1948 AC Two-Litre Saloon
Family owned from new; older restoration with little use since; original tool kit; a very genuine car
The AC Car Company could trace its roots back to 1901, its first serious commercial success arriving with the launch of its three-wheeled ‘Auto-Carrier’ which went into production in 1904.
By 1919 the company had designed a light, two-litre, six-cylinder engine and by 1923 the design had been refined to feature the now familiar aluminium block and sump, with steel liners for the cylinders. Light and powerful for its time, this engine was so successful it remained in production, with various improvements and modifications, until 1963!
AC enjoyed considerable success in the 1920s and, following a change of ownership in the early ‘30s, produced a succession of very elegant two- and four-seater sports cars, saloons and dropheads. Engine development continued, culminating in the triple SU carburettor set up, which saw power rise to 80bhp by the end of the ‘30s.
In the austere period immediately following the Second World War, the company recognised the need for stylish cars with a ‘sporting feel’, using the materials then available. It developed and produced the two-litre Sports Saloon along with a series of derivatives, such as an open ‘Buckland’ Sports, a factory-built Sports Drophead and a four-door Saloon as well as a few special bodied cars. Production was high by AC standards, with the popular Saloon helping to sell a total of 1,286 two-litres of all types.
This example dates from 1948 and is remarkable in that it has been in the same family ownership from new. Purchased by the vendor’s late father from Chastons of Blackwood as a new car, it was used as daily transport for many years, being treated as the family’s ‘special’ car all the way through.
By the mid 1980s, it was starting to look a bit tired, so a thorough restoration took place, which included checking the ash frame and repairing as necessary, although very little work was required.
The vendor has shown us photos of the work, which included a comprehensive chassis and mechanical overhaul too, plus a professional repaint in its original shade of green – it must have been quite a car in 1948.
On offer from a deceased estate, it hasn’t been started for a few years, but was ‘running when it stopped’, its last journey serving as the bridal chariot at a family wedding.
The doors fit well and it has its original tools in the boot. It will require the usual recommissioning but has clearly been a much loved and well cared-for member of the family since it was new.
Registered HAX 666 and recognised on the DVLA database, the vendor has been unable to locate the history file at his parent's house so has applied for a replacement V5C which should be with us by the time of the sale.
The survival rate for immediate post-war coachbuilt cars was, as one might expect, extremely low – the ash frame bodies lasting little more than 10 years in service, making this lovely AC something of a rarity.
On offer at a very sensible estimate, it should be out and about in short order – perhaps to enjoy another 73 years of single family ownership!
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