1979 AC 3000ME

The AC 3000ME is an excellent example of what internal politics, delays and changes can do to an otherwise cool-looking and well designed car. Announced in 1974, the AC 3000ME only began production in 1979, a delay of five years which saw the design get dated, the engine change and the price go up, and more importantly, in which car lovers and enthusiasts got bored.

1979 AC 3000ME (Red)
1979 AC 3000ME (Red)

By the time the AC 3000ME came to market, its original Austin Maxi engine/transmission combo had been replaced by a mid-mounted Ford V6, which despite its 3-liters, could only muster 138 horsepower. Needless to say, the performance was uninspired to say the least, with a 120 mph top speed and a 8.5 seconds 0-60 acceleration time. On top of that, the handling, which should have been superb, turned out to be quite unnerving at speed.

Over the next few years, the car and rights to the name changed hands several time, until 1988, when a single one was built, the Signature. It was an inglorious end to what could have been a nice sports car.

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