Right off the bat, did you ever wonder what the “AC” stood for in AC Spark Plugs? No, it does not stand for “Alternating Current” as depicted in AC/DC electrical equipment. It stands for the man who founded the AC Spark Plug Company, Albert Champion.

Albert was born in Paris, France in 1878; he began his impressive career as a professional bicycle racer, even winning the Paris–Roubaix in 1899, a one-day road race held in the north of France. He eventually switched to racing cars and motorcycles, winning over one hundred races in America alone.

After a car crash in 1903 left him on crutches and one leg two inches shorter, Albert decided to retire in 1904. By 1905, he had returned to America and set up his own business, the Albert Champion Company in Boston, and began cranking out Champion Spark Plugs.

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The quality of those plugs impressed United Motors founder William Durant, who coaxed Albert to move to Flint and continue making supplies of Champion Spark Plugs. After former partners sued Albert for the use of his own name (go figure), he came back with a name change in 1922: the AC Spark Plug Company. He set up headquarters in Flint's Buick Plant and when General Motors bought it the following year, the AC Company moved itself to a place at the intersection of Harriet Street and Industrial Avenue.

After numerous legal issues over the years, the plugs were re-branded under the name ACDelco. After several name changes since 1905, the “AC” brand is still going strong...and began in the Michigan city of Flint.

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