$286,000 USD | Sold
| Monterey, California
- Fitted with the desirable Bristol engine and gearbox
- A superb, just-completed comprehensive restoration to concours standard
- One of only 328 AC Aceca coupes built between 1954 and 1963
- The all-weather companion to the AC Ace and, later, the AC Cobra
- Ideally suited for tours and rallies, including the California Mille
105 bhp, 1,971 cc Bristol six-cylinder engine with three Solex carburetors, four-speed manual transmission, independent front and rear suspension with transverse semi-elliptic leaf springs and lower wishbones, and hydraulic front and rear drum brakes. Wheelbase: 90 in.
AC Cars originated as one of the first British automobile manufacturers, with production dating back to 1901. The company established a successful competition record in the years between the wars and emerged intact in the post-war era to produce one of the most significant sports cars in history. That car was the AC Ace, an open two-seater sports car based on a design originally created by John Tojiero.
AC placed Tojiero’s design into production in 1953 and had it powered by a two-liter engine in a tube frame chassis, also of Tojiero’s design, with front and rear independent suspension. A second model, the AC Aceca, was introduced at the 1954 London Motor Show. The Aceca was designed to be an attractive coupe variant of the Ace roadster, but with greater refinement and luxury features.
The Aceca’s chassis was similar to the Ace’s tube frame and independent suspension, with heavier duty main rails and an extra cross member. The chassis was also more highly developed and received rubber mountings on the differential to reduce vibration and noise within the closed cabin. Fiberglass panels were also placed between both the front and rear bulkheads of the cabin, to provide added sound insulation. The cabin was finished with leather, wood, and wool carpeting, further adding to the coupe’s refinement.
Performance of both the Ace and the Aceca was transformed in 1956, when the optional Bristol 1,971-cubic centimeter inline six was first offered. The Bristol engine raised advertised horsepower from 90 to 105 (or 125 in D2 tune). Both the roadster and coupe were raced with great success, including class victories at Sebring in 1958 and 1959, as well as a class victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1959.
The example offered here was completed at Thames Ditton on January 4, 1960, and it was sold new as a left-hand-drive example to North America. While originally delivered with an AC two-liter engine, the car was fitted, under the previous owner’s tenure, with the desirable 1,971-cubic centimeter Bristol engine and gearbox.
After being acquired by the current owner in 2010, a comprehensive restoration of this Aceca Bristol Coupe was recently finished by renowned British car specialists at Kevin Kay Restorations in Redding, California. The aluminum body panels were taken down to bare metal prior to a show-quality repaint, and it should be noted that the body required a minimal amount of metal work during restoration. The interior was newly trimmed in correct materials, and every component was either rebuilt or restored, as needed, including a new front windscreen. The braking system was rebuilt, Spax shocks were fitted, and some of the new components include a stainless steel exhaust system and all of the wiring and rubber seals. The body is finished in an original AC shade of slate blue, and the interior is trimmed in black leather with grey carpet, making for a very stunning appearance.
This is a superb chance to slip behind the wheel of a freshly and extensively restored, dashing British sports car that exhibits the outstanding performance that took the world by storm in the mid-1950s.