Frank Lloyd Wright's classic cars are set to take centre stage at the second Arizona Concours d'Elegance on 11 January 2015, where a new class has been announced dedicated to the draughtsman's motoring past. The latest car to be added to the category is a 1937 AC 16/80 Ace, which will be making its post-restoration debut at the event.
The AC was purchased by Wright in 1938 and quickly repainted in Cherokee Red, a colour that he favoured for almost all of his vehicles. The car has a strong connection to Arizona, because it was used extensively during the architect's winter stays at his Taliesin West home and while attending design school in Scottsdale. Period photographs show Wright and his wife, Olgivanna, enjoying the car in their first year of ownership. The AC eventually found its way to the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, which kept it until 1969.
By 1974 the Ace had found yet another new owner in David and Rochelle Buice, who took the car back to Dallas, Texas. The pair undertook a full restoration two years ago.
Following the concours, the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation will organise a tour of Taliesin West, which the car's current owners are keen to see. "It will be interesting to get the car out there, like a homecoming," said Buice. "We have purchased helmets and goggles to replicate the picture of Mr and Mrs Wright in the car."
A total of 17 classes will make up the concours competition, with the main beneficiary Make-A-Wish Arizona, which grants wishes for children facing life-threatening medical conditions.