AC Buckland

1953 AC Buckland

Offered by Historics at Brooklands | July 8, 2017

Photo – Historics at Brooklands

Auto Carriers Ltd., later known as AC Cars, started building vehicles in 1901. They’re still around, though they are mostly building Cobra replicas and random attempts at sports cars. The 1950s were their sweet years, introducing or selling five different models during the decade.

The first of these was the 2-Litre, a car AC introduced in 1947. It was available as a two-or-four-door sedan and they also built a few Drophead Coupes. And then there was this, the Buckland tourer. The 2-Litre had the highest production total of any four-wheeled AC vehicle by the time it was out of production in 1956.

They are powered by a 74 horsepower, 2.0-liter straight-six. Only 60 Buckland tourers were built and this car has period racing history. It raced at Silverstone, Brands Hatch, and was the first AC car to race at Goodwood. It’s been completely restored and retains its original chassis and body. This particular Buckland was a no-sale at Historics’ most recent sale, so we’ll see if they can find it a new home this time around with an estimate of $47,000-$55,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

AC 378 GT Zagato

2012 AC 378 GT Zagato Prototype

Offered by Historics at Brooklands | March 4, 2017

Photo – Historics at Brooklands

The company formerly known as Auto Carriers Ltd. is one of Britain’s oldest manufacturers. Since the end of WWII, the company has mostly built sports cars, some of which were quite famous, like that little roadster called the “Ace.”

When the 1970s arrived, it brought tough times for AC. It was a bumpy road that saw the company began building replicas of the Shelby Cobra – a car based on their Ace. Bankruptcy, joint ventures, and corporate sales followed. Production of Cobra replicas moved Germany and then in 2012, the company showed this concept at the Geneva Motor Show.

With an original design by Zagato, the 378 GT is powered by a 6.2-liter V-8 from General Motors that makes 437 horsepower. New management had set up a deal to produce these cars in South Africa (where the Noble and Superformance Cobra were also built) by Hi-Tech Automotive. But somewhere along the way, it all fell apart. This was the only AC-badged 378 GT Zagato built (it also nearly entered full-scale production as the Perana Z-One but only 10 ended up being built. There may have been other AC’s but it is more likely that someone has re-badged a Perana).

This fully road-legal and registered “pre-production prototype” has been owned and cared for by AC Heritage at the Brooklands Motor Museum. It’s an exciting piece from one of the world’s legendary marques. The estimate on this car is $130,000-$170,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $165,271.

August 2016 Auction Highlights

First up for August is the final sale of July, Silverstone Auctions’ Silverstone Classic sale. The top sale was this 1958 AC Ace Bristol for $333,550.

Photo - Silverstone Auctions

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

Our featured Mitsubishi Pajero Evo went for $15,776. Full results can be found here.

Now we move into Monterey and all of the Pebble Beach car craziness. We’ll start with Bonhams and their top seller, the Bugatti Type 51 Grand Prix for $4,000,000. Other million dollar sales included a previously-featured Duesenberg for $1,254,000, the Mercedes-Simplex for $2,805,000, and the LaFerrari for $3,685,000.

The Cheetah GT failed to sell, but for our Most Interesting, we’ll pick this beautiful 1930 Lincoln Model L Convertible Roadster that brought $66,000.

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Other sales included the Studebaker-Garford for $126,500 and a previously-featued Delaunay-Belleville for $450,000. The best-bought car of the sale (and thus far, the entire weekend), was this 1908 Fuller that someone practically stole for $11,000. I wish I would’ve been there because that thing would currently be in my garage. Click here for more results.

Now we move across town to Mecum’s Monterey sale. The top seller here was a 2014 Ferrari LaFerrari for $4,700,000 – over a million more than the one Bonhams sold. Either the atmosphere of Mecum’s sale got two people over-hyped and one of them overpaid (though, in five years, this will likely seem like a bargain) or the fact that Bonhams was unable to get their LaFerrari to cross the stage costed them a lot of money.

Photo - Mecum

Photo – Mecum

There were a lot of no sales here, leading us to believe that a lot of people are still thinking their cars are worth the going rates from a few years ago. No sales among our feature cars included the Snowberger Indy car, a Porsche 912 Prototype, a Bohman & Schwartz Duesenberg, another, previously-featured Duesenberg, a previously-featured Packard, the Aston Martin Vulcan, and a Locomobile we featured years ago that has failed to meet its reserve at five Mecum sales. On a positive note, another previously-featured Duesenberg was hammered sold for $600,000. Click here for complete results.

