AC Cars 1903 – 1955


On my list of posts to write for Westrand Car Show was one on the AC Cobra sports/muscle car. Sounds simple enough, small, light body, huge engine, big takkies and fat free flow exhaust pipes.

Jaffles Stalletjie Poeding en Koek

Was I surprised once I began the research on the Classic AC Cobras. Turns out that the company that started it all was called Auto Carriers Ltd in England. Two brothers, by the name of Weller designed a four wheel car in 1903 but the chap that financed them – a butcher called Portwine did not like it, and said they should rather build a three wheel goods carrier. So that is what they did. They launched the car as a “Weller” anyway, and made the three wheeler as a kind of bakkie.

The next step was to turn the bakkie into a passenger vehicle, which they did, and called it the AC Sociable. Snaaks hierdie Engelses. Waar kom hulle met ‘n “gesellige” kar. Ek meen, het jy ooit iemand hoor sê “My bakkie het stilstuipe” vandag? After the AC Sociable they then built another 4 wheel car called the AC 10, which they launced in 1913.

There is nothing written about the time of the WWI but in 1926 AC launched the AC12 Royal drophood Coupe. In 1936 and 1939 they produced two very nice looking sportscars – two look remarkably like MGs these were the AC 6 2 seater and the AC 16/80 2 seater. AC cars were never made in great numbers so those that have survived are all classics, and rarely come up for sale.

After WWII AC produced some conventional cars such as the 1947 2.0 litre 4 door and the 1951 2.0 litre 2 door saloon. Thereafter AC concentrated more on sports cars. In the three of the images below you can see the beginnings of the AC Cobra developing, as well as an Aston Martin/Jensen lookalike.

The rest of the AC story, including the AC Cobra model is in a second post which is entitled AC Cars 1956-2012

If you have a special car that you’re really proud of why not enter it in the annual show in August. All the details are in the link buttons below.

The Westrand Car Show is a Classic Car Show. TO QUALIFY FOR ENTRANCE TO A COMPETITIVE CLASS, VEHICLES MUST HAVE BEEN BUILT OR REGISTERED FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 1999 OR EARLIER. Only the first 180 QUALIFYING vehicles will receive a commemorative medallion. Any newer vehicle is welcome to be entered as a “non-competitive vehicle” and to be placed on show just because of “the spirit of motoring” and the desire to share the joy that your wheels bring you, with all of the rest of us. See the list of classes below and the entrance form. Remember its a fun day, so don’t take it too seriously.

Non-Competitive vehicles may enter at the gate on the day.

The Westrand Car Show is an alcohol-free event and any person found to have in their possession or to be consuming alcohol will not be admitted and/or will be asked to leave the premises of Dr. Havinga School. 


Die Westrand Car Show is ‘n klassieke motorskou. OM TE KWALIFISEER VIR TOEGANG TOT ‘N KOMPETERENDE KLAS, MOET VOERTUIE VIR DIE EERSTE KEER IN 1999 OF VROEËR GEBOU OF GEREGISTREER WORD. Slegs die eerste 180 KWALIFISERENDE voertuie sal ‘n gedenkmedalje ontvang. Enige nuwer voertuig is welkom om as ‘n “nie-mededingende voertuig” ingeskryf te word, en dit net te danke aan” die gees van motor” en die begeerte om die vreugde wat u wiele vir u bring, saam met ons almal te deel. Kyk na die lys van klasse hieronder en die ingangsvorm. Onthou, dis ‘n pret dag moenie dit te ernstig opneem.

Nie-mededingende voertuie mag op die dag by die hek inteken.

Die Westrand Car Show is ‘n alkoholvrye gebeurtenis, en enige persoon wat bevind is dat hy in besit is en/of alkohol inneem, sal nie toegelaat word nie en/of gevra sal word om die perseel van die Dr. Havinga skool te verlaat.

Competition Classes Enter Your Vehicle

IMAGE ATTRIBUTION – These images are from Wiki Pedia, Wiki Media and Wiki Commons. Clicking on the links below takes you to a full screen view (most times).
Carroll Shelby 427 Cobra – Red – Patrick from Merrimack, NH, United States [CC BY 2.0
1903 Auto Carrier – State Library of Queensland [Public domain]
1903 Weller 4 seater Tourer – [Public domain
1908 AC – Sociable [Public domain]
1913 AC 10 [CC BY-SA 3.0
1926 AC 12 Royal Drophead Coupe – Histotechnik [CC BY 3.0
1936 AC Six 2 seater – Brian Snelson from Hockley, Essex, England [CC BY 2.0
1939 AC 16-80 2 seater – body by March – Rex Gray [CC BY 2.0
1947 AC 2.0 4 Door saloon – Charles01 [Public domain]
1951 AC 2.0 2 door saloon – SG2012 [CC BY 2.0
1955 AC Ace – Martin Pettitt from Bury St Edmunds, UK [CC BY 2.0

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