AC's famous John Weller-designed, 1,991cc, overhead-camshaft six-cylinder engine entered production in 1922, later helping to secure the marque's place in motoring history when in 1926 a 2-litre AC became the first British car to win the Monte Carlo Rally. Financial difficulties saw AC taken over by the Hurlock brothers in 1930 and from then on the firm concentrated on sporting cars aimed at the discerning enthusiast. AC's long-established three-speed transaxle gave way to a conventional four-speed unit gearbox on the 1933-introduced 16/56 and 16/66 2.0-litre models, which also came with a new chassis and Bendix brakes. The chassis became under-slung with cross bracing in 1934 and gained a synchromesh gearbox the following year, these improvements being incorporated in the 16/60 and 16/70 models launched in 1936. Also new that year was the short-wheelbase 16/80, which with Arnott supercharger became the 16/90, the latter newly introduced in 1938. Fewer than 600 post-1933 standard 16hp cars are thought to have been built before production ended in 1939, all of which were powered by Weller's 2.0-litre six.
ACs of the 1930s were offered in a wide variety of factory body styles, that offered here being a fine example of the marque's drophead coupé with dickey seat. Currently registered in Belgium, chassis number 'L617' left the factory on 11th June 1938 fitted with engine number 'UMB 571', and was supplied via A C Barnes Junior of Wokingham to a Miss Wiggett of Berkshire. AC Cars Ltd's letter on file confirms that the original colour scheme was Varsity Grey with black wings/wheels and beige trim. Restored in 1990, the car was purchased from a dealer in the UK by the vendor's late father in 1996, passing to the vendor three years ago. It is kept in a heated garage by the owner, who is President of the Royal Veteran Car Club of Belgium (RVCCB), and driven regularly on Club events. We are advised that the triple-carburettor engine was totally rebuilt in 2005 by marque specialists G J Engineering of Penshurst, near Tonbridge, Kent and that the car is currently running smoothly. Five new tyres were fitted recently (supplied by Vintage Tyre Supplies, Beaulieu) together with a new exhaust. Retaining its original beige leather interior trim, this rare post-Vintage thoroughbred is offered with the aforementioned AC Cars letter, sundry restoration invoices, old-style logbook and RVCCB dating certificate.