This extensively restored AC 16/80 two-liter competitions sports was sold by us on Bringatrailer.com.
- 1 of 14 ‘sloping tail’ bodied cars, design by Freddy March
- Chassis number L631, bought new in 1937 by Lady More of Bishop
- Long history file, extremely well documented and thoroughly raced
- History file accompanied by handwritten correspondence from Lady More
- Matching number engine UBS 7 589 rebuilt, new crankshaft, higher compression
- Synchronized Moss gearbox
- Still registered on original 1937 registration ELN 160
- Underslung chassis, adjustable shock absorbers front and rear, full jack system
- Chassis lightened and strengthened in the fifties for racing.
AC Cars founded in 1901 in Thames Ditton, Surrey. A small British car manufacturer that maybe gained most of its fame after the second world war with the AC Ace which would offer the perfect base for Carroll Shelby’s AC Cobra. We all know what that lead to. The roots of this very interesting car brand lay deep in the 20th century. During the 1930’s AC (Acedes Ltd.) were able to show their excellence in quality and design during rally’s and carshows. A wide range of beautiful and sporty designs, all carrying the smooth two-liter six cylinder AC engine. The ultimate pre-war AC is the Competition Sports, 80 horsepower two-seater ‘sloping tail’.
Finished in a blue-grey shade lacquer, the car has undergone a bare aluminum respray in 2017. A period 2K paint method was used in this process, giving the car a suitable period correct appearance. In our search to find out what colour ‘Aberdeen Slate grey’ was supposed to be, we found that the Aberdeen slate was rather blue. An extensive photo documentation shows the process of the restoration and can be supplied upon request. The body lines and gaps are beautiful especially for an alloy body over a wooden ash frame which flexes all the time when driving. New hubs and wheels were made and painted in slightly darker blue to match the interior. The chrome is of a very high level and spotless throughout. The undercarriage is clean and beautifully painted in satin black, the underslung chassis is lightened and strengthened in the fifties when the car was raced by David Sinnet-Jones.
A riviera blue leather interior finished in correct Connolly vaumol leather. New seats made by Car-a-Classic in Germany and carpets made out of correct Wilton-wool. The weather equipment is completed by a tonneau cover, side screens and a tight soft-top which folds away behind the seats leaving enough space for a couple of travel bags. Pack light when going on trips with this car!
The two-liter engine has undergone a complete rebuild during its last restoration process in 2017/2018. A new crankshaft was made to be able to put up with higher compression. All internals are newly made, forged or either casted in order to get the best possible quality of driving. Gearbox and drivetrain rebuilt to standard specification, still retaining original long ratio rear axle. New wiring harness and all original gauges work like intended. The car is ready for many miles and events to come, both static as dynamic.
Aged 25, Ms. Clare Mary Hope-Edwardes received her AC 16/80 in December 1937. A 80 horsepower 2.0L competition sports with a sloping tail body designed by de Duke of Richmond, Freddy March. A blend of historical facts you don’t come across very often.
Future Lady More of Bishop enjoyed the car for almost fifteen years, calling it the best car she ever had. In handwritten correspondence dating October ’69, Lady More describes the car as Battleship grey. The full colour name by AC was Aberdeen Slate Grey, the only AC to be painted in this colour. Period photos show Lady More standing next to the AC outside her house Linley Hall, Shropshire. Putting the car to test at the sands of Wales, easily reaching 100mph, Lady More only aloud her chauffeur and herself to drive the car.
Nowadays we can only guess what it must have been like to drive such a pristine and well-equipped motorcar in that era. Fitted with the most famous two-liter AC engine with high compression and triple S.U. carburetors, synchronized gearbox and adjustable shock absorbers both front and rear, even to this day’s standards the car is quick and solid to drive. Throughout its life, this AC has had numerous owners, all of them with a certain vision causing this car to have a very rich history and living a highly interesting life. If only it could write a book. Racing life started early in the fifties under the ownership of David Sinnet-Jones. Period photos show racing at Silverstone and Brands Hatch of Sinnet-Jones who nicknamed the car ‘Flying Banana’. The amount of interesting facts written down is mesmerizing. Such as the next; As a young boy, Richard Ferris a family friend of Sinnet-Jones, helped preparing the car for racing. When Sinnet-Jones wanted to part from the AC, Richard Ferris was just old enough to drive a car and opted for the much-raced AC. Being too expensive for him, Sinnet-Jones sold the race engine to a Vicar who needed a decent motor for his AC Saloon. Richard and Sinnet-Jones planted another standard engine into the AC so Richard Ferris could afford the car, finally. Almost sixty years later we made this change undone by reuniting ELN160 with its original powerplant.
Having purchased the car in 2017, the car was restored extensively during the last three years and above all, revived with its original matching number engine. As the car’s history is well known and documented very well, the original engine was kept apart from the car for several decades. The car even left Europe, bought by an American collector and came back to the UK in 2013. Still, not retaining its original engine.
Luckily the current owner saw the potential and ordered us to collect the car on two conditions; reunite it with its original engine and bring it back in its original colour.
The engine had to be reworked completely and the rebuild exceeds €25.000,-. Carrying a new crankshaft, forged pistons -and rods, and a new camshaft. The engine produces significantly more power and runs as smooth as you would expect from the ultimate AC inline six.
The body was beautiful to start with and was taken apart for a bare aluminum respray. In the search of the original colour, there was no reference or whatsoever. Being the only AC both pre-war as post-war to be sprayed in Aberdeen Slate Grey, the search was long. Our interpretation resulted in the current Grey/blue shade over a dark blue leather interior.
New wheels were made with the correct size and rolled edge rim, painted in a slightly darker blue colour to match the interior. The car deserved to be at the highest possible level and not often you get the chance and the funds to do so. We are very proud to have been able to get this car in its current state and therefor blessed to find her its new owner.
The technical file is long and accompanied by all invoices of the last decade. This car is ready to drive and prepared for any pre-war driving event across the globe.
Our showroom and workshop are located in the old city center of Delft, South-Holland by appointment only.