1950 AC 2-Litre Sports Tourer by Buckland
Sold For $82,500Inclusive of applicable buyer's fee.
RM | Auctions - HERSHEY 9 - 10 OCTOBER 2014 - Offered from the collection of John Moir
- Offered from the collection of John Moir
- Purchased new by Mr. Moir in 1950
- Special-ordered in black with roll-up windows
- Rarely seen and beautifully restored
- The car that launched a lifelong passion for AC automobiles
76 bhp, 1,991 cc SOHC inline six-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, solid front and rear axles with semi-elliptic leaf-spring suspension, and Girling hydraulic front and mechanical rear drum brakes. Wheelbase: 117 in.
Who can say
What brought us to this miracle we’ve found
There are those who’d bet
Loves comes but once, and yet
I’m oh so glad we met
The second time around…
- “The Second Time Around,” Van Heusen/Cahn
Every man has a sentimental affection for his first new car. It marks a definitive transition into adulthood and a turning point in his independence. A first car is treasured but seldom ever kept, and once lost, a man will miss her forever. John Moir is no exception. The difference is that his AC 2-Litre was more than just a “first car”; it was the Helen of Troy for the collection that would follow, as its grille would launch dozens of ACs on their path towards Moir ownership. He would miss her for decades and then find her again, but this time, he would never let her go.
The story, like that of most obsessions, began innocently enough. The Cadillac V-16 that Mr. Moir had been driving, a hand-me-down from his father, proved a bit too large for Boston traffic. A British family friend, Bob Russell, drove interesting cars from his homeland, so Mr. Moir Sr. wrote him a letter, inquiring as to what he should purchase in its stead. “Well, I drive a Lagonda,” Russell responded, “but a young man should own an AC.”
A 2-Litre Sports Tourer was ordered up, with Mr. Moir requesting from the factory at Thames Ditton that they please paint it black and add roll-up windows, to combat Boston winters. Soon, his sleek beauty had arrived at the dock in New York City, and from there, it journeyed to Massachusetts, where it was driven daily until 1956. It was then sold to a teacher who Mr. Moir was working with at a Quaker School in Westtown, Pennsylvania. The teacher sold it the following year to a Quaker State dealer, and from that point, the car disappeared.
In 1987, Mr. Moir saw an advertisement in Antique Automobile for a black AC Tourer, which was to be sold by a man in Pennsylvania. This man was Phillips Lowther, and he had owned and enjoyed the car for 30 years, parking it only when crippled by Parkinson’s and arthritis. When Mr. Moir saw that black paint and those familiar, special-ordered roll-up windows, both he and Mr. Lowther were near tears. The Sports Tourer had come home.
Sebert Motor Car Company, of Millbrook, Ontario, Canada, restored the AC beautifully. They refinished it in its original colors both inside and out and incorporated the correct trim and finishes throughout. To this day, it remains one of the nicest-finished cars in the Moir Collection. Its interior is only lightly creased, both the paint and top remain in fine condition, and underneath and under the hood are clean and “as-new.” With mechanical sorting prior to the auction to return it to good running order, it will be the nicest AC 2-Litre in the United States, as it boasts special-order features, its original engine, and a rich, unparalleled history. It is offered to its new owner with a collection of restoration receipts and numerous photos that were taken in the 1950s, some of which are reprinted here.
It is Mr. Moir’s hope that this car will stir a new owner as it stirred him 64 years ago, as he shifted through the gears and floored the pedal towards Harvard Yard.