Hershey | Lot 137

1938 AC 16/70 Drophead Coupe

Offered from the collection of John Moir

$49,500 USD | Sold

United States | Hershey, Pennsylvania

9 October 2014

Chassis No.
Engine No.
UMR 558
  • Offered from the collection of John Moir
  • An elegant grand tourer with advanced specifications
  • Owned by enthusiasts for half a century
  • A CCCA Full Classic

70 bhp, 1,991 cc SOHC inline six-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, semi-elliptic leaf-spring suspension, underslung rear axle, and four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 115.5 in.

After the Hurlock brothers purchased AC Cars in 1929, plans had been to discontinue automobile production and use the factory as a warehouse. However, William Hurlock was impressed by an automobile that the employees built for him a year later, and limited production soon began again. The cars built prior to World War II continued to use the overhead-cam, six-cylinder design that AC had been producing since the early 1920s. These engines were mounted on chassis that were supplied by Standard, and they featured a new, modern four-speed gearbox, which was built in a single unit with the engine. The new 16/70 model, named for its taxable and actual horsepower, respectively, also incorporated a new, attractive design, which featured gradually more streamlined, modern lines.

A copy of the AC sales ledger, included in the file, records this car as having been sold new by Cook & Palmer Ltd. to a Mrs. E. Thorne, of “Greenacres” in Middlesex. Mr. Moir recalls buying it “from a collector in Kansas City, Case Bonebrake, who was retiring to Arizona, and this car was surplus to his needs; he had a Mercedes that he intended to be buried in.” Period ads indicate that Mr. Bonebrake had shown the car at the Texas Grand Classic in Dallas in 1966. It is sentimentally important to its current owner, as it was the first AC purchased after buying back his original AC 2-Litre, as well as the car that introduced him to his favored restorer, David Steinman, of Waitsfield, Vermont.

This was the first car that Mr. Steinman restored for the Moir Collection, which saw the body being refinished in its attractive combination of three shades of pale blue and a dark blue leather upholstery and a tan top added. The restoration has been well preserved over the last two decades, during which time it has been occasionally shown but seldom driven. Accordingly, the paint finish and interior have a nice patina, which is attractive enough for continued use and enjoyment. As a CCCA Full Classic, the car is of course eligible for all their events, and it would be an ideal sporting choice for a CARavan. This AC is offered with a file containing a reprinted owner’s manual, three original brochures in good condition, information on the Andre Telecontrol shock absorbers, and extensive additional period documents on the model.

This is one of the most beautiful automobiles in the Moir Collection, and it is one that is seldom seen in such lovely condition. In addition, it benefits from half a century of continuous ownership by considerate collectors.

Suggested lots