1994 AC Brooklands Ace
The first production Brooklands Ace; owned by AC cars prior to vendor; brochure and calendar car; lots of history; aluminium lightweight body; stainless steel chassis; Mustang power; electric hood; one of some 49 thought to have been built; current ownership for the last 25 years; highly collectable
The Brooklands Ace had made several public debuts before production finally got underway at AC's traditional manufacturing base at Brooklands, Surrey. Under guidance from Brian Angliss, ACs Managing Director, his team had taken seven years to develop the IAD-designed new model into production reality - no small task for any manufacturer, let alone a minnow such as AC Cars.
Powered by Ford's 5.0-litre Mustang engine, the svelte body was hand formed in aluminium with an emphasis on luxury and performance. In all, some 49 production were produced (some say 46!), this example - Chassis DE1016 being recognised as the first production car to leave the works.
First registered in August 1994, it was kept for promotional use by AC in its early days, the car featuring on the front cover, inside cover (with Angliss) and as 'Miss October' in the official 1995 AC Calendar, as the main image in the factory brochure and even on the front of the company Christmas card...examples of each are included in the sale.
L500 ACE also appeared on Top Gear in period - all nice history for a significant example of the breed.
Our vendor bought the car directly from AC cars in June 1996 for £34,000, although it appears to have been originally ordered by F W Mays Ltd - AC dealers in Dorking who were possibly the first name in the logbook (the V5C shows two previous keepers plus the current owner).
Its first official stamped service (nine stamps in total) was with AC Cars in January 1996 at 1,120 miles - typical of a factory owned early production/promotional car. Second AC service was at 2,448 miles. The mileage soon racked up in the hands of the current owner and its ?third visit to AC the following October shows 9,203 miles showing on the odometer. By 1998, it had covered 20,670 miles - its last of seven services by AC themselves in 1999 showing a total of 37,115 miles.
Two further stamps from Redline and Oldfields take it to 2017 by which time 52,745 miles had been covered. The leather-bound Handbook is specific to this car and incorporates the Service record. Further invoices point to continued service care including new rear springs and dampers in 2017 and its latest MOT expires in June 2022. The current mileage reads 53,723 miles. It has a battery cut off switch and an immobilizer, both factory fitted, the latter being commissioned by current owner at time of purchase which is operational from the driver's seat.
A folder includes the car's original build specification sheet, which lists the colour as Tourmailin Green Pearl with Magnolia/Green Connolly leather upholstery with Burr Elm inserts. Further correspondence confirms that L500 ACE was the first production car and it is nice to see that its original and very appropriate registration number remains with the car and is included in the sale. The file also includes two Alpine stereo handbooks and there are two sets of keys.
It presents well, with a clean under-bonnet area, good hood (electric and fully functional) and a clean and smart interior - all the markings of a car which has been used, loved and well cared-for.
This rare and charismatic AC is the real deal and comes from an era when the British were busy making bespoke sports cars in penny numbers - think Morgan, TVR, Ascari and Marcos. In world of homogenous hybrids today, isn't it refreshing to see something just that little bit different.
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