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Auction news, Motor Mouth articles 2012

AC collection tops the bill at auction

A one-off supercar: the AC Ace Prototype ‘Ace of Spades’, soon to go under the DVCA hammer

A PRIVATE collection of three AC sports cars adds extra lustre to the line-up of rarities and exotica due to go under the hammer at the next sale being staged by Dorset Vintage and Classic Auctions.

The cars belonged to lifelong AC enthusiast Jonathan Stevens, who moved from Kingston-upon-Thames to the Gillingham area about 15 years ago. He died a few months ago and now his family have decided to sell his car collection.

The scarlet 1989 Cobra Mark IV is a muscular beauty and looks just how you’d expect a classic AC should look; it is expected to make £73,000 to £78,000. The dark grey 1997 Ace Lotus Prototype is another handsome, sporty beast and bidding is likely to reach £20,000-£24,000.

But to my mind the least eye-catching of the three is probably the most interesting. It is a silver-coloured 2000 Ace Prototype ‘Ace of Spades’ and it comes with a pre-sale estimate of £16,000 to £19,000.

This unique prototype supercar was exhibited at the Birmingham Motor Show in 1986. Styled by Ford of Europe’s studios and built by Autokraft, it consists of a stainless steel monocoque chassis frame with a Ford Sierra XR 4×4 running gear and a 2.9-litre Ford V6 engine. The company’s press release at the time stated that the car could achieve a sub-seven second 0-60mph and a top speed of 140mph.

Mr Stevens bought it in 2000 after it had covered just 20 miles and much refinishing work was required, ranging from minor jobs through to major rebuilding. The car was purchased without a roof or side windows, so the Leiter Motor Company of Semley constructed and installed a Targa-type roof and electric windows.

In the 12 years since, the ‘Ace of Spades’ has been the subject of a considerable amount of developmental work, including improvements to the suspension, cooling and braking systems. It has now covered around 6,000 miles.

Auction house boss Brian Chant says the car has been featured in many motoring publications. Its vast history file contains invoices, AC publicity material, technical data, correspondence and past MoT test certificates. “It is an important supercar that will appeal to the serious AC enthusiast,” says Brian.

Stalbridge-based DVCA are holding the sale next Thursday (20th September) at their usual venue, the Gartell Light Railway, Yenston, near Templecombe, in South Somerset.

Lots will include a great range of interesting and historic commercial vehicles, such as a glorious 1924 Model T Ford pick-up truck, as well as a number of classic motorcycles including an original 1960 Triumph Tiger 110.

And if you’ve got around £100,000 or so sloshing around in your bank account and you’re looking for a nice investment and a bit of fun at the same time, you could do worse than buy an instant collection of three beautiful AC sports cars.

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