Gooding & Company’s Pebble Beach sale saw our featured Ferrari California Competizione sell for a very nice $18,150,000. A pair of cars that failed to sell were the Ferrari Daytona Shooting Brake and the Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith. A previously-featured OSCA race car sold here for $605,000. As far as Most Interesting, how does this 1932 Bugatti Type 55 Roadster grab you? Someone grabbed it for a hefty $10,400,000.

Photo - Gooding & Company

Photo – Gooding & Company

Other no-sales included the Abarth Record Car, the four-door Rolls-Royce Convertible, and the Cisitalia. There were some more big dollar cars here as well, including $11,990,000 for an Alfa Romeo, $907,500 for a Cadillac and the following for three Maseratis: the A6G/54 brought $3,300,000, the Ghibli SS Spyder $1,500,000 and the A6/1500 Coupe $852,500. Click here for complete results.

Another Monterey auction was that of RM Sotheby’s and they boasted the weekend’s biggest dollar value sale with $21,780,000 for the 1955 Jaguar D-Type that won the 1956 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Other big money cars included the Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B for $19,800,000 and the first Shelby Cobra for $13,750,000. All three of these sales are world records – the Jaguar for most expensive British car; the Alfa for most expensive pre-war car; and the Cobra for most valuable American car. Pretty impressive.

Other million dollar feature cars were the Maybach for $1,072,500 and the Duesenberg Tourster for $1,320,000. The Ferrari 268 would’ve been on that list, but it failed to meet its reserve. Other no sales included the Maserati A6G/2000 and a previously-featured Lotus 56. The Bocar brought $412,500, a Moretti we featured in 2013 sold for $132,000, and the Maserati Quattroporte went for $88,000. Click here for everything else from RM.

AC Greyhound

1960 AC Greyhound

Offered by H&H Auctions | Duxford, U.K. | April 24, 2014

Photo - H&H Auctions

Photo – H&H Auctions

H&H Auctions comes up with some really cool, really rare British cars to sell. And this is no exception. In the late-1950s, AC offered the Ace and Aceca sports cars. But the Ace only had two seats and the Aceca had a sloping hatchback. What about the sporting man with kids who needed a little more room? So in 1959, they introduced the Ace/Aceca-based Greyhound – a sporty 2+2 to satisfy the masses.

Four different engines were offered. This one uses the second-most-powerful option: a 2.0-liter (1971cc) Bristol straight-six making 125 horsepower. The Aston Martin-esque body was crafted out of aluminium and with this engine, the car could do 110 mph.

Remember three or four sentences ago when I said this car would satisfy the masses? Well I exaggerated a bit, because AC only managed to move 83 of these cars by the time production halted in 1963. That’s a pretty low number, making them very rare today. Rarer than a Cobra. This one should sell for between $66,000-$82,500. Click here for more info and here for more from H&H’s sale.

Update: Sold $73,850.

AC 3000ME

1982 AC 3000ME

Offered by H&H Auctions | Buxton, U.K. | February 26, 2014

1982 AC 3000ME

The AC 300ME was a mid-engined (hence the “ME” in the name) sports car unveiled by AC Cars in 1973. The British automobile industry was failing right and left during the 1970s and production didn’t actually begin until 1979. They wanted to build 250 a year.

The car used a 3.0-liter Ford Essex V-6 making 138 horsepower. In 1984, AC Cars was in financial ruin and they were re-organized as AC (Scotland) Plc. This company could only survive financially for about a year before it went under as well.

The car you see here is one of 71 cars built by AC Cars (the Scottish company built 30 for a total of about 101 cars – far short of the 250 per year they predicted). This car was actually used as a factory demonstrator and was later reworked to house an Alfa Romeo 2.5-liter (and finally) the 3.0-liter engine it has now. This is likely the only 3000ME with a 3.0-liter Alfa engine.

These cars are very rare but this is one of the nicest examples in existence as it was factory owned at birth and has had only two owners since they sold it. It was one of AC’s final “original” cars before they started recycling the Cobra. It should sell for between $20,000-$25,000. Click here for more info and here for more from H&H’s sale.

