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1989 AC Cobra Mk IV Roadster For Sale by Auction

16 April 2023, 13:00 BST
Chichester, Goodwood
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LOT 43*, N
1989 AC Cobra Mk IV Roadster
16 April 2023, 13:00 BST
Chichester, Goodwood
Lot to be sold without reserve

£50, 000 - £80, 000

1989 AC Cobra Mk IV Roadster
Registration no. Not UK Registered
Chassis no. SA9AK3028AK017268/ AK1268
Engine no. 1268
• Aluminium body
• Circa 21, 500 miles recorded
• Offered without reserve
• Offered for recommissioning

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. Convinced that a market existed for an inexpensive sports car combining European chassis engineering and American V8 power, Le Mans-winning Texan racing driver Carroll Shelby concocted an unlikely alliance between AC Cars of Thames Ditton and the Ford Motor Company. The former's Ace provided the simple twin-tube chassis frame – strengthened and supplied with four-wheel disc brakes for the Cobra - into which was persuaded one of Ford's lightweight small-block V8s. The 4. 2-litre prototype first ran in January 1962, with production commencing later that year. Exclusively for the USA initially, Cobras (minus Engines) were sent from England to be finished off by Shelby in California, and it was not until late in 1963 that AC Cars in Thames Ditton got around to building the first fully finished European-specification cars.

After 75 cars had been built, the 289ci (4. 7-litre) unit was standardised in 1963. Rack-and-pinion steering was the major Mk II up-date; then in 1965 a new stronger, coil-suspended chassis was introduced to accommodate Ford's 427ci (7-litre) V8 engine. Wider bodywork, extended wheelarches, and an enlarged radiator intake combined to create the definitive – and much copied – Cobra Mk III look. Production ended in 1967 after 1, 029 cars had been built.

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 Mk III, Autokraft produced the Mk IV, which was appropriately updated to meet then current legislation and powered by a 'federalised' 5. 0-litre Ford V8. Around 450 were built before Autokraft folded in 1996, largely due to costs incurred developing its new Ace model.

Unfortunately, little is known of the history and precise specification of this left-hand drive example, which is believed to have belonged to the current vendor since circa July 2012. The Cobra MkVI registry notes the car as being finished in Jaguar British Racing Green, with a 302 HO small block Ford with EFI and Borg Warner T5 transmission. It notes the car was built in April 1989. An old auction description from 2010 was found online, which stated the car had had one owner and 21, 000 miles since new (the current odometer reading is circa 21, 500). The car has been kept in dry storage since acquisition and will require re-commissioning before further use.

Please note that this vehicle is only offered with a photocopy of its old registration document, bidders should satisfy themselves as to registration requirements in their own jurisdiction. Please contact the department for further information.

Please note that this vehicle is from outside the UK. Our customs agents, CARS UK will manage all post sale customs administration. A fee of £350+VAT will be charged on the buyer's invoice to administer both import or export customs movements. If the buyer also chooses to ship with CARS UK, this will be quoted separately. If this vehicle is to remain in the UK, it will be subject to Import VAT at the reduced rate of 5% on the hammer price. This vehicle will not be available for immediate collection after the sale and will only be released on completion of customs clearance formalities. If you have any questions regarding customs clearance, please contact the Bonhams Motorcar Department.

Additional information

Auction information
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For Automobilia the Buyer's Premium is 27. 5% on the first £20, 000 of the hammer price; 26% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of £20, 001 up to and including £700, 000; 20% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of £700, 001 up to and including £4, 000, 000 and 13. 9% of the hammer price of any amounts in excess of £4, 000, 001. (subject to VAT)

For Motor Cars and Vehicle Registration Numbers the Buyer's Premium will be 15% on the first £500, 000 of the Hammer Price of each Lot, and 12% on the balance thereafter.

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