PORTWINE, John 1866-1956. Co-founder of AC Cars. Portwine was a butcher by trade who, in 1902 provided the finance for John Weller, a mechanical engineer, to create the Weller car, and a goods carrying vehicle called the ‘Auto Carrier’. In 1907 the company became Auto Carriers Ltd., their passenger car having the abbreviated name ‘AC’ The company started in Thomas Place (later named Waylett Place) West Norwood, and moved to Thames Ditton in 1911.

Portwine started driving in 1898, and after licences were introduced in 1903, held licence no. 4. The family lived at 25 Lancaster Road (now Lancaster Avenue) and afterwards at The Firs, Sydenham Hill. Between 1923 and 1943, they lived in the house which he built at 112 College Road. His daughter Elsie married Guy Fountain (qv).

Patrick Spencer