AC 16/80 and 16/90 SPORTS
|Wheelbase||106 in (270 cm)|
The AC 16/80 16/90 were small British sports cars built in the 1930s.
In the late 1930s, AC production was still limited, but it had become highly specialised to the point where it could be customised to individual customers. From 1936, there existed a line of 2 litre roadsters and sports cars, including coupes and saloons, that were occasionally known as Aces. The 16/80 and 16/90 have a lot in common. To differentiate them from the 16/60 and 16/70, they were built on a short wheelbase chassis with the original AC straight six. They had a classic look about them, with a channel-section chassis and non-independent suspension.
A.C. commenced production of a two-seater sports car with a 106 in (265 cm) wheelbase, 9 in (35 cm) shorter than saloons, twin cowls behind a shallow windscreen, bucket seats, and a 20 gallon (90 litre) gasoline tank, as well as twin spare wheels. Thanks to lighter connecting rods and a tulip valve cylinder head, the light-alloy engine's output was increased from 64 to 80 horsepower. The original 16/80's wire mesh grille was replaced in 1936 by a more attractive affair with thermostatically regulated vettical slats. The cars competed in British rallies and trials, as well as European events such as the Monte Carlo Rally and the Paris-Nice Trial. Production was very small, only
five in 1935, eleven in 1937 and nine in 1938. For 1939 a supercharged model called the 16/90 was offered, but few were sold.
The 16/80 engine of the John Weller-designed single-overhead camshaft 1,991-cc six-cylinder engine was rated at 80 bhp while the 16/90 that Came two years later had an Arnott supercharger vane-type compressor capable of providing some 15 psi that lifted Output by 10 bhp hence (90), reputedly at some cost in reliability as
it stressed the engine to the max. A pre-selector gearbox Or synchromesh box were offered, but as well as a 'crash' gearbox, a
customer could specify items such as gear ratiosand rear axle ratios.
Quality cars They were carefully aimed at a niche between mass-production sports cars The two-seater bodies were fitted out to high standards. The 16/90, distinguished from most 16/80s by its rounded tail and single rear-mounted spare wheel and tire, was credited with a 100 mph (160 kmh) top speed.
Only 42 of both types were built and AC built only five supercharged 16/90 short-chassis Competition Sports out of a total of 42.