Wed, 18th Mar 2020 13:00

Imperial War Museum Duxford

  Lot 32

1938 AC 16/70 Drophead Coupe

Sold for £56,250

(including buyers premium)

Lot details

Registration No: YXG 209
Chassis No: L604
MOT: Exempt

  • Elegant drophead coupe with advanced specification
  • Ex-John Moir Collection in USA
  • Restored in the 1990s by David Steinman of Vermont

Buoyed up by the 1st, 4th and 6th places it had achieved on the 1933 RAC Rally, AC chose that year's London Motor Show to unveil a revised 16hp model. Based around a 9ft 7in wheelbase chassis, the newcomer was equipped with semi-elliptic leaf-sprung suspension, four-wheel drum brakes and an underslung rear axle. Featuring unusually high alloy content, its 1991cc SOHC straight-six gave class-leading performance. Introduced as part of the rakishly restyled 1936 line-up, the 16/70 boasted triple SU carburettors and an 84mph top speed. Available with a choice of open and closed factory coachwork, it cost a third more than the equivalent SS Jaguar.

This elegant AC was sold new via Cook & Palmer Ltd to a Mrs E Thorne of ‘Greenacres’ in Middlesex. At some point the car was imported into America where it subsequently entered the collection of John Moir after he purchased it from a collector in Kansas City, Case Bonebrake. During Mr Bonebrake’s tenure the car had been displayed at the 1966 Texas Grand Classic in Dallas. Once in the Moir Collection it was entrusted to David Steinman of Vermont for a thorough restoration in the early 1990s. This included a repaint in light blue matched with dark blue leather upholstery. Seldom driven following its completion, it was, however, occasionally exhibited at various car shows during this period. Subsequently sold at a Hershey auction in October 2014, the car passed through dealers Hyman Ltd from whom the vendor purchased it in 2015 (sales invoice on file). It was imported to the UK and added to his collection where it has been gently exercised and maintained ever since. Only now being offered for sale due to a rationalisation of his extensive classic stable, the restoration has lasted extremely well, true testament to its quality after some twenty-five years.


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