Rare classic car found in family member’s garage could sell for £70,000
It’s easy to forget what you may have stored in a cluttered garage, but a rare classic car buried under a pile of junk on a family member’s property would come as a shock to anyone.
And that’s exactly what happened in this particular case after someone found a 1960 AC Greyhound stored in their late father-in-law’s garage after having been there for about 45 years.
After the pile of boxes, car covers, deckchairs and even old bikes were removed from the vintage British engine, the car was lovingly restored. Next month it will be offered to the highest bidder at auction, with experts predicting it could fetch up to £70,000.
The car was discovered in the estate of the seller’s late father-in-law, with the classic car believed to have been kept in the garage since 1978, gathering more than four decades of dust since.
The AC is one of 83 examples of AC’s handsome Bristol-engined Greyhound 2+2 coupé, which was produced by British manufacturer – AC Cars – between 1959 and 1963 at the Thames Ditton factory in Surrey.
It is one of the first models, bought new in 1960 and used as a daily driver by the owner, including taking it to races where the first keeper pitted it against Aston Martins in club-level events on tours across the UK.
When the car was bought by the seller’s father-in-law in 1978, it was moved to his garage – the place where it had to stay under an increasing amount of cardboard and other rubbish in the building.
After rousing it from its garage slumber, the seller took it upon himself to sympathetically restore the machine, doing much of the work to get it back to its glorious best.
Most of the work was cosmetic, with the air conditioner having only driven 43,625 miles in its 18 years of use before being put into storage.
Still, the seller claims to have purchased as many genuine spares as possible when needed – and there are substantial receipts for specialist work carried out on the 62-year-old engine.
The ‘150 SPF’ registration was originally finished in AC ‘Rosso Chiarro’, however, small volume manufacturers often did not use specific palettes meaning the exact color code was not available .
The refurbished paint was finished as close to the original shade as possible and now benefits from multiple coats of “Put Your Sunglasses On Red”, which “retains a deep shine and looks fabulous”, according to which auction house will offer the Greyhound to the highest bidder at the end of next month.
It will go to the block at the Silverstone auction during the Supercar Fest event at Sywell Aerodrome in Northamptonshire on Saturday May 28.
Harry Fox-Edwards of Silverstone Auctions said: “The restoration was completed in early 2022 and we understand from our supplier that ‘the engine runs well and the car is a pleasure to drive’.
“This has got to be one of, if not the best example of a Greyhound to come to market recently and with the prices of the Ace and Aceca having skyrocketed in recent years, we can’t help but to think that the Greyhound is somewhat undervalued in comparison.
“With the striking appearance of a DB4, 75% the performance, 10 times rarer, but only 20% the cost, it looks remarkably good value at today’s guide price.”
According to the Hagerty Price Guide, an “excellent” condition example of the 1960 AC Greyhound 2+2 is valued at £79,400. However, a ‘contest’ car (fully original, in museum condition and with low mileage) is worth up to £97,300.
Silverstone Auctions has placed an estimate of £60,000-70,000 on the roof of the car – which is certainly better than the cardboard and sheets that have covered it for around half a century.
The Greyhound is a four-seat GT coupe model with a svelte alloy body that is no different from Aston Martin’s DB4 – a car launched around the same time.
While most cars of this generation had live rear axles, leaf spring suspension and four-wheel drum brakes, the Greyhound offered a more modern approach with fully independent front and rear suspension on coil springs, a rack and pinion steering and front disc brakes. .
The 83 Greyhound customers were given a choice of four straight-six engines.
This features the BMW-derived Bristol 2.0-litre powertrain, delivering 125bhp of peak power. It was the one purists rightly preferred, with the smooth, raspy engine seen as the perfect match for the Greyhound’s grand touring style.
This particular car’s engine has been tuned, with invoices on the historic file, including one for £21,000 from historic racing specialist Ian Nuttall for a complete engine rebuild and conversion to run on unleaded fuel.
There are photos with the car covering various aspects of the restoration.
The original bumpers have been rechromed and are ready to fit but are not currently fitted to the vehicle as the seller “prefers the smoother non-bumper style”, says Silverstone Auctions.
The interior of the car appears to have been refitted and the seats, headliner, dashboard, steering wheel and gear lever show a slight patina from the long time owner’s use of the 150 SPF . Only the bright red carpets are new.
In addition to matching engine and chassis numbers, the car has full historical documentation, including old tax stamps, various invoices, its original tool kit in the spare wheel well and even manuals and manuals of origin of the owner since its new purchase until its parking. in place in 1978.
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