9-10 October 2014

Offered from the collection of John Moir

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Lot 141

1956 AC Petite

  • Chassis no. P5722

Sold for $4,400

8 bhp, 350 cc Villiers two-stroke single-cylinder engine, three-speed manual transmission, swing-arm independent rear suspension, and rear-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 76 in.

  • Offered from the collection of John Moir
  • A rarely seen AC-built microcar
  • Original and unrestored

Following World War II, and faced with the Suez fuel crisis, AC Cars introduced the Petite, an aptly named three-wheeler that was capable of carrying two adults and had a fabric roll-top roof, lightweight aluminum bodywork, and a rear-mounted Villiers motorcycle engine for propulsion. It was dubbed an “invalid carriage,” as it was intended to carry mobility-challenged owners for short distances, such as visiting neighbors and shopping, and for other local use. Several thousand of the little cars were produced, most of which were driven into the ground by their original owners. Very few have survived, and fewer still are in the United States.

Mr. Moir’s Petite was acquired for the collection several years ago. While it was being transported to its new home in New Hampshire, the roof was damaged by the shippers, and Mr. Moir says, “I did get the insurance money, what there was of it, but I am so sad that I have never had it repaired.” Thus, the Petite has remained in the collection in its original condition. Its interior is in original but somewhat poor condition, and it appears to not have been driven since its acquisition. The paint is good, but with the large roof dent, it would likely have to be at least partially refinished. The car is accompanied by a small file of information on the model, including an original copy of maintenance instructions for the Villiers 27B engine.

As this Petite is an example of a very rare microcar that was built by the same company that gave the world the Acedes Magna and the Ace, it would be a most interesting restoration project for the dedicated AC enthusiast.

Please note that this lot is sold on a Bill of Sale.

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