AC Brooklands Ace


Who's a sad fish? You? Yeah, you are a sad fish, aren't you, Mr. Ace?

I'd be sad too if saddled with bodywork that looks like a middle-aged Mazda MX-5 Miata. Y'know, after a few kids, divorce, and a fair amount of cosmetic "freshening". The reality is far different, but first impressions count.

I find it useful to think of this car as so: this is to AC Cobra as the Shelby Series 1 is to the Shelby Cobra. Simply: a rethought version of the original, with roughly the same performance as the originals but more safety, features, and niceties—just the things those who can afford a Cobra end up wanting in a sports car…apparently. It's described as a "relaxed long distance tourer" with a number of creature comforts that you're now able to expect from a Kia Rio…apart from the multi-disk CD changer, of course.

Launched in 1993 and taken out of production in 2000, there were only 58 made across two model names, owing their differences to the company's ownership: the AC Brooklands Ace and the AC Ace. Mostly similar, with later cars significantly upgraded and faster—but just 12 of those were made from 1997. 

Engines varied (after all, this is an AC we're taking about), but mostly consisted of Ford 5.0-litre V8s in various stages of tune, from standard to supercharged. The most intriguing option was the closed AC Aceca, which, like any of the reborn lineup could have featured a turbocharged V8 from the Lotus Esprit. The coupé was rather pretty, too…

As you may have notices, this car was basically an earlier Jaguar XK. But once the Jag came out in 1997, why bother with the AC?

There are numerous small differences among the production cars, but is a great resource if you're looking for a kissing cousin to your Shelby Series 1…in a roundabout kind of way.