Sometimes patience and diplomacy are the keys to clinching the deal
You search for an AC to buy – and then three come along at once. That’s what faced AC enthusiast Kevin Kivlochan, who has landed an impressive catch of the English marque after a long wait. It’s a trio of cars which have sat unmolested since 1972, waiting for someone to extract them from their dusty garage and give them some TLC.
Enjoyed by AC lover Vic Yates until poor health stopped him using them, the trio includes a 1962 Bristol-engined Greyhound, an Aceca with only 61,000 miles on the clock, and an Ace-Bristol which turns out to be a 1957 works car with a prolific race history. Vic Yates died a year ago but the family found it difficult to let the cars go.
“People in the AC club knew about the cars,” says Kivlochan, “and I’d made a few approaches over the 12 years since I first heard of them. But having had the cars for so many years they just couldn’t bring themselves to say yes to a deal.”
In the process Kevin became friendly with the family, who followed the restoration of Kivlochan’s Cobra (our October cover car) with approval. After Vic died the family finally came to an agreement as long as Kevin bought all three cars.
“We spent a long day discussing it over cups of tea,” says Kivlochan. “I’ve been looking for an Ace for years so couldn’t let this pass, but the other two will sadly have to go before I start the Ace restoration.”
Both are in good shape; the Aceca with its practical rear hatch has had only two owners from new, while the four-seat Greyhound has a very original interior and its 1950s buff log book. And there is a pile of spares including two AC engines. For an AC exponent like Kivlochan (he has raced six different Cobras) the find is a bonanza and he can’t wait to get the Ace in shape.
“We’re going to do it as it should be done,” he says. “The interior is saveable the dash only needs a good clean and I hope to have it out racing for 2014. And of course I’ll take Vic’s widow out in it.”
The hoard struck a chord with me, as around 1980 I was taken to see a forgotten Cobra stranded in a shed in the middle of a garden. Where? I can’t remember. Somewhere in the Telford area…
Peering through mucky windows we could see the curvaceous flanks covered in dust, but the owner was absent so I couldn’t get the back story. Dreaming of a snip purchase I later tried to find the house again no luck. I assume the car has since been rescued, but maybe, just maybe, there’s a lost Cobra out there…