1949 AC 2/7-Litre Saloon Registration no. LJH 344 Chassis no. EL 1235 Engine no. 1Y122633
One of approximately 1,290 examples made between 1948 and 1956, this particular car was used by Pathfinder Models to represent the AC 2-Litre saloon in model form. Otherwise, the car's history is unknown prior to 1992 when it was discovered in a field where it had lain undisturbed for about 25 years. Deteriorated to the point where it was almost beyond redemption, the AC was rescued and a decision made to rebuild it in the spirit of Carol Shelby's Cobra, keeping all the original features but with added American muscle. A comprehensive programme of restoration and modification began and continued over the next five years, taking in the region of 2,000 hours to complete. The all aluminium coachbuilt body was restored, including a bare metal re-spray, the brightwork re-chromed, the interior refurbished and the instruments re-calibrated. A 7.0-litre 'Big Block' Ford V8 engine was sourced and installed. Rebuilt and mildly tuned, this unit is fitted with a Holley carburettor, electronic ignition, dual exhausts and an electric fan. The resulting maximum power output of approximately 365bhp (with 485ft/lbs of torque) is transmitted to the road via a rebuilt C6 automatic gearbox (with shift kit) and heavy duty Fourtrac 3.3:1 rear axle. Re-engineered and strengthened, the chassis boasts independent, torsion-bar front suspension and a coil-sprung, four-link arrangement at the rear with anti-roll bars at both ends. Other noteworthy features include power steering; servo-assisted dual-circuit brakes with ventilated discs at the front; gas shock absorbers all round; and up-rated wheels and tyres, the rear wheelarches being widened by 2" overall to accommodate the latter. The interior has been fitted with Jaguar reclining front seats and safety belts (original seats available) while the electrical system has been up-rated, featuring halogen headlights, flashing indicators and two-speed wipers. The AC has been back on the road for the last four years, covering some 2,000-or-so miles and generating a lot of interest at the various events it has attended. In 2009 the car drove 30 miles to the prestigious Brooklands 'Wings and Wheels' event at Dunsfold aerodrome; completed five miles at full throttle during the day and returned home again with no problems whatsoever, thus demonstrating its reliability and the concept's fundamental soundness. The car has been invited to this year's 'Double Twelve' weekend of driving tests and has recently appeared in classic car magazines and web sites, receiving a compliment from one enthusiast who commented: 'Did Carroll Shelby build this for his grandmother?' Offered with sundry invoices, current MoT/tax and Swansea V5, this is a unique car with immense character that combines the coachbuilt charm and comfort of AC's 2-Litre five-seater saloon with the stupendous performance of a 7.0-litre V8!