Basic Car History

Year

Details

1972

After reputedly designing the Mid Engined Diablo after hours in the Lola drawing office Peter Bohanna and Robin Stables formed Bohanna Stables, based at Cadmore End, High Wycombe, Bucks. They displayed the Diablo at the 1972 Racing Car Show.

diablo a

The origional design was powered by an Austin Maxi power unit.

1972

After the Racing Car show AC purchased the rights of the Diablo.

1973

Earls Court Motor Show saw the appearance of the prototype 3000ME which, with its Ford V6 engine and grp bodywork was hoped to go into production in 1974. The price mentioned as being "about £3000 to £4000" caused a lot of interest, AC gained over 2500 names on their order.

1974

By 1974 the body design was more or less finished. The shape of the Diablo was basically kept with the nose trimmed, the roof made slightly higher and air intakes added for better cooling. Then came the the long drawn out process gaining type approval. most of the early chassis numbers were used during development.

1975

After failing the type approval 30mph crash test with the steering wheel moving back just half an inch too far of the five inch limit, AC had to redesign some chassis components. After the changes the steering column moved back just 1 and a half inches passing with flying colours.

The Dealer network for the new car started to be set up.

1976

In Autosport magazine, Sales Manager "Jock" Wright said he was stalling the 1200 firm enquires at the inflated price tag of "about £6000"

1978

The AC 3000ME officially went on sale for the first time in October at the NEC Motor Show. 50 orders were claimed taken at the show.

1979

The first production cars were introduced. This new car was the first mid-engined car in the AC range and was one of the few British sportscars to feature this engine layout. The car was priced at over £11302.

1980

In March 1980 the price was quoted as £13300 in standard trim and £13600 with leather seats and a cassette radio. At the same time the Lotus Esprit S2 was priced at £14981, the TVR Tasmin at £12800 and a 924 Porsche Turbo was £13998.

1981

Keith Judd disbanded the dealer network and started selling the car direct from the factory.

1984

Production moved from Thames Ditton to Hillingdon near Glasgow, Scotland. Priced at £13881. The new company was formed by David McDonald was called AC Scotland. With the closing of the Chysler Linwood plant there were many skilled workers available and a planned production of the 400 ME's per year would need to employ 62 staff was very positive in such a run down area. During the developement they made it to 18 staff

scottish staff

David McDonald's (far left) idea was, as the ME body was unstressed bassically just sitting on the strong ME type approved chassis they could design other bodys for future developement.

1985

The last AC 3000ME came off the Scottish production line and in October AC (Scotland) went into receivership.

1986

In March the rights to the ME were sold to AC Ecosse Ltd

1988

Ecosse Signature proposed ME replacement shown at Motor Show

1989

Due to lack of investment, development of the signature stopped.

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