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AC Cars Ltd. formerly known as Auto Carriers Ltd., is a British specialist automobile manufacturer and one of the oldest independent car makers founded in Britain.
West Norwood, London, England (1901)
The Weller Brothers
The first car from what eventually became AC was presented at the Crystal Palace motor show in 1903; it was a 20 HP touring car and was displayed under the Weller name. The Weller Brothers of West Norwood, London, planned to produce an advanced 20 hp (15 kW) car.
However, their financial backer and business manager John Portwine, a butcher, thought the car would be too expensive to produce and encouraged Weller to design and produce a little delivery three-wheeler.
In 1904 a new company was founded and named Autocars and Accessories; production started with the Auto-Carrier. The vehicle caught on quickly and was a financial success.
In 1907, a passenger version appeared, called the A.C. Sociable. It had a seat in place of the cargo box.
The A.C. Sociable was described in a review of the 1912 Motor Cycle and Cycle Car Show as “one of the most popular cycle cars on the road, both for pleasure and business”, and A.C. displayed eight vehicles on their stand, six for pleasure and two for business. The single rear wheel contained a two-speed hub, and the single-cylinder engine was mounted just in front of it, with rear chain drive.