Monterey

Portola Hotel & Spa
13 - 15 August 2015
Lot 307

1955 AC Aceca

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$132,000 USD | Sold

United States | Monterey, California

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Chassis No.
AEX542
  • LHD export model sold new in Los Angeles by Mitchell & Pauli
  • Upgraded with a 260-cubic inch Ford V-8; undoubtedly quick
  • Documented restoration completed in 2012
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260 hp, 260 cu. in. Ford OHV V-8 engine with a Holley four-barrel carburetor, four-speed manual transmission, independent suspension by double wishbone and transverse leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 90 in.

The AC Aceca was introduced in October 1954 as the coupe version of the company’s successful Ace roadster. It shared the John Tojeiro-designed tube frame covered with ash and aluminum fastback bodywork, the design for which was equally elegant. It was fitted with Girling brakes with Alfin drums, knock-off wire wheels, and a four-speed gearbox.

However, the Aceca was 155 pounds heavier than the Ace, and early cars were handicapped by AC’s 2.0-liter overhead-cam six-cylinder engine, which was the base unit. It developed 90 horsepower and had five main bearings and triple carburetors, but its compression was only 8:1, and it was heavy and tall. Nevertheless, 0–60 mph in 13.4 seconds was competitive for the day, and its top speed was just over 100 mph. Only 151 Acecas were built with this engine, including the car offered here.

However, when the Shelby Cobra was introduced in 1963, the Bristol engine was no longer available. It was the 260-brake horsepower, 260-cubic inch lightweight Ford V-8 that transformed the Ace into a world-beater. Top speed was increased to 136 mph, while 0–60 came up in just 5.2 seconds and a quarter-mile in 13.8 seconds. The Aceca was ultimately discontinued at the end of 1963.

While little is known of the early history for the example offered here, chassis number AEX542, it is known to have suffered a mild fender-bender in 1970. It was subsequently dismantled and prepared for restoration. New front fenders were even made for it by the AC factory in Thames Ditton and fitted in 1976, when the car was placed in storage. However, it was not until recently that the car was brought to light, out of its lengthy slumber, and completed. During the 2012 restoration in Arizona, the Aceca was repainted Sterling Metallic Gray and finished with a black Connolly leather interior. The suspension and knock-off wire wheels were restored, the work for which was documented and photographed.

As few AC Acecas were exported, this car benefits from being an original left-hand-drive example that has remained on the West Coast for most of its life, though much of that time was spent in storage. Many Aces and Acecas were upgraded with larger, more powerful engines throughout their lives. As such, a well-tuned Aceca, fitted with the venerable Ford V-8, is certainly desirable and a sure-fire hit on the road.