Hershey

Hershey Lodge
9 - 10 October 2014
Lot 140

1958 AC Ace-Bristol

Offered from the collection of John Moir

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$341,000 USD | Sold

United States | Hershey, Pennsylvania

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Chassis No.
BEX 436
Engine No.
805 D2
  • Offered from the collection of John Moir
  • A genuine, original Bristol-powered Ace with an original engine
  • Wonderfully evocative; a car to drive and enjoy
  • Includes the rare factory hardtop
language

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

Addendum: Please note that contrary to the print catalogue, the engine number of this car is 100 D2.

The Ace, which was based on a sports racing car designed by John Tojeiro, was introduced at the London Motor Show in October 1953, and it remains the signature product of the AC marque. It was equipped with four-wheel independent suspension and sleek bodywork reminiscent of contemporary Ferrari Barchettas, and it garnered praise from magazine testers, including John Bolster of Autosport, who wrote, “The machine does all the right things all the time.” He continued with “no emergency or advanced driving technique will ever catch it on the wrong foot.”

In 1956, the highly regarded 1,971-cubic centimeter Bristol six became available, upgrading the standard Ace to Ace-Bristol specification. This state-of-the-art power unit initially produced 103 horsepower, which rose to 125 in its ultimate D2 specification, and it could trace its origins to BMW’s advanced pre-war 328 design, which helped make it successful in racing well into the 1960s.

Bristol-powered Aces were brilliant in competition, winning three successive SCCA E-Production Championships between 1957 and 1959, followed by two D-Production Championships in 1960 and 1961. The Ace-Bristol also scored very well at Le Mans, where it finished 2nd in class in 1957 and 1958 and achieved a sterling class victory and 7th overall in 1959. This performance no doubt left an impression on overall 1959 Le Mans champion Carroll Shelby, who later created his 289 and 427 Shelby Cobra derivatives of the classic Ace.

According to Mr. Moir, his original D2-powered Ace-Bristol “was sold originally to a Mr. Gold, of Canada, and it was equipped with all of the available bells and whistles. Mr. Gold passed away, and his widow had a disagreement with a hedge in the car, so she sold it. Kirk F. White, then of Wayne, Pennsylvania, acquired the car after several intervening owners, one of whom had painted the car a dark, dark blue.” Mr. Moir acquired the car from Mr. White in 1988, and it has remained in the collection ever since. The car’s paint and interior are best described as driver-quality and well-kept but lightly aged. It has been run fairly recently, and it is expected to be in good running order at the time of sale.

In a world of over-restored Ace-Bristols, it is wonderful to find one in such charming, enjoyable condition. Its new owner can enjoy running it as its manufacturer intended…one hopes, avoiding the hedges.