Taking a shine to a crazy psychedelic snake

By Julian Balme
Feb 04 2017, 12:02 am

Taking a shine to a crazy psychedelic snake

A couple of years ago, a scruffy purple AC 289 came up for sale at auction. Beneath the paint the car, chassis number COB 6107, bore an intriguing back story. The ‘Cobra’ had been bought new by Tara Browne (the heir to the Guinness fortune) and he in turn had taken it to design outfit Binder, Edwards & Vaughan for a paint job.

Has any future owner got the guts to have the original paint re-done? Given the opportunity I would…

The result was so stunning that within weeks the AC, along with preliminary sketches, was on display at Robert Fraser’s West End art gallery – sandwiched between the shows of Jim Dine and Richard Hamilton.

It wasn’t the trio’s first car – that honour was bestowed on a 1960 Buick Electra convertible that, after gracing a Kinks album sleeve, was taken on tour to the States.

Its fate thereafter is unknown – its UK registration was LLO 20, but did it ever come back to England or is it sitting under a tarp in a Bay Area backyard? It wasn’t their last either, as apparently Jane Asher gave them her old Ford Popular, but it’s unknown if they ever completed the job.

Of course it begs the question, has the AC’s owner, or indeed any future owner, got the guts to have the original paint restored/re-done? Given the opportunity I would, in the blink of a psychedelic eye…

Comments (1)


  • Paul 21st February 2017 Reply

    I was standing next to one of the bidders when this Cobra came up for sale, he lost it but I couldn’t resist asking if he would have returned it to it’s former glory. He said of course he would. Let’s hope the new owner had the same thought and brings it out of hibernation soon. I would love to see it in full BEV colours.

    Hope you’ve seen this…