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Car dealer Clive Sutton to be taken to court by AC Cars over alleged Cobra trademark infringement

  • AC Cars is suing luxury car dealer Clive Sutton
  • It has accused the dealership of trademark infringements over its replica Cobra
  • Clive Sutton has denied the allegations and says it will ‘vigorously defend’ the claim

Time 1:06 pm, June 16, 2022

AC Cars is taking London-based luxury car dealer Clive Sutton to court over its replica Cobra sports cars to ‘protect its brand’. 

The British car company based in Hethel, Norfolk, are taking Clive Sutton Ltd to the High Court over trademark infringement.

Dealership Clive Sutton, which specialises in many new and used imported American cars, has disputed the claim.


According to the Eastern Daily Press, the dealer released a statement that said: ‘Clive Sutton Ltd is a luxury car dealer, which specialises in the import of American cars, including those engineered by Superformance.

‘Of these, we’re very proud of the MKII Slab Slide RHD, MKIII RHD and MKIIIR, which replicate the legendary Shelby Cobras which terrorized the race tracks in the 1960s.

‘We are aware that Acedes and AC Cars have commenced trademark infringement proceedings against us for use of the SHELBY COBRA trademark in relation to these cars.

‘We consider the claim to be without merit and will be vigorously defending it. As proceedings are ongoing, it would be inappropriate to comment any further.’


AC Cars makes continuation models of the iconic Cobra with an electrified version also announced in 2020 (pictured above).

In a statement from the carmaker, David Conza, CEO of AC Cars, said: ‘These vehicles are imitations, and in no way connected with Acedes Holdings and AC Cars.

‘We will protect our brand and our customers from imitation vehicles and fakes, and will continue to challenge any who attempt to pass products off as legitimate Cobras.’

Alan Lubinsky, chairman of AC Cars added: ‘AC Cars is Britain’s oldest car manufacturer but over the years many companies and individuals have tried to airbrush it out of the Cobra’s story.

‘They believe that they can lay claim to the name by creating imitation vehicles, but this is not the case and we will always pursue those that attack our heritage.’

Rebecca Chaplin's avatar

Rebecca has been a motoring and business journalist since 2014, previously writing and presenting for titles such as the Press Association, Auto Express and Car Buyer. She has worked in many roles for Car Dealer Magazine’s publisher Blackball Media including head of editorial.

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