Willson's Smart Buy
Willson's Smart Buy

Quentin on why an AC, a Mercedes, a Lamborghini and, yes, a BL-built Jaguar should all be on the canny buyer’s radar.

‘When you look at the prices of Cobras and Aces the AC 428 still seems out of step with the market.’ 

I’ve tipped the 428 as a stellar investment before and time has proved me absolutely bang-on. Back in 2012 Bonhams knocked down a mint red 1969 coupé with 35k miles for £77k yet Hexagon Classics has recently sold a restored ’71 in silver for close to £300k. That’s a solid jump in four years but AC built only 80 428s – 51 coupés and 29 convertibles – so they’re actually more exclusive than a factory-built Ferrari Daytona Spider. Beautifully styled by Pietro Frua and good for 145mph with 60mph in less than six seconds, it deserves to be recognised as the sexiest Anglo-American hybrid of them all. Keith Moon owned one along with Rob Walker; and the first prototype, a rare alloy-bodied convertible, starred in early Avengers TV episodes.

Priced at £5573 in 1968 they were more expensive than an Aston Martin DB6 and, thanks to the Seventies oil crisis and a 15mpg thirst, production was halted in 1973. Most owners know how special their 428s are and nice cars rarely come on to the open market. But even at over £250k I think they’ve still got some appreciating to do. The convertibles are the most wanted, manuals are very rare and there were only 12 left-hookers built. Sixty-one of the 80 cars built survive so somewhere there could be a neglected 428 sitting ready for discovery. Understand how special, gorgeous and fast the 428 is and you may come round to my way of thinking that these cars could one day hit £500k. Their rise in value has been consistently steady and it’s hard to believe that in 2003 H&H sold a ’69 one-owner 37,000-mile convertible for just £23,000.

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April 2017