Update: Sold $22,500.

One of the last AC cars

2003 AC Ace Brooklands

Offered by H&H Auctions | Rockingham Castle, U.K. | June 15, 2013

2003 AC Ace Brooklands

The original AC Ace is a legendary car. Introduced in 1953 with a six-cylinder engine, the Ace would later have a V8 stuffed underhood by an ambitious American and he would call it the “Cobra.” AC loitered around for decades, producing low-volume cars here and there (they still build versions of the Cobra) and in 1993, they revived the name “Ace.”

For the 1998 sales year, AC introduced a second-generation Ace Brooklands. They had just come under South African ownership and much of the car was built in South Africa before being sent back to the U.K. for final assembly. Only about 12 were built before production ran out in 2000.

But parts were still available after that and a handful of cars were assembled using factory spares. This is one of those cars (and it’s referred to as a “Series 3”). It uses a mixture of carbon fiber and aluminium for the body panels and has a 5.0-liter Ford V8 under the hood. Horsepower is around 260. It has 1,100 miles on the odometer and it is rumored that this is the last Ace Brooklands constructed. It can be yours for between $18,000-$22,500. Click here for more info and here for the rest of H&H’s auction lineup.

Update: Sold $19,342.

AC Royal

1926 AC Royal Tourer

Offered by Bonhams | Hendon, U.K. | April 29, 2013

1926 AC Royal Tourer

I hope you would agree that the car above looks pretty good – considering it was built in 1926 and has not been restored! That’s right, this is an all-original car. I suppose it’s possible that it has not been repainted, but it certainly looks so. The seller describes the body and interior as having a nice “patina” – which is seller code for “imperfections.”

But on an almost-90-year-old car, imperfections are character. Auto Carriers Ltd. began work on a new six-cylinder engine immediately following the First World War, but it wasn’t quite ready for production and AC still had to pay the bills. Enter the entry-level four-cylinder Royal you see here. It uses a 1.5-liter straight-four rated at 12 horsepower.

This car has had six owners from new and has been in the same family since 1954. The four-cylinder AC went out of production in 1928 once the six-cylinder really took off. This car is expected to bring between $20,000-$26,000. Click here for more and here for the rest of this sale.

Update: Sold $26,900.

November Auction Round-Up

Of the auctions held in November 2012, the first – Bonhams’ Veteran Motor Cars Sale on November 2nd – was by far the most interesting. The top sale was our featured 1904 Delaugère & Clayette for $361,000. The second and third highest selling cars were also feature cars here on the site: the 1904 Richard-Brasier for $358,000 and the 1904 Wilson-Pilcher for $325,000. Other interesting sales included this 1903 Gladiator 10hp Twin-Cylinder Side-Entrance Tonneau for $298,000.

1903 Gladiator 10hp Twin-Cylinder Side-Entrance Tonneau

Then there was this 1903 Vauxhall 5hp Two-Seater. It is the oldest known Vauxhall in existence. It sold for $151,000.

This 1900 Darracq 6.5hp Four-Seat Voiturette sold for $137,000.

Our other feature car was the 1903 Barré Tonneau. It sold for $214,000. We also featured the 1895 Buffum Stanhope – the world’s first four-cylinder car. It didn’t sell at its original auction, but sold here for $182,000. For complete results, click here.

Artcurial’s November 11th sale in Paris included our featured Siata Spring that sold for $15,900. The top sale was a 1974 Lancia Stratos Group 4 Rally Car in Alitalia livery. It sold for $458,000. Complete results are here.

1974 Lancia Stratos Group 4

Back to Bonhams for their November 14th sale at Harrogate, Great Yorkshire Showground. The top sale was this 1965 Ferrari 330GT 2+2 that was in, uh, “driver condition.” Apparently it had been restored about 30 years ago but it needs a little work to be perfect. Looks pretty cool as is though. It sold for $108,000.

1965 Ferrari 330GT 2+2 Berlinetta

Interesting cars included our featured Panther J72 that sold for $35,500. And this 1933 MG J2/J4 sold for $71,100.

1933 MG J2/J4

Also interesting: this 1925 AC Royal 11.9hp that brought $20,900.

1925 AC Royal 11.9hp

And for something really different, this 1951 Guy Otter Pantechnicon moving van. I’m not sure what you’d do with it, other than help your buddies move, but it’s old and pretty cool. It sold for $19,100.

