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Lot 025: AC 3000ME

Classic Cars and Motorcycles, Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers (25 September 2013)

One of the oldest independent car makers in British history, AC Cars can trace its roots right back to 1903 when they presented their first motorcar at the Crystal Palace motor show. Up to the First World War they were best known for producing 3-wheeler delivery vehicles under the Auto Carriers name although a range of sporting 4-wheel cars were also offered. However the real glory days of the firm were during the 1960s when they offered fabulous machines like the Ace, the Aceca, the 428 and, of course, the immortal Cobra. The dramatic 3000ME was first shown in 1973 but did not actually go on sale until 1979. Offering an intoxicating blend of Italian style, supercar looks and a mid-mounted Ford 3-litre V6 engine with 120mph+ performance, it looked set to be another winner but sadly this was not to be. The combination of a worldwide recession and the poor health of company owner Derek Hurlock meant that AC went bust in 1985 after just over 100 examples had been made. This particular car is claimed to be the penultimate 3000ME made (chassis number 211) and it may well be the youngest survivor (it is not known if the last car, 212, still exists). The last 30 cars were produced in Scotland, rather than Thames Ditton, and this car was bought new by its one and only owner, James Bannerman, a Glaswegian chemist, as a company car from AC Cars Scotland in August 1985. When he retired in 1989 he put the car into his own name and it has remained thus ever since. Throughout Bannerman's long ownership the car was only very lightly used and the c.6,500 miles displayed on the clock is said to be totally genuine and is confirmed by a letter from Mr Bannerman to that effect in the history file. A couple of under-bonnet service stickers also help to corroborate this fact. From 2001 the car was not used at all (hence the expired tax disc in the windscreen) but was kept in dry storage for 11 years before being left outside exposed to the elements for another year (hence the rather grubby state of the bodywork). Recently treated to a new battery, fresh fuel and cleaned up plugs and points, the car is reported to have fired up almost instantly with negligible smoke on start up and excellent oil pressure. The clutch and gearbox are also said to remain in good working order and the car now moves easily under its own steam, although it will of course require further recommissioning before being pressed back into use. Looking ultra-cool in its original black with optional black leather interior and still sporting its original Wolfrace mag alloy wheels, this low-mileage time-warp machine is now crying out for an enthusiastic second owner to get it back on the show scene where it really belongs. It comes with a fair amount of history including correspondence and a receipt relating to its initial purchase, plus the original handbook, service book and brochure together with a copy of Practical Classics from February 1998 which features the car in an article about the Argyll Motor Works. Exceedingly rare and brutishly handsome, it is sure to turn heads wherever it goes. AMENDMENT: This car has arrived on site. We have driven it around the yard and can say that it starts, runs and drives well. The paintwork is quite heavily blistered and it could do with a respray. It may interest bidders to know that since the catalogue went to press we have been contacted by the AC Owners Club who advise us that the last car made, chassis number ME212, does still exist and is currently undergoing restoration. More details on this website: http://www.ac3000me.com/ac3000me/

Lot Details
Auction Classic Cars and Motorcycles
Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers,
TypeCar
Lot Number025
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£18000
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Year1985
Condition rating
Registration numberC654 GGB
Mileage-
Chassis numberME301RE0000211
Engine number3J28S102
Engine capacity (cc)2994
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors2