Amelia Island

The Ritz-Carlton
12 March 2016
Lot 158

1958 AC Aceca-Bristol


$209,000 USD | Sold

United States | Amelia Island, Florida



Chassis No.
BEX 678
Engine No.
100D2 859
  • One of the best known of the 171 Aceca-Bristols built
  • Impeccable provenance; known enthusiast history from new
  • Older factory restoration; still presents impressively
  • Desirable options, including overdrive
  • Original matching-numbers “D2” engine

125 bhp, 1,971 cc D2-specification Bristol six-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission with overdrive, front and rear independent suspension with transverse semi-elliptic leaf springs, and front-disc and rear-drum hydraulic brakes. Wheelbase: 90 in.

A new special AC model made available beginning in 1956, the “hot” Aceca-Bristol was the “luxe coupe” version of the exciting Ace-Bristol, powered by a 1,971–cubic centimeter, six-cylinder Bristol engine, which was based on the famous pre-war BMW 328 mill that had hemispherical combustion chambers and an inclined valve train. Its greater performance unlocked the true potential of the chassis beneath, and the light and agile Aceca-Bristol would be a favorite of period road tests.

The Aceca-Bristol offered here has its original Bristol engine, the number of which matches the car’s original firewall tag, as well as AC Owners Club records. According to long-term owner and noted AC collector John Moir, the car’s original owner was Peter Winston, the son of renowned New York City jeweler Harry Winston. Young Mr. Winston had used the car as an everyday driver in Manhattan for some years, after which he sold it through an acquaintance to Tom Hickey, a well-known sports car racer from Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Eventually, Mr. Hickey decided to send the Aceca-Bristol back to AC Cars in Thames-Ditton, where it was totally refurbished to its original condition by the factory that had built it new! Upon its return stateside, the proud owner displayed the car at various New England sports car events, where it was very popular and became well known as one of the finest Aceca-Bristols in the world. Only when Mr. Hickey was stricken with a tragic illness did he sell his AC to perhaps the most avid of its many admirers, John Moir. It was acquired from the Moir stable by its present owner two years ago.

The last three decades have left the car with a wonderful, rich “patina,” a term often overused but well applied here. The red leather interior has softened and been broken-in gently, and it is as comfortable as it appears. The dashboard instruments and interior trim are still in beautiful condition throughout, and the black lacquer finish, which shows only the lightest of wear, is still in very good condition. As recently as 2015, it placed Second in Class at the Misselwood Concours, entered by its current owner, a longtime ACOC member, and was reportedly a crowd favorite. Overall, the car is best described as resembling what a well-kept, gently driven Aceca-Bristol would have looked like circa 1968. It has its original jack and near complete original tool kit, fitted into the spare tire well, and an original owner’s handbook.

With the cobwebs now shaken out, fuel system and carburetors cleaned, and brakes renewed, an RM Sotheby’s specialist reports that it is a ready and willing performer, as well as a relaxed cruiser with overdrive engaged—entertaining to drive in any mode. The throaty exhaust note in particular is one everyone might appreciate. Even today, many New England sports car enthusiasts have fond memories of the gentlemanly Tom Hickey and his outstanding Aceca-Bristol. Its availability here represents a rare opportunity to purchase a distinguished car and begin driving it enthusiastically, in the tradition of its four known enthusiast caretakers.