1938 AC 16/80
Year of manufacture1938
Number of seats2
1938 AC 16/80hp Competition Sports
Registration no. GPF 957
Chassis no. L635
In 1935, AC announced a two-seater sports model on a short (8' 10") chassis - the 16/80 Competition Sports - which came with 80bhp on tap courtesy of a new cylinder head incorporating bigger valves. Including the supercharged 16/90hp model, only 44 of these delightful AC sports cars were produced.
Chassis number 'L635' was completed on 28th March 1938. Powered by AC's John Weller-designed 2.0-litre overhead-camshaft six equipped with triple SU carburettors, it is one of only 15 16/80 models built with the sloping tail body. The body's beautiful flowing lines are the work of Freddie March, Duke of Richmond and Gordon, who later founded the Goodwood motor racing circuit. Famous buyers of this handsome AC sports model included movie star Errol Flynn and American architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
This particular car was the works' demonstrator and as such was finished in Snow Shadow Jewelescence on all bodywork, chassis, and running gear. In 1938, 'GPF 957' was entered in the RAC Rally by JG Pige-Leschallas and co-driver Edgar Kehoe, both well known and respected rally drivers of the day (photographs on file). That same year the car was road tested by Autocar magazine, featuring in their July edition. 'GPF 957' was to feature in Autocar again (in August 1940) as part of their 'Talking Sports Cars' series. Continuation logbooks list owners from the 1950s and 1960s.
The previous owner purchased 'GPF 957' on the 22nd February 1997 in poor condition and restored the car over the next nine years, the engine, gearbox, and rear axle being fully rebuilt by AC expert Brian Taylor, and the body restored by David Moroney. A large restoration file is available on request, including a photographic record of the mechanical rebuild. The car's post-restoration achievements include:
2006: AC Owners Club: KBR Trophy for best engine. Best PVT. The Hurlock Trophy for Best in Show (2006)
2006: Vintage Sports Car Club: Oulton Park Concours 1st place. Vintage Sports Car Club: entered and completed the Western Rally
2007: Vintage Sports Car Club: 1st Class Award in the Northern Rally
2007: AC Owners' Club: won the Brownridge Trophy for most used AC during 2007
2007: Displayed at Goodwood Festival of Speed, Cartier Style-et-Luxe Concours
In 2008, 'GPF 957' was featured in the Vintage Sports Car Club's Bulletin No 259 in a seven-page article on its history and restoration. More recently, 'GPF 957' has featured in The Automobile (June 2016 edition, copy available) and it also features in the latest Georgano Encyclopedia of Cars and the recently published AC in Detail by Rinsey Mills.