Monterey | Lot 306
1937 AC 16/70 Drophead Coupe
The Feldman Collection
$80,000 - $110,000 USD | Offered Without Reserve
| Monterey, California
14 August 2021
- 12% of the hammer price up to and including $250,000
- 10% of the hammer price in excess of $250,000
- A well-preserved older restoration
- 70-horsepower inline-six for ample road performance
- Attractive blind-quarter drophead coupe coachwork
- Four-passenger seating; fitted with single side-mount spare
While the bulk of AC’s production consisted of comfortable, sporting family saloons, it is the open cars which the public remembers—and which form the bulk of Jim Feldman’s collection. Ongoing development of the 1919 single-overhead-camshaft engine designed by John Weller continued to increase horsepower to keep the saloons competitive; happily, this also made the lighter, nimbler open ACs even more enjoyable to drive.
The Weller-designed six in this 1937 16/70 Drophead Coupe shows another interesting variation. A pair of “Servais Noloss” expansion chambers attached to the exhaust manifold shows that AC, having paid attention to the intake side a few years earlier when three SU carburetors were made standard, now was giving some attention to the exhaust side of the crossflow cylinder head.
Jim Feldman’s 16/70 Drophead Coupe is attractively bodied with room for four. It is silver-grey with inviting dark blue leather upholstery and interior trim panels. The cloth top is black, with blind rear quarters and landau bars. The interior is richly trimmed with highly varnished wood door caps, dashboard, and even garnish strips around the windshield and door vent windows. The crank-operated windshield with two attached wipers is top-hinged for ventilation.
Outside, the wire wheels are painted to match the body, and there is a single side-mounted spare on the left side. Its equipment includes Lucas headlamps, lighted semaphore turn signals, badge bar, wing-mounted mirrors, greyhound radiator cap mascot, a period Motorola radio adjustable for tone control and sensitivity, and Andre Hydro-Telecontrol shock absorbers.
The car wears an older restoration that has been carefully preserved during Jim Feldman’s ownership. It presents well, particularly under the bonnet, where the engine is neatly presented and orderly. It represents this era of the AC marque well, and should be a pleasure to drive on a fine day secure in the knowledge that the tight-fitting top and roll-up side windows are there in case of a turn in the weather.