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Lot 837

1986 AC Autokraft MkIV Cobra

  • Chassis no. SA9AK3028GA017164
  • Engine no. AK 1164

Sold for $170,500

Est. 400 bhp 351 OHV Ford V-8, five-speed manual transmission, four-wheel fully independent suspension, and four-wheel power disc brakes. Wheelbase: 92"

The “AC” marque is inextricably linked not only with its own sports cars, including the Ace and Aceca, but, of course, with the timelessly stylish bodies utilized by Carroll Shelby and married with 260 and 289 Ford small block engines to produce one of the most desirable and capable sports cars in history. Light and nimble with brutish American power under the hood, the Shelby Cobra was a fearsome weapon both on the track and at red lights around America.

In the 1970s, the AC factory at Thames Ditton stopped service and repair of older Cobras. Brian Angliss’ Cobra Parts operation quickly picked up that business and built up a strong and influential customer base. He also moved closer to the factory operation over the years, eventually collecting enough original tooling, jigs, and body bucks from Thames Ditton to fabricate new aluminum bodies, and utilizing the same tooling and jigs used to create the original Ace and Cobra bodies. The bodies were the wide bodies built for the 427, but they used highly tuned 302 V-8s. Although they used the same five-inch tubular steel frame, the chassis were two inches longer than the originals to allow more room for slightly taller individuals.

The quality of Angliss’ work was so well-respected by owners and others in the AC community that in 1986 he was allowed to purchase the rights to the AC name from the Hurlock family, who had been strongly protective of the venerated name that they controlled since the 1930s. A new AC company was established as a joint venture with Ford, who had also recently bought Aston Martin. Angliss’ company then became Autokraft, which began offering the AC MkIV since the last production of the AC/Shelby Cobra, which ended with the MkIII in 1967. Given his legal right to use the AC name and, more importantly, the unbroken lineage of craftsmen, tools, and materials employed in their production, these cars were lauded for their high levels of build quality and their retention of the original’s spirit and are generally considered “continuation” cars. Autokraft shortly thereafter moved to a purpose-built factory in Brooklands; in total, approximately 480 MkIV Cobras were built, several of which were ordered by such executives as Bob Lutz.

According to the original documentation, Mr. Dingman ordered his Brooklands-built Autokraft Cobra via Jack Roush Performance Engineering. His car, chassis number AK 1164, was shipped directly to Roush for replacement of the stock 302 engine with a Ford 351 Windsor engine, which is the same type that was used for MkIVs sold outside the United States. In addition to the estimated 400 horsepower HO V-8, this example is equipped with an 11-inch heavy duty clutch and bell housing, engine accessory drive kit, dual electric cooling fans, motorsport ignition, wing vents, premium sound radio, wind wings, racing-style seat belts, and suspension modifications, with an initial cost of approximately $46,000.

In 1999, Mr. Dingman commissioned an extensive overhaul, which resulted in the car being finished in British Racing Green. With excellent contours and no visible flaws in the paint, chrome roll bar, black cockpit with black leather seats, and Smiths instrumentation, this is as close as any continuation can get, short of having been constructed in the 1960s. The car also wears Halibrand-type SC Cobra wheels shod in BF Goodrich TA radial tires. The odometer shows 401 miles, which were presumably tallied after the rebuild. A memo dated November 3, 1999, indicates a cost of $142,843.69 (please contact an RM representative for further details) for the overhaul, not counting the original purchase price of the car, which was in excess of $45,000. With excellent AC lineage, faithful and authentically crafted bodywork, upgraded performance, and the outstanding care received as part of the Dingman collection, this Autokraft Cobra retains a significant place in AC history and will certainly gain increasing recognition over the years to come.


For a detailed list of work carried out by Roush, please check with the auction office.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

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Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

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Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

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David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

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Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

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Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

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Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

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Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

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A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

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Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

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With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

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Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

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Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

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Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

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Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more