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MA200

AC's Lost Prototype

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The MA-200 was originally designed for a 6-cylinder engine but Marzewski was asked to modify it to accept a Ford 289 V8 for reasons of cost savings. A 289 race engine had been presented to AC Chairman Derek Hurlock by the Ford Motor Company in recognition of the company’s assistance in it’s first foray at LeMans. Two specially prepared Cobras with fastback-style hard tops had been entered in the 1963 24-hour event, one under the AC Cars banner and the other by early Cobra dealer Ed Hugus of Pittsburgh. The thinking was that Ford and Shelby did not want to take the chance of being on the receiving end of unfavorable publicity if the Cobras failed to finish. The Hugus entry retired at the halfway point, sidelined by a broken connecting rod. The AC car finished 3rd in the GT class and 7th overall. It was an excellent showing and Ford rewarded Hurlock by giving him the left-over spare race engine, one of only 5 built for the event.

The body was made from aluminum and the shape was slab-sided and rectangular. It was unlike anything else of that period but in the 1960s and 1970s was actually quite contemporary. AC records show that on November 19, 1963 the completed car was registered for road use. Rather than receive a serial number which fit into the AC numbering system, it was assigned the number “MA-200.”

MA-200 is parked in front of AC Cars’ showroom. Note new Cobras parked inside.. The Cobra engine was not the only part taken off the shelf for this car; it also had Cobra 72-spoke wire wheels and a Cobra 3-spoked wood steering wheel.

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