AC Cobra MkIV, CRS and 212S/C (1983 – 2004) Review

AC Cobra MkIV, CRS and 212S/C (1983 – 2004) At A Glance


+Beautifully-made, hand-fashioned continuation cars, using many original parts in the same factory by the same workers

-Original MkIV had disappointing performance, later models lost the plot slightly amd became largely irrelevant

The arrival of the Cobra MkIV in 1983 heralded a new era for AC. The Hurlock family passed on the rights of the marque to Brian Angliss, who had been building Autokraft Cobra replicas for years, using much of the original ’60s tooling. When they became ACs, these cars were lauded for their high levels of build quality and retention of the original’s spirit. Of course, AC was a very different company by then - and it struggled financially despite healthy order books and enthusiastic owners, espeically in the USA. Original 5.8-litre (302cu in) powered cars were a little bit disappointing on the performance front, but AC soon launched a lightweight version, which restored the balance somewhat.

Most MkIV Cobras have subsequently had their ’80s-era padded dashboards replaced by ’60s replicas, and many have also been tuned. They are well worth buying at current prices, especially considering the spiralling values of ’60s examples, given their continuity with the originals. However, Angliss' tenancy of the company didn't last long, following a bumpy relationship with Ford. By the 1990s, he had thrown in the towel and the company had passed on to new owner Alan Lubinski. It was in the era that the CRS and 212S/C versions were built, remaining in production until 2004 - before the disastrous MkV, buit in Malta, was introduced.