2000 AC Cobra Mark IV 212 S/C Roadster Registration no. X577 HRD Chassis no. CRS(L)9518 Engine no. N2LL918000930
Rightly regarded as one of the all-time great classic sports cars, the muscular, fire-breathing Cobra succeeded in capturing the hearts of enthusiasts like few of its contemporaries. Only 1,000-or-so Cobras of all types were built between 1962 and 1967 but such was the model's enduring popularity that production was resumed in 1982 under the auspices of Brooklands-based Autokraft. But for Brian Angliss, the Cobra story would have ended in 1967. The Autokraft boss had built up a business restoring Cobras and supplying parts, and in the early 1980s acquired the rights to the AC name plus a quantity of jigs and tooling from the old Thames Ditton factory. Keeping the overall style of the MkIII, Autokraft produced the MkIV, which was appropriately updated to meet current legislation and powered by a 'Federalised' Ford 5.0-litre V8 engine. Around 480 were built before Autokraft folded in 1996, largely due to costs incurred developing its new Ace model. In December 1996 the company was sold to Alan Lubinsky's Pride Automotive, which continued production at Weybridge, Surrey trading as AC Car Group Ltd. Development too continued, with carbon-fibre bodied 'CRS' (Carbon Road Series) and 'Superblower' (supercharged) Ford V8-powered models being added to the MkIV range. In 2000 a further variant, the '212 S/C' powered by a 3.5-litre 350bhp twin-turbocharged Lotus V8 engine was introduced, only two of which were built, one being the car offered here. In the traditions of earlier AC Cobras, the newcomer took its name from the engine's capacity in cubic inches and the 'Street/Competition' designation. Within a few years AC Car Group Ltd was in receivership. Since its departure there have been further attempts to resurrect Cobra production, the most successful being that instigated by the late Carroll Shelby himself. The saga continues. At the time of its introduction, AC claimed that the 212 S/C was the world's fastest accelerating production car. Pioneered on the Cobra MkIV CRS, the carbon fibre body (the largest one-piece construction of its type in the motor industry at that time) helped keep the weight down to a remarkable 900kgs. The result was a power-to-weight ratio of 390bhp/tonne and a 0-60mph time of 4.0 seconds, with 100mph coming up in 9. Top speed was 155mph. Power reached the ground via a six-speed Tremec gearbox and BTR Hydratrack limited-slip differential, while other noteworthy features included power steering as standard and AP Racing dual-circuit servo-assisted disc brakes all round. 'X577 HRD' later starred at the British International Motor Show (Birmingham) in 2000 and is featured in the AC Cobra 'bible', Trevor Legate's 'Cobra - The first 40 years'. It served as AC's press car and was featured by Octane, Car, Evo and Top Gear. The Cobra also appeared in a Jeremy Clarkson video ('Top 100 Cars') and also appeared on the Top Gear television show when new. As part of the initial press coverage it was driven by Jeremy Clarkson, Damon Hill and Mark Blundell for the aforementioned publications. This car has had a bespoke aerodynamic hardtop made for it, with matching side windows (easily removable) and comes with full wet weather gear and tonneau, while the interior features a radio/CD player and an intercom system with headset and microphones. The provision of 15" diameter wheels is the only other notified deviation from factory specification. A large folder of bills and history accompanies with the Cobra, including all of the features written about it and the initial build information. Maintained regardless of cost and recently fully serviced, the car is described as in generally excellent condition and comes with current MoT/tax and Swansea V5C document.