In 1953, when the A.C. Ace debuted at the London Motor Show, few imagined that the sleek little roadster would evolve into the enduring phenomenon known as the Cobra. Between 1957 and 1961, the Ace held successive SCCA championships and also achieved great success at Le Mans, where it finished second in class in 1957 and 1958, followed by a class victory in 1959. In turn, the Ace gained the attention of that year’s overall Le Mans champion, Carroll Shelby, who soon created the legendary Shelby Cobra derivatives of the Ace.

Since the Cobra’s heyday, multitudes of kit-based recreations were produced, with varying degrees of accuracy and quality. Following the acquisition of A.C. from the Hurlock Family by Autokraft and Ford in 1986, the marque embarked on a strategy to reclaim and surpass its past greatness, moving to a new facility at Brooklands in the process. Despite a number of ownership changes, A.C. nevertheless introduced the New Ace, 212 S/C, 427 and “Superblower” variants during the 1990s. Recognising the strong worldwide demand that continues unabated for the Cobra, A.C. next developed the Cobra CRS, blending classic Cobra styling and modern, race-inspired technology.

The CRS, short for “Carbon Road Series,” was introduced at the 1999 London Motor Show, featuring a one-piece carbon-fibre body shell which was developed with Kid Jensen Racing, the owners of a leading Formula 3000 racing team.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in October of 2009 at the Battersea Evolution, London.

522 bhp, 289 cu. in. Ford V8 engine with overhead valves, fuel injection and a Vortech T1 centrifugal supercharger, five-speed manual gearbox, four-wheel independent suspension with wishbones and coil springs, and four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 90.0".

Source: RM Auctions

Gallery: AC Cobra MK IV CRS