9-10 October 2014

Offered from the collection of John Moir

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Lot 137

1938 AC 16/70 Drophead Coupe

  • Chassis no. L604
  • Engine no. UMR 558

Sold for $49,500

70 bhp, 1,991 cc SOHC inline six-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, semi-elliptic leaf-spring suspension, underslung rear axle, and four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 115.5 in.

  • Offered from the collection of John Moir
  • An elegant grand tourer with advanced specifications
  • Owned by enthusiasts for half a century
  • A CCCA Full Classic

After the Hurlock brothers purchased AC Cars in 1929, plans had been to discontinue automobile production and use the factory as a warehouse. However, William Hurlock was impressed by an automobile that the employees built for him a year later, and limited production soon began again. The cars built prior to World War II continued to use the overhead-cam, six-cylinder design that AC had been producing since the early 1920s. These engines were mounted on chassis that were supplied by Standard, and they featured a new, modern four-speed gearbox, which was built in a single unit with the engine. The new 16/70 model, named for its taxable and actual horsepower, respectively, also incorporated a new, attractive design, which featured gradually more streamlined, modern lines.

A copy of the AC sales ledger, included in the file, records this car as having been sold new by Cook & Palmer Ltd. to a Mrs. E. Thorne, of “Greenacres” in Middlesex. Mr. Moir recalls buying it “from a collector in Kansas City, Case Bonebrake, who was retiring to Arizona, and this car was surplus to his needs; he had a Mercedes that he intended to be buried in.” Period ads indicate that Mr. Bonebrake had shown the car at the Texas Grand Classic in Dallas in 1966. It is sentimentally important to its current owner, as it was the first AC purchased after buying back his original AC 2-Litre, as well as the car that introduced him to his favored restorer, David Steinman, of Waitsfield, Vermont.

This was the first car that Mr. Steinman restored for the Moir Collection, which saw the body being refinished in its attractive combination of three shades of pale blue and a dark blue leather upholstery and a tan top added. The restoration has been well preserved over the last two decades, during which time it has been occasionally shown but seldom driven. Accordingly, the paint finish and interior have a nice patina, which is attractive enough for continued use and enjoyment. As a CCCA Full Classic, the car is of course eligible for all their events, and it would be an ideal sporting choice for a CARavan. This AC is offered with a file containing a reprinted owner’s manual, three original brochures in good condition, information on the Andre Telecontrol shock absorbers, and extensive additional period documents on the model.

This is one of the most beautiful automobiles in the Moir Collection, and it is one that is seldom seen in such lovely condition. In addition, it benefits from half a century of continuous ownership by considerate collectors.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver


+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat


+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht


+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig


+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose


+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould


+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff


+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach


+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry


+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut


+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire


+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn


+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin


+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill


+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher


+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers


+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden


+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more