AC Cars is taking legal action over the Cobra sports car

4:35 p.m. June 7, 2022

5:12 p.m. June 7, 2022

A Norfolk law firm is suing a car dealer over a classic sports car brand once driven by racing legend Stirling Moss.

AC Cars (England) Ltd, based in Carleton Rode, together with Acedes Holdings, are taking London business owner Clive Sutton and his company to the High Court for alleged trademark infringement.

The car companies claim that Clive Sutton Ltd, a car dealer, sells replica AC Cobra cars made out of fiberglass rather than aluminum and cost about half the price of period Cobras.

AC cars are considered legendary British sports cars, having been in continuous production since 1901.

An AC Cobra pictured in 1992
– Credit: PA

David Conza, AC Cars CEO, said: “These vehicles are knockoffs and are in no way affiliated with Acedes Holdings and AC Cars. We will protect our brand and our customers from counterfeiting and counterfeiting and continue to challenge anyone who attempts to pass off products as legitimate Cobras.”

Alan Lubinsky, Chairman of AC Cars, added: “AC Cars is Britain’s oldest car manufacturer, but over the years many companies and individuals have tried to brush it out of the Cobra story. They believe they can claim the name by making replica vehicles, but that is not the case and we will always pursue those who attack our heritage.”

In a statement, Clive Sutton denied the claim.

It states: “Clive Sutton Ltd is a luxury car dealer specializing in the import of American cars, including those designed by Superformance. Of these we are very proud of the MKII Slab Slide RHD, MKIII RHD and MKIIIR, which replicates the legendary Shelby Cobras that terrorized the racetracks in the 1960’s.

“We are aware that Acedes and AC Cars have initiated trademark infringement proceedings against us for use of the SHELBY COBRA trademark in relation to these cars.

“We believe the lawsuit is without merit and will vigorously defend it. As the process is ongoing, it would be inappropriate to make any further comments.”

An iconic sports car

A mechanic works on a 1962 AC Cobra during the Goodwood Revival at Goodwood Motor Circuit in Ch

A mechanic works on a 1962 AC Cobra at Goodwood Motor Circuit in 2017
– Credit: PA

The AC Cobra is a classic sports car known for marrying an American engine with British style and manufacture.

The first was built in the UK in 1962 and then exported to the US for sale.

In 1963 the car competed at Le Mans, the famous 24-hour endurance sportscar race where racing legend Stirling Moss was the team leader as the British team finished seventh overall and third in the GT class.

The success of the British Cobra during racing cemented its place in the sports car world and led to an increase in sales to racing car enthusiasts.

A combination of a Ford engine and a light car made it one of the fastest cars in the early 1960s.

Auto racing success and its sleek 1960s styling meant it became a sports car icon that remains popular with classic car collectors to this day.

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