1959 AC 260.000-340.000 EUR - Estimate

AC Ace roadster

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Genuine left-hand drive
- The understated elegance of the Ace and the power of the Ford V8
- One of the most distinguished sports cars of its time.

Reference Number 669010

as of 10/7/2021

Dealer
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Lot 51

Artcurial - Automobiles sur les Champs  Contact  Location
59, avenue Montaigne  Phone  +33 1 42 99 20 56  City  Paris
75008 Paris  Fax  +33 1 42 99 16 39  State  Paris
France  Mobile    Country  France France
Overview
Car 1959 AC
VIN AEX1035 
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Known History

At the start of the 1950s, AC was on a mission to regenerate the marque and wanted to expand its range with a new sporty, modern and efficient car. The manufacturer turned to John Tojeiro (who had just proven the effectiveness of his chassis creation by winning the 1953 Brooklands Trophy) and bought the rights for his design. A few months later, the London Motor Show opened with the unveiling of an elegant barchetta with a design inspired by the famous Ferrari 166 MM. The public responded warmly to its launch and for good reason, since its tubular frame, its 4 independent wheels, its elegant light-alloy bodywork and its brilliant AC engine (derived from the BMW 328) made it a high-performance and efficient car. The AC Bristol ACE continued to achieve success in motor sport, with the famous racing driver Mike Hawthorn going so far as to call it at the time "the closest you can get to a perfect sports car"! Only 466 units were produced with the Bristol engine.

The car on offer is a factory left-hand drive AC Ace, chassis number AEX1034. According to a letter from AC Cars Ltd dated 15 November 1991, it was delivered new on 15 January 1959 to Competition Motors, based in San Carlo in California. It was then equipped with engine CLB9-1 2398, and presented in Vauxhall Grey with red interior and black hood. The file with the car contains a copy of the AC Ace & Aceca register, with a handwritten note dating from 1991, naming the last known owner, a certain Mr Murillo and noting " 5/87 Action ; owner/Current engine : Ford 289 Mills ". An invoice issued on 27 June 1992 by a company called Restoration Associates, addressed to Joe McLaughlin, of Prestige Motor Cars (San Rafael, California) relates to the restoration of the car.

In 1999, it sold through a well-known Californian dealer to a collector from Lyme in New Hampshire, US. At this time the mileage stood at 72 469 miles. He kept the car until 2012, when it was exported to Australia. Emile Garcin had been looking for a roadster in good condition for a long time, being very interested in the design of the AC Ace, and he became the new owner of this model that combined a classic styling with a capable V8 engine.

It was very probably during the 1970s that this car was equipped with a V8 Ford 289 ci engine, with a similar spec to that of the AC Cobra. More recently, in 2003, the car was fitted with a Borg Warner T5 gearbox.

Apart from its engine and Cobra-style rear bumpers, the car has retained the appearance of a standard AC Ace. It was restored around 25 years ago and has a nice patina today, with paintwork that has a lovely shine but inevitably some signs of use. The passenger compartment is impeccable and the seats, mats and dashboard are nicely patinated, the same as the instruments and gauges. The T5 gear lever is the only non-standard part.

This AC comes with a spare chrome wire wheel of different dimensions and a red hard top. It is missing the arcs for the hood. Today, the odometer shows 75 039 miles, demonstrating how sparingly the car has been used over the last 17 years, having covered just 2 570 miles! This is an interesting vehicle, combining the discreet elegance of the original AC Ace with the legendary power of the Cobra's V8 Ford engine. An understated yet explosive cocktail!