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Registration No. Not known
Chassis No. Not known
Engine No. 1561
For restoration

Engine: single cylinder, 631cc, 5hp; Gearbox: two speed chain drive; Suspension: front and rear, by semi-elliptic leaf spring and quarter elliptic leaf springs; Brakes: rear wheel contracting band. Right hand drive.

When one thinks of the phenomenal success of the A.C. Ace, Ace Bristol, 289 and later Cobra models, and the very distinct design that has eclipsed the last 53 years, remaining one of the most copied and emulated designs of the 20th Century, few probably give consideration to the 'A' and the 'C' that the company originated from.

In this case, they were not the initials of its maker John Weller of London, but stood for what the car was, literally an 'Auto Carrier', a motorised commercial three wheel vehicle. Introduced in 1908, these quickly became very popular delivery vehicles, accommodating a company's wares while promoting its name on the sides. It was not long before Weller sensibly made a private passenger version available, and, cleverly promoting its benefits of side by side seating for the two passengers over other three wheeled vehicles (which were more often than not of tandem configuration) he named it the 'Sociable'. Perhaps of the greatest historical consequence, to differentiate his two products he abbreviated the Auto Carrier title for the first time and 'A.C.' was born.

If the configuration or format seems unusual today, it was certainly not in period, and testament to the quality of the product was the fact that the British army relied on them for transport as well as customising some to carry machine guns. Production of the 'Sociable' continued comfortably up to the war, by which time marketing for the now Thames Ditton car read 'Alone in 1907, foremost since'.

This rather sorry looking example would have almost certainly joined the Sharpe Family collection in the mid-1960s. Although some restoration work appears to have been started, the chassis frame being repainted and some of the bodywork repanelled, it seems that the project has long since been abandoned, and not even until Christie's auction last year was sufficient space made available to unearth the A.C. again.

Offering the basis for the restoration of an early example of one of the most famed of British marques, the car will no doubt require extensive work to return it to the road. However, with a wealth of information available from the A.C., and Veteran Car and Motorcycle clubs worldwide, together with the existing two dozen or so cars extant with which to compare, the new owner should have plenty of advice at hand.
Special Notice

No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.

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