1951 Guy Otter Pantechnicon

Our featured Metz Model 25 Tourer sold for $13,600. You can find complete results here. Our next stop is Anaheim, California and Mecum’s November 15-17 sale. Our featured Factory Five GTM failed to sell. Top sale went to this 1932 Ford “McMullen” Roadster. It’s a fairly iconic hot rod built by Tom McMullen beginning in 1958. The flame design is by Ed “Big Daddy” Roth. The car has popped up everywhere and sold for a serious $700,000.

1932 Ford McMullen Roadster

A car we featured for Mecum’s Monterey Sale (that failed to sell) was brought back for this west coast auction and sold. It was the Duesenberg J-306 Willoughby Limousine and it sold for $370,000. Other interesting cars included this 1982 Jaguar XJS Koenig Special – a car tuned in 1986 new by Koenig for over $100,000. Only 14 were built. This one cost $13,500 today.

1982 Jaguar XJS Koenig Special

This super-gorgeous 2003 Aston Martin DB AR1 is a DB7-based production car from Aston that was designed by Zagato. Only 99 were built and it sold for $125,000 – about $100,000 less than when it was new.

And the final car from this sale, a 1942 Dodge W56 Command Car – a U.S. military vehicle from WWII. It sold for $28,000. Complete results for this sale can be found here.

1942 Dodge W56 Command Car

And finally, Silverstone Auctions’ NEC Classic Motor Show Sale was held on November 17th as well. The top sale went to this 1960 Aston Martin DB4 Series II for $356,000.

1960 Aston Martin DB4 Series II

Our featured Ferrari 512TR sold for $83,700. And one of the more interesting cars at the auction was this 1986 Ford RS200. It was the second-highest selling car at $164,000. Complete results can be found here.

1986 Ford RS200

Bonhams RAF Museum Highlights

The top sale of Bonhams’ April 30, 2012, sale that took place at the RAF Museum in Hendon, London was a 1957 Bentley S1 Continental. It brought $311,000. Not my favorite Bentley, but the H.J. Mulliner fastback bodywork definitely makes it the looker among S-Type Bentleys.

The two cars we featured, the 1901 Darracq and the 1910 Gladiator, both failed to sell (this is becoming a bad habit). Other top sales included this 1969 AC 428 by Frua. These wonderful British sports cars stand right there with their Italian contemporaries when it comes down to looks (possibly having something to due with it being styled in Italy). It sold for $126,000.

Another car, one that I almost featured, is this 1935 Talbot BA105 Tourer. I’m starting to think Bonhams gets such solid prices because many of their top dollar cars are photographed on lavish English estates. Where cars like this belong. This one sold for $107,000.

About the next car: “What’s this?” you say, “It looks like a dilapidated Mini.” And that’s what it is. But, it is the oldest unrestored Mini. It is the 8th Mini to roll off the line and is technically a 1959 Austin Mini Se7en De Luxe. History has a price and it is $65,000.

For complete results, check out Bonhams’ website.

1913 AC Sociable

1913 AC Sociable Runabout

Offered by Coys | “True Greats,” London, U.K. | December 7, 2011

Autocars and Accessories Ltd. was founded by the Weller Brothers who initially produced a three-wheeled delivery vehicle called the Autocarrier. When they decided to sell it to the emerging motoring public as a passenger vehicle, the replaced the cargo box with a front seat and the AC Sociable was born.

AC produced approximately 1800 Sociables from 1907 through 1914. It is powered by a single-cylinder engine of about 630cc that sits below the driver who sits in the lone seat at the car’s rear. This car has a somewhat perplexing convertible top that can be raised over the passenger compartment. It’s purpose, one could suppose, would be to block the sun – as it does not reach the small half-windshield, therefore not really protecting anyone from the elements.

Curiously, it also obscures the vision of the driver. This picture:

shows that, perhaps if the correct height, the operator could see through the porthole window to drive (assuming the passengers aren’t large enough to cover it up), but their vision is still quite limited. It’s an interesting car, no doubt. But it also showcases that we’ve come a long way so far as ergonomics are concerned.

Coys estimates the price to be between £18,000 and £22,000 ($28,000-$34,000 USD). More info on the car can be found here. And more info on the auction here.

Update: Sold £25,370, or about $40,300.