1913 AC Sociable Runabout
Offered by Coys, “True Greats,” London, U.K., December 7, 2011
Autocars and Accessories Ltd. was founded by the Weller Brothers who initially produced a three-wheeled delivery vehicle called the Autocarrier. When they decided to sell it to the emerging motoring public as a passenger vehicle, the replaced the cargo box with a front seat and the AC Sociable was born.
AC produced approximately 1800 Sociables from 1907 through 1914. It is powered by a single-cylinder engine of about 630cc that sits below the driver who sits in the lone seat at the car’s rear. This car has a somewhat perplexing convertible top that can be raised over the passenger compartment. It’s purpose, one could suppose, would be to block the sun – as it does not reach the small half-windshield, therefore not really protecting anyone from the elements.
Curiously, it also obscures the vision of the driver. This picture:
shows that, perhaps if the correct height, the operator could see through the porthole window to drive (assuming the passengers aren’t large enough to cover it up), but their vision is still quite limited. It’s an interesting car, no doubt. But it also showcases that we’ve come a long way so far as ergonomics are concerned.
Update: Sold £25,370, or about $40,300.