AC Cars has had a long but tumultuous history. AC’s roots go back to the turn of the 20th century, in West Norwood, London when the Weller Brothers, with financial backing from a local butcher named John Portwine, set their sights on building an automobile. Portwine was worried about the cost of the Weller Brothers design for a complex 20hp touring car, and encouraged the brothers to try something cheaper – so a three-wheel delivery car was built and christened “Auto-Carrier”. It turned out to be a reasonable success and helped establish the brothers as legitimate manufacturers.
Following World War I, John Weller began designing an advanced overhead cam six-cylinder engine which he felt would compete with the best W.O. Bentley had to offer. Unfortunately, Weller was ousted from his company in a takeover, but his engine lived on to be found in nearly every subsequent AC automobile for the next 40 years.
This 1929 AC Acedes-Magna Tourer is a beautiful example of an extremely rare pre-war AC and is perhaps the finest AC of the period. The magnificent overhead-cam two-liter inline six produces 65 horsepower and is mated to a 4-speed gearbox. The chassis features semi-elliptic sprung live axles and mechanical drum brakes. It is outfitted with stylish sports-touring coachwork finished in deep crimson and a lovely polished bonnet – a typical flourish for ACs of the time. It was originally sold by famous London AC dealer F.B. Goodchild, Ltd and still carries that dealer’s identification plate. Most recently part of the famous John Moir collection; it was lovingly restored by David Steinman in 2002 and is still gorgeous today. Lovely paint work is offset by a rich tan leather interior in beautiful condition. The deeply varnished wood dash is fitted with nickel plated switchgear, instruments and AC badges on the door caps. There is even a separate windscreen with wind wings for rear seat passengers. Panel fit, paint quality and bright work are appropriately excellent for a car restored to this level. A frequent concours participant, the car was shown at Pebble Beach in 2003, where it garnered the Lord Montague Award for most significant British car as well as a class award, and the car has been awarded a National First Place award by the CCCA. AC cars of this era are extremely rare and this delightful example would be an ideal choice for touring or the concours lawn.