Wednesday, April 30, 2014

1963 AC MA-200 V8 Prototype

1963 AC MA-200 V8 Prototype - Amelia Island Concours 2010
1963 AC MA-200 V8 Prototype - Amelia Island Concours 2010

Code named MA-200 by the AC Company, this car was designed and built at the Thames Ditton factory in 1962 - and was destined to replace the aging AC Ace line. This prototype is one of one. The AC factory never produced another. Interestingly, the MA-200 was envisioned at the same time as the Carroll Shelby Cobra - which fueled a swirl of controversy: was this to be the 'Cobra?' Cobra or not, this 'idea' did become a car, built with one of the earliest HO 289 Ford V8 power plants. Thus, the MA-200 is an important 'missing link' in the lineage of the AC Ace/Cobra.
Designed by a former MIG aircraft engineer, the MA-200 was way ahead of its time, with a space frame chassis, inboard F1 style front suspension and inboard rear discs. Of particular note: This car was designed and coachbuilt at the AC factory, years before the 'AC/Frua 428' and the Frua Maserati Mistral, both of which share striking similarities to the MA-200. It is impossible to not draw a connection between these entities.

The forensic restoration of this vehicle is based off of original factory workshop photographs, and signed and dated engineering drawings obtained, as a result of thorough research by the current owner, from the car's original mechanic some 4 decades later.