This Old AC Ad Is Kind Of Baffling

Illustration for article titled This Old AC Ad Is Kind Of Baffling

I happen to have access to an October 1968 copy of Autocar, and in that issue, they had an advertisement from AC, most famously known as the builders of the AC Ace, the car that, with the addition of a beefy Ford V8, became the Shelby Cobra. AC also built a handsome GT car known as the AC 428, a GT car with a Ford 428 cubic inch engine. This advertisement for the AC 428 is kind of baffling to me, though.

Here’s the ad I’m talking about:

Illustration for article titled This Old AC Ad Is Kind Of Baffling

What’s weird about it is the part that states that the car “ ...can be driven in top gear at 15 mph.”

Now, I think what they’re trying to convey here is that this car has gobs of torque that can be enjoyed by the owner. What I don’t understand is the way they decided to demonstrate this: the fact that the car can be driven at 15 mph in high gear.

I mean, if you want to talk about torque, you’d think acceleration would be the thing to shout, yeah? That’s torque-related and exciting—loping along at a good jogging pace in high gear, while I guess technically impressive if you sit and think about it, just doesn’t really get the blood pumping.

I mean, anything you mention about a powerful GT car that’s also about driving at 15 mph probably could be replaced by, oh, anything else. It’s just a very confusing and weird decision to make.


I mean think about it: you’re trying to sell a powerful Grand Touring car, so what aspect do you pick to focus on? The fact that it can be lugged along at 15 mph in fourth?

No. Why would you do that? Who wants to do that with their car? Who is this ad targeted to? People, who want to follow marching bands while lugging their engine?


It’s a weird choice, and I figured you needed to see it.

You’re welcome.

Senior Editor, Jalopnik • Running: 1973 VW Beetle, 2006 Scion xB, 1990 Nissan Pao, 1991 Yugo GV Plus, 2020 Changli EV • Not-so-running: 1977 Dodge Tioga RV (also, buy my book!:

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Margin Of Error

Maybe they wanted to demonstrate that you could almost drive it like an automatic and pretty much never shift, I dunno