The origins of AC Cars start with engineer John Weller designing a powered delivery vehicle for his local butcher, John Portwine. The two became close business partners, with the energetic and entrepreneurial Portwine providing finance and business acumen to complement the inventive Weller’s burgeoning engineering talent.
Their Company flourished in the new world of mechanised personal transport. But, surely, neither could have foreseen just what they had started. Through the combined endeavours of talented engineers, skilled craftsmen and astute management, the business they founded was to span more than 100 years, manufacturing vehicles ranging from that first single cylinder three-wheeler delivery vehicle through a succession of elegant bespoke touring and sports cars to one of the world’s most iconic sports cars.
Almost from the outset the cars were entered in competitive events. Successes included awards in early trials, records in speed events, outright wins in international rallies, and a world championship in motor racing. Drivers too were some of the most talented on the world scene. With that success came public recognition, the Marque often featuring in the motoring press, and sometimes making front page news, with reports on their exploits, technical ingenuity, and new models.
But, matters were not always that rosy. Business inevitably fluctuated with the times, and fortunes were both made and lost. Nevertheless, through it all the cars have survived and the spirit has thrived, and today we have the good fortune to continue enjoyment of the fruits of more than a century of achievement by our illustrious forebears.
In combining much of the commentary from period journals, this book allows a much greater appreciation of the scale and scope of those achievements, and will enable us all to enhance, and share, our enjoyment of AC cars.
The history of AC Cars is covered in this collection of 170 specially selected articles from the world’s leading motoring journals. Models covered: Sociable, Fivet, Empire, Royal, Magna, March, 16/56 to 16/90, Ace, Aceca, Aceca-Bristol, Petite, Greyhound, Two-Litre, Cobra including the Shelby, 260, 289, 427, IV, Superblower, 212 SC, CRS plus the Frura & 3000ME.