Founded in 1901 as Autocarriers Ltd, makers and purveyors of horseless carriages! The title `AC Cars` will always bring to mind the mighty Cobra, understandably, but there is a lot more to AC`s story than that! This is a story of motor tri-cycles, classic sports coupes, wonderful sports cars, invalid carriages and a train! British eccentricity? Oh yes!
The history of AC ownership changes is too long to inflict on the reader, as is the political history. Therefore we will concentrate on the relevant, the irrelevant, the eccentric but always interesting AC story.
It began in 1901 in West Norwood, London UK. Autocarriers Ltd (AC) was owned by the Weller Brothers. In those pioneering days, finding a viable alternative to horse power without infringing the patents of Messrs. Daimler and Benz was all engineers could think about.
The `horseless carriage` had only been invented in 1896 so motor transport was in it`s infancy. The Weller brothers came up with the Auto-carrier three-wheeled cargo carrier. The horse`s days as prime-mover were numbered!
Later on our page the reader will encounter the eccentric side of AC Cars as the history unfolds. I will blow the dust of 110 years off the history books and begin the story so don’t miss to check INOPIAN for these jewels. And yes, there will be a story about a Cobra. I promise…
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- Bristol 403 1953-1955: Bristol With Reduced Brake Efficiency - 22. June 2015
- Triumph TR4A 1965-1967: The Car With a Choice of Rear Axles - 1. June 2015
- Aston-Martin DB2/4 1953-1957: The First Hatchback - 18. May 2015
- AC Aceca 1954-1963: Car That Should Have Been The AC Cobra - 28. April 2015
I was born in Hereford UK in 1948 and brought up in Gloucester UK. I played Rugby football internationally as a schoolboy. At the age of 17, a new and wet driving license in my paw, I entered motor racing. I was supported and financed by my parents and so my journey began.
In 1965 I bought a 1293cc Mini-Cooper `S` and campaigned it for a season. Having quickly made some good friends in the racing fraternity, several interesting opportunities came my way. I joined a sports-car team and raced in the Le Mans 24 hours in 1968 and 1969 in a Lola T70. Mechanical failure defeated both efforts. During that period I owned and raced a `D type` Jaguar and an AC Cobra. In those days cars like that were available and not too expensive, now they reside in museums and private collections. I had a chain of interesting cars through my youth including Jaguars, Minis, Mustangs and Lotus-Cortinas.
As a young driver I had my share of accidents too. Often the car would only be worth scrap-metal value by the time I got it home! I worked for an Aston-Martin/Jaguar dealership for a while, which enhanced my experience and gave me the opportunity to sample some very exotic machines, Ferrari, Facel-Vega, Iso and Maserati to recall a few of them.
At the end of 1969 I moved to South Africa to work on my uncle`s farm but the S.A. government had other ideas and drafted me into the army. After five years had passed I was thanked and released from the service. While I was there I bought a beige Cadillac Eldorado, previously the property of Marilyn Monroe. While I was away on a patrol my girlfriend had it re-sprayed pink! I was unimpressed by both the joke and the bill for the work!
When I returned to UK in 1974 I left it behind. On my return I found that the once-mighty British motor industry was in decline and was headed for oblivion. Motor racing was now very expensive so I turned to commercial transport. Driving large trucks gave me freedom and a chance to see some of the world. I don`t remember ever making a career choice but for the next thirty years a truck was my home. For about ten years in that period I owned two trucks of my own.
I also owned a famous MGB-GT, known as `Lucky`. If you`d like to read `The Story of Lucky` there is an article in Inopian`s archive. I finally retired, due to ill-health, in 2008. Since I had varied knowledge and many experiences on our subject I decided to share the stories of the cars I enjoyed (and hated) with the new generation.
Enjoy Inopian… it is constructed and written for you.