, fearsome performance, epic soundtrack
Bad: Not exactly cheap or practical
Good: Brutal, fearsome performance
Bad: A million imitators, scary handling, not for the faint hearted
Good: Beautifully-made, hand-fashioned continuation cars, using many original parts in the same factory by the same workers
Bad: Original MkIV had disappointing performance, later models lost the plot slightly amd became largely irrelevant
Good: Most of the Aceca's good points, but with room for four.
Bad: Handling isn't as good, despite new coil spring set-up