Arizona | Lot 143
1960 AC Ace-Bristol
$280,000 USD | Sold
| Phoenix, Arizona
17 January 2019
- One of 63 AC roadsters built in 1960
- Displayed by Bob Grossman at the 1960 New York Auto Show
- Two-year restoration completed in 2014
- Currently fitted with a Cobra V-8 engine
- Featured in Rinsey Mills’ marque volume AC Six-Cylinder Sports Cars In Detail
In late 1956 AC began offering an uprated engine option for the company’s handsome Ace roadster, a two-liter inline six built by Bristol to the specifications of a pre-war BMW racing motor. The resulting Ace-Bristol became extremely popular with SCCA competitors, dominating the E-Production class for a short time. British privateer Ken Rudd sealed the model’s renown with a 10th-overall finish at the 1957 24 Hours of Le Mans in a factory-prepared Ace-Bristol. Less flamboyantly bodied than the Shelby Cobra that appeared in 1962, yet still a consummate race-winning model, the Ace Bristol remains a favorite today with enthusiasts of important competition roadsters.
Claiming important early auto show use and a recent restoration to high standards, this striking Ace Bristol is one of just 63 roadsters built in 1960. Chassis no. BEX 1146 was originally finished in white paint and distributed to the U.S., where it was initially used as a show car by the famed racing driver and sports car importer Bob Grossman. It would be displayed on his stand at the New York Auto Show in April 1960.
It is believed that the AC was fitted with a Ford 289-cu. in. engine sometime in the late 1960s or early 1970s, as it is currently configured. In 1974 the roadster was acquired by a New Jersey-based enthusiast, and it remained in his care for 32 years until being sold to Gary Singer of New Mexico in 2006. In 2012, Mr. Singer sold the Ace-Bristol to the consignor, and he immediately set about a two-year frame-up restoration in which every mechanical and cosmetic consideration was addressed. The coachwork was refinished in a very elegant shade of dark green.
Following the restoration’s completion in 2014, the consignor drove the AC in several long-distance events, including the Copperstate 1000 as well as the Going to the Sun Rally in Montana. The roadster was also presented to much adoration at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance in 2017.
With intoxicating period details like the AC fuel-filler cap, un-flared fenders, a wood-rimmed steering wheel, and wire wheels, this beautiful Ace should strike the fancy of any marque aficionado or enthusiast of noteworthy British competition models. The roadster is ideal for event use or display at local concours d’elegance and English car shows, offering a distinguished complement to any collection.