The proud marque of AC originated in the first decade of the 20th century in Thames Ditton, England.
Always a Sporting Car manufacturer, AC was well known for its AC Ace, AC Aceca and AC Bristol Models in the 1950's. The latter utilized the BMW derived 2-litre Bristol engine which in Greyhound form was bored to 2.2 litre and developed 125 plus BHP at 4700 RPM.
Essentially the AC Greyhound was a stretched version of the AC Aceca Coupe which included two smallish rear seats and justified the description, Family Sports Car.
Only 82 AC Greyhounds were built and of these just three were left hand drive, of which this is one. Featuring the famed Bristol engine in D-2 tune, an overdrive 4-speed gearbox, fully independent coil spring suspension front & rear, front disc brakes and rack & pinion steering all mounted in a square tube steel chassis the AC offers brisk Sports Car performance. Wth attractive fast-back coupe alloy paneling, the AC Greyhound is a rare and little known bargain in British Grand Touring motoring.
|1960 AC Greyhound
|82, of which 3 were LHD
|N/A (AC Aceca $27,500-$32,000)
|Tune Up Cost:
|Chassis Number Location:
|ID plate on right-hand footwell
|Engine Number Location:
|On rocker cover
|Jaguar E-type 2+2 coupe, Jensen CV8 or Interceptor, Lotus Elan +2 Coupe
This Greyhound sold for $15,950, commission included, at the RM Amelia Island Auction on March 20 of this year.
AC is one of the oldest British automobile manufacturers still in business; its name came from a motorized three-wheeled grocer’s delivery cart called the “Auto Carrier” which it began manufacturing in 1903. Probably best known for the hybrid AC Cobras manufactured in cooperation with Carroll Shelby, the company already had a well-earned reputation for attractive hand-built sedans and sports cars when our auction car was built in 1960.
But this AC Greyhound is so rare it doesn’t even appear in most price guides, so how do we decide what to bid? Let’s start with the genealogy. In the late forties, Ferrari made a racing car called a “Barchetta” or “little boat.” A Brit named John Tojeiro took the Barchetta as the inspiration for a smaller-sized, limited-production English sports car. AC rapidly adopted the Tojeiro car and put it into production as the AC Ace, with a venerable AC six-cylinder engine. John Rudd of Ruddspeed fame dropped a BMW/Bristol engine into the lightweight roadster to create the AC Bristol, capable of 125 mph in road tune and really hot with the racing set-up. The AC Bristol is probably the best known AC product after the Cobra, and routinely fetches $50,000 to $75,000 in good to excellent condition.
AC had always produced sedans, so it wasn’t much of a leap to create a two-passenger GT version of the AC Bristol called the Aceca, and then try to improve on that with the four-passenger Greyhound. The name, by the way, is from the greyhound bonnet mascot that adorned most pre-war ACs. The back seat actually is big enough for two adults and the car even has a tail that opens to form a luggage carrier for oversize suitcases.
From the front the Greyhound is unmistakably an AC car, though with its mouth turned up at the corners rather than down, and its rear quarters were lovingly styled. Blur the picture a little and you could believe you were looking at an Aston Martin DB4GT. Under the hood it has the same three-carb engine that Rudd put in the AC Bristol.
If you were sitting in the audience at Amelia Island, and the bidding for this attractive, well-maintained car started to stall at around $14,000, what would you do? Is everyone else asleep or do they all know something about the car that no one told you?
The person who bought this car at $15,950 actually got a good bargain, though not as much as it might have seemed. Coupes will always be a tough sale compared to roadsters.
But if you want British tradition, this car will deliver – leather seats and wool carpets, touches of chromium trim, and impressive white-on-black gauges set in a polished wood instrument panel. And if you love a car that responds to a light touch on the steering and Bristol-box shift lever and a quick foot on the pedals, this car will provide all the driving thrills of the roadster. It should have sold for about the same as an Aceca, which the Sports Car Market price guide puts at around $30,000 for a number 3 car. So maybe everyone but the new owner was dozing when the gavel dropped on this car.-Gary Anderson, Publisher, British Car Magazine.