1957 AC Aceca-Bristol 
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Reference Number 713191

as of 9/24/2023

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Overview
Car 1957 AC Aceca-Bristol
Exterior / Interior Color      Grey /      Red 
Configuration Right Hand Drive (RHD) 
Transmission Manual Shift 
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Known History

The small Bristol-powered racer, designed by John Tojeiro in the early 1950s, was a great success in competition with Cliff Davis. AC Cars, renowned for its sporty models but with an ageing range, was looking for a new model and took a keen interest in Tojeiro's small car and decided to put it into production in 1954, under the name Ace. The Tojeiro bodywork was virtually a carbon copy of the beautiful Touring designed Ferrari 166 MM barchetta and was carried over to the Ace with minor modifications. It was based on a ladder chassis with independent suspensions, inspired by the Cooper that John Tojeiro had also designed.

However, AC did not use the Bristol engine for its model, preferring to stick with the good old 2 litre long stroke six cylinder engine with overhead camshaft. It was designed in 1919 and its modest 80 hp was a bit too much for a modern sports car.

The engine was increased to 100 hp, which gave the Ace a respectable, but not spectacular, performance. A very attractive and original fastback coupÚ version, designed by Alan Turner and named Aceca, was unveiled at Earls Court in London in 1954. Its body was constructed from hand-formed aluminum sheet and was supported by a tubular truss. To reduce the resonance box effect in the passenger compartment, AC mounted the components on rubber blocks. The tubular chassis was more solidly built than that of the Ace.

The Aceca was a very attractive, light and well powered GT car. The Ace and Aceca helped to restore AC's pre-war notoriety among sports connoisseurs. The Ace and Aceca underwent very few changes during their careers, apart from the replacement of the engine in 1956, when the more powerful 2-litre Bristol six-cylinder (up to 130 bhp) became available. Towards the end of production, the excellent 2.6 litre Ford Zephyr engine, light and small for its displacement, was finally adopted. The combination of a stiff chassis that held the road well and an interesting power-to-weight ratio - with the Bristol engine the car was already reaching 190 km/h - allowed the Ace version to achieve many racing successes in the production Sport class, its best result being seventh place overall and first in class at Le Mans in 1959.

The rest of the story is known. This well-born car was chosen by Carroll Shelby to install a Ford V8 in its specially strengthened chassis, giving birth to the mythical Cobras which definitively took AC out of a restricted circle of connoisseurs and gave it international recognition.

 

Produced in 1957, making it eligible for the Mille Miglia, our AC Aceca Bristol was kept by AC as a demonstration vehicle, as evidenced by the nice file accompanying the car, including the original title and numerous invoices and documents from the period.

The car has been sole in September 1961 via the Leonard North dealership to T.L. Hewitt, then passed successively in the hands of R. Earthy and G. Turner.

The engine was replaced by AC Cars in November 64 who then fitted front discs in June 66.

From 2003 to 2011 the car was in the hands of Ian Nuttall who undertook a full restoration, which was completed in 2010. It was then acquired by J. Broad in March 2012, before changing hands through us in 2020 to enter the collection of a French owner.Still perfectly maintained with a nice file, a complete tool kit and many accessories, it is ready to hit the road for the next Tour Auto where it will be honored, or during the Mille Miglia.