1955 AC AceSOLD

1955 AC Ace

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Registration No: UTU 574 Engine No: UMC2137M CC: 1991 Colour: Georgian Silver Trim Colour: Blue MOT: April 2010

Reference Number 58565

as of 11/20/2009

Overview
Car 1955 AC Ace
VIN AE71 
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Known History

"The exhaust note is pleasing in character, and not unduly loud except at maximum rpm, when the car, in any case, proceeds very rapidly out of earshot! . . . those of our staff who drove the car were, without exception, enraptured by its responsive handling . . . Pushed to the limit of cornering speeds on either wet or dry surfaces, the car does not show any sudden tendency to skid but goes into a controllable drift of front or rear wheels, or both, according to how the throttle is used" (Motor magazine, 1st December 1954)

 

Introduced at the October 1953 Motor Show, the AC Ace was essentially a reworked version of 'LOY 500' the handsome John Tojeiro designed sports racer with which motor trader Cliff Davis had notched up six wins and four seconds that season (in addition to placing ninth overall at the Goodwood Nine-Hours). Lured into collaboration with the Thames Ditton manufacturer by the promise of a £5 per car royalty fee (capped at £500), Tojeiro ensured that the new model's ladder-framed tubular chassis enjoyed the same handling prowess as its competition forebear by equipping it with all-round independent transverse-leaf suspension. Styled after 'LOY 500' (itself a homage to the Carrozeria Touring clad Ferrari 166 MM Barchettas), the Ace was arguably even more handsome. Entering production in 1954, the aluminium bodied two-seater was initially powered by AC's own 1991cc straight-six engine. The work of John Weller, the alloy intensive SOHC unit was fed by triple SU carburettors and produced some 85bhp; an output that compared well with the 90bhp claimed for the contemporary Big Healey's 2660cc four-cylinder lump.

 

Although, overshadowed in performance terms by its later Bristol and Ford powered siblings, the AC engined Ace was deemed a seriously quick car upon launch. Finding it capable of 103mph, Motor magazine also judged the Thames Ditton machine to be the fastest accelerating sub 3-litre car they had yet encountered. However, it was the model's handling prowess rather than its straight-line speed that encouraged early owners to go racing. Capable of giving Jaguar XK120s or Aston Martin DB2s a fright in the right hands, the AC Ace was also prized as a touring car - albeit one that traded the last word in creature comfort for driver enjoyment. The first of the line and the derivative which used the fewest proprietary components, the AC engined Ace remained in production until 1961 by which time some 191 are thought to have been sold (though, some sources put the figure at 230).

 

According to an accompanying continuation green logbook, this particular example - chassis number AE 71 - was registered to its previous keeper, Derrick Morris Esq of Chapel-en-le-Frith, on 15th March 1973 (though, whether he acquired it before then is unknown). Dilapidated but looking reassuringly complete by the time it entered the current ownership some twenty-six years later, the Ace was subsequently treated to an extensive mechanical and cosmetic restoration. Documented via more than 100 photos, the work took some four years to complete with replacement parts being sourced from specialists such as Classic Autos of Kings Langley. Although more used to Rolls-Royce and Mercedes-Benz products, the Glaswegian firm M B Jarvie Limited contributed its expertise to the project too. An invoice from the latter dated 7th May 2009 shows that they were responsible for the two-seater's most recent MOT test as well as replacing the fuel pump and fettling the ignition system.

 

Finished in Rolls-Royce Georgian Silver with Atlantic Blue leather upholstery, the Ace remains highly presentable. Riding on painted wire wheels and sporting delicate tubular bumpers, it started readily on inspection. Forming part of a small private collection, the two-seater has covered less than 1,000 miles since its return to roadworthiness. A stunning looking motorcar, this elegant AC is offered for sale with continuation green logbook, original sales brochure, general instructions' books (one reproduction), V5 / V5C Registration Documents, assorted MOTs (dating back to 1980), the aforementioned photographs, numerous restoration invoices, various magazine articles and MOT certificate valid until April 2010.