It's an AC! And far from an ordinary one – this beautiful machine is a unique special adapted almost beyond recognition for the track, and now after neglect is fully restored
This AC Barchetta LX820 bows to few machines when it comes to stunning looks. It also surely bows to few when it comes to its nomadic history.
The AC is nomadic not only in terms of geography, nor indeed only in terms of treatment and use, but in terms of its form. This car’s beginnings were far from the machine that is now for sale.
First manufactured as a 2-litre sportscar, the vehicle that the British manufacturer came back to the market with after the Second World War, AC's curves took the market by storm. Built using a development of its pre-war products, the model was produced from 1947 to 1956.
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The particular car that formed the basis of this LX820 was one of the early models, and soon in its life it underwent a transformation almost beyond all recognition. It was shipped to Brasilia in 1948, then in the early 1950s was remodified as a special to go racing with. It raced in Brazil until around the mid part of that decade.
While the car retained the base of the 2-litre AC, as well as things like the steering wheel, it appears to have had replacement body parts from a variety of sources. And whoever put it together is clearly a fan of the Ferrari Barchetta, given its close resemblance.
At some point after its racing days, the LX820 became somewhat neglected. Indeed it was photographed in a 1997 edition of Classic Cars magazine in rather a crumpled and discoloured state – sitting in a classic car ‘cemetery’ in Sao Paulo, among upwards of 50 cars hauled in from Sao Paulo’s and Rio de Janeiro’s streets.
It appears also to have passed through a number of owners, at least one of whom made a rudimentary attempt at a restoration; involving filler!
The AC eventually ended up back in the UK, at which point the mess was slowly but surely sorted out. A full body restoration was undertaken by Aston Martin-trained specialist Shaun Rush of ASR Motor Body Engineering and the car was painted by specialist paint refinisher Lone Pine Garage, which has painted winning cars for the Pebble Beach councours event.
The car's engine is a 2-litre straight six of the same type used through to the 1960s in the AC Ace; its engine and gearbox were also recently completely stripped and rebuilt by Browning Restorations. The machine now has about 15bhp more than in original form.
It’s all come together for the beautiful and unique AC Barchetta LX820, indeed in 2016 it was awarded the Best AC-engined Car in show at the AC Owners Club Nationals. It’s available to buy to drive on the road or the track. As a special too is the only one available in the world.
Check out its AutoClassics classified advert for full details!