Turning on the AC
British sports cars to make return to North America
Photo's by Global Auto Index
Texas-based Unique Performance and AC Cars Ltd. have announced an agreement to return sports cars from the historic British marque to North America.
Unique will act as the exclusive distributor of the carbon fiber bodied car, known as the AC MkV, and will offer a limited number of the component roadsters to customers beginning in April.
The MkV is an open-top sports car based on the design of the Le Mans winning AC Cobra with many of the original car's characteristics while incorporating modern technology. The cars are not replicas and are offered only as a complete rolling chassis that is factory assembled, painted, fully instrumented and upholstered with brakes, suspension, exhaust and wheels, but without an engine or transmission.
Weighing 2,650 pounds with the recommended Ford Racing 4.6-liter V8 crate engine and manual transmission, the lightweight sports car can move from 0-to-60 in around 4.5 seconds, according to Unique. As the MkV will be imported as a component car, dealers and customers will be able to install their own drivetrain. The vehicle has been designed to accept a Ford 4.6L, 302 or 351W crate engine.
“AC is one of the most admired and respected marques in the world,” said Douglas Hasty, president and CEO of Unique Performance. “Their sports cars ignited a passion that still burns inside enthusiasts today. For over a century, the company has built cars with superb engineering, old world craftsmanship and classic designs. Our agreement with AC makes it possible for a few in North America to enjoy one of these magnificent machines that combines a British chassis with American V8 power.”
AC manufacturers the MkV in a European factory. The cars will be imported to Unique as a component car and then Unique will offer the vehicles through its dealer network in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
“I’m pleased to officially reintroduce AC cars to North America,” said Alan Lubinsky, chairman of AC Cars Limited. “We approached the Unique Performance team because, like AC, they have proven expertise in the manufacture and distribution of limited edition specialty cars. No other company in the United States offered the stability, capability and creditability to make this exciting venture successful.”
The AC chassis has been at the heart of some of the most legendary cars in history. Texan Carroll Shelby imported a number of rolling chassis from AC in the 1960s to build the legendary “Cobras” that dominated international sports car racing. The Shelby American team inserted a performance tuned Ford V8 and gearbox into a chassis and body supplied by AC for the North American market. At the same time, AC manufactured a car that has been replicated by numerous companies.
Customer orders for vehicles will be accepted starting April 1.
Unique Performance manufactures and distributes limited edition signature series vehicles including the Shelby G.T.500E, Shelby G.T.350SR and the Foose ’69 Camaro. Additional information is available at www.uniqueperformance.com