The AC Sports Car History

A review of The AC Sports Car History, covering development, important features, and technical data of this classic car.

From Classic to Modern

The AC marque represented the oldest British car manufacturer, with continuous production stretching as far back as 1901.

That year, John Weller established a small engineering business near London with the purpose of producing motor cars.

In 1903, he had designed and built his first car, powered by either a 2-cylinder or 4-cylinder engine developing 10 hp and 20 hp respectively.

They were presented at the 1903 British Motor Show, and were well received.

In 1904, the business was called Autocar & Accessories, and produced a tricycle called the Autocarrier, with a 5.6 hp air cooled engine, and customers such as the Goodyear Tyre Company.

By 1910, the Autocarrier was used by the London Cycle Regiment to carry equipment, such as ammunition.

In 1911, with rising demand, production was moved to a larger premises south of London, where production of the Autocarrier continued until 1915.

By this time, Weller had designed the first production four wheeled car, and the company was renamed Autocarriers Limited, with Weller as a Director.

In 1918, production began on the new two seater, four cylinder, four wheeler which gained popularity in competitions, especially hill climbs and trials.

In 1921, the company expanded into a showroom in London’s Regent Street, and once again changed its name, this time to AC Cars Limited.

The new AC’s were sporty, with excellent performance, and displayed stylish bodies offered in a range of colours.

In 1922, a special AC car, with a 16 valve, 4-cylinder engine, broke the One Hour record at the famous Brooklands race track, with the fastest lap at a speed of 105 mph.

Over the next six years, the company produced seven new models, by which time the power from AC’s 6-cylinder engine had risen from 40 bhp to 56 bhp.

By 1928, the AC Car Company was the UK’s largest car manufacturer.

In 1929, following the Wall Street Crash, AC went out of business. However, a year later, AC was acquired by the Hurlock brothers who realised there was a market for hand made cars.

All through the 1930’s AC cars, with their 6-cylinder engine, made a name for themselves in the RAC and Monte Carlo rallies.

New showrooms were acquired in Park Lane in London by the now financially secure AC Car Company.

In 1933, four AC cars were entered in the RAC rally, and all did well, with one of the four seater sports models being the outright winner.

By 1937, AC cars were being exported to the US right up to the advent of WW2.

Soon after 1945, following a period of development and improvement, production began to increase.

By 1950, the AC 2-Litre car was being produced at the rate of five units a week as a two and four door saloon, drophead coupe, and tourer, all powered by AC’s 6-cylinder engine.

1953 was a landmark year with the launch of the AC Ace, a two seater convertible, which gained wide acclaim with British club competitions, involving race and rally meetings.

At the 1954 London Motor Show, the company launched the AC Aceca fixed head coupe, powered by AC’s 2 litre, 6-cylinder engine.

In the 1957 Le Mans race, an AC Bristol finished in tenth position, still powered by that 2 litre, AC engine.

The company received its biggest break when, in 1961, Carroll Shelby wanted to install a huge Ford V8 engine into the AC Ace sports car.

The resultant car, the AC Cobra, built by AC Cars, turned out to be one of the fastest and most brutal sports cars that had even been built.

By 1963, this hand built icon, with an aluminum body, was being produced at the rate of 15 units a week.

This marks the end of my Review of the AC sports car history

I will be reviewing in some detail, in future articles within this website, the entire range of AC sports cars which were featured in the memorable era spanning 1946 to 2000

I hope you join me in my Reviews

If you would care to view my Original article, containing Photographs,

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Mobile Car Washing and Doing Business With Hertz Rent-A-Car

If you own a mobile car washing or mobile auto detailing business then may I suggest to you finding new clientele in the car rental agency business? Why do I recommend this? Well personally having been in the fleet car and truck washing business for almost 3 decades it has served me well cleaning for rental car agencies. Many small auto detailers and mobile car wash operators have not tapped into this niche because they do not really understand it.

To get started I recommend looking through the phone book and seeing which car rental agencies exist in your area of service or city. You will also need to get a quick education in how car rental agencies work and the history behind the industry. Lets take Hertz Rent-a-Car for instance and talk about doing business with Hertz Rent-A-Car. You see, Hertz is the oldest car rental company in the world and each car rental corporation has a unique history which you should study before going in to make the sales call.

Believe it or not it was started in 1918 by a guy named Walter Jacobs who had 12 Model Ts’. He was only 22 at the time. He sold his business to John Hertz also President of Yellow Cab and Yellow Truck and Coach Manufacturing. In 1967 Hertz became a subsidiary of RCA Corp. Hertz later was sold to UAL and then was sold to Ford Motor Company’s newly formed Park Ridge Corp. Volvo joined in with funds later in 1988. Hertz was transferred to Ford Motor Company from its subsidiary Park Ridge in 1993. Hertz has also made friends with AAA Club, is recommended by them and gives cardholders up to 15% off. American Express Car Holders also get the same satisfaction. If you are a small business, your Chamber of Commerce also has incentives. Hertz has come along way since 1918.

Today Hertz is a powerhouse with 377 Hertz Equipment Rental Offices (largest in the world), represented in 140 countries with 7000 worldwide rental car offices, 4600 rental offices in the US and Canada, 300 used car sales locations and 488 truck rental locations. Hertz has been able to put their locations in high-end car repair facilities prototypes such as AAA Car Care Center in Sacramento CA and JoeAuto’s prototype facility in West Houston TX. They have put locations in BART train stations in San Francisco and in many large car dealerships that sell Ford Products. They have pick up and delivery service in over 600 locations in answer to Enterprise Rent-A-Car’s market share advances.

Hertz has opened what they call ‘Superette’ car sales offices in many large cities to handle all of their sales in metro areas. Instead of Enterprises or Budget’s strategy of smaller 60-100 car facilities spread around the town. I have been to a Superette Facility in Houston. Hertz Car Sales offices boast of being able to offer hassle free car sales, complete online records of maintenance, huge inventories (the Superette we toured had over 350 cars), factory warranties from manufacturers on most cars, limited 12,000 mile/1 year warranty on all others, competitive financing through FMC. They are serious about selling their cars for a high price and delivering high levels of service, so a mobile car wash company makes a great fit on their organization.

Hertz has an excellent fleet program for companies who wish to buy one year old Ford cars or trucks for their business all backed with Ford Motor Credit Loans or Smart leases by Ford. This program also has a claims service to go with it and a small business insurance package with low rates. You as a mobile car wash company might be interested in this as a way to expand your fleet if you like using Ford products. This program may change in the future if Ford divests itself from such non-core business models. Their truck rental business is similar to Penske, Ryder, U-Haul and Budget’s truck rental services with packaging materials available or just a truck to use for a day for business purposes or deliveries. We have seen Hertz, Enterprise, Penske and Ryder Trucks at Fed Ex offices during Christmas Holidays to help service demand. And we have even washed them, since Fed Ex refuses to show up in a dirty vehicle to deliver packages. Fed Ex and other small package delivery services are a target for such truck rental companie

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