London

26 October 2011
Lot 274

1958 AC Aceca Bristol

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£89,600 GBP | Sold

United Kingdom | London, United Kingdom

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Chassis No.
BEX 709
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, front disc and rear drum hydraulic brakes. Wheelbase: 2,286 mm

• Superb, matching-numbers example

• Desirable Bristol six-cylinder engine

• Comprehensive £40,000 restoration

• Extremely competitive and a delight to drive

At the 1954 London Motor Show, AC debuted the Aceca, an attractive coupé-bodied variant of the Ace roadster, with greater refinement and sophistication. Passenger comfort was a design priority, and accordingly, AC installed a bulkhead made of sound-absorbing fibreglass between the engine and passenger compartment. The chassis-mounted rear differential utilised rubber bushings to further reduce the amount of noise, vibration and harshness transferred from the road to the car’s interior.

Overall, with its fully independent suspension and six-cylinder engine, the hand-built, aluminium-bodied Aceca provided remarkable handling and spirited performance. In 1956, both the Ace and the Aceca benefited from the introduction of Bristol’s 1,971 cc six-cylinder engine, available as an option on the aging AC unit. With its hemispherical combustion chambers and inclined valve-train, this derivation of BMW’s pre-war 328 engine provided even greater performance, unlocking the true potential of both the Ace and Aceca chassis.

The Ace and Aceca, particularly the Bristol-powered variants, did extremely well in competition. The Ace-Bristol completely dominated the SCCA E- and D-Production classes between 1957 and 1961. Class wins at Sebring in 1958 and 1959, along with a sterling class win at Le Mans in 1959, surely caught the attention of overall winner Carroll Shelby. He later developed his famed V-8 powered Ace derivative, the Cobra. Contemporary road tests reflected on the Aceca’s prowess, unanimously praising the car’s balance and sublime handling, noting that most drivers would certainly run out of skill before reaching the Aceca’s own limits.

This 1958 AC Aceca offered here, chassis BEX 709, was originally delivered as an export specification car with 100 D2 Bristol engine, complete with high performance Weber carburettors. The car left the factory on 27 November, 1958 and was exported to the USA by Imperial Motors of Wilmette, Illinois, in off-white over a red leather interior. At some point in the intervening years, the car was converted to right-hand drive for the UK market. In 2007, Mr. D. Arthur Esq. embarked on a total and meticulous restoration, sending it to Beacon Garage Ltd. in South Yorkshire. This overhaul included a full engine rebuild and a comprehensive cosmetic restoration to the highest standard, in total costing over £40,000. Recently, the current owner has fitted an overdrive to the car, which is a desired accessory to these already very desirable Bristol engine Acecas.

With a complete history file with many bills from the meticulous restoration as well as a letter from the AC Owners Club confirming the original specification of this fantastic AC Aceca Bristol, this is a great opportunity to acquire an immaculate, matching-numbers example.