1959 AC Ace BristolSOLD

The MJF Collection

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Registration No: PPM 2 Engine No: 100D2947 CC: 1971 Colour: Met. Red Trim Colour: Red MOT: March 2011

Reference Number 80208

as of 5/5/2010

Overview
Car 1959 AC Ace Bristol
VIN BE1058 
Mileage 67,453 miles 
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Known History

Introduced in October 1953, the AC Ace was essentially a reworked version of 'LOY 500' the striking 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 modelled on the Carrozzeria Touring clad Ferrari 166 MM Barchettas), the Ace was arguably even more handsome. Initially powered by AC's own 1991cc OHC engine, the availability from February 1956 onwards of another straight-six in the guise of Bristol's tuneable 1971cc unit gave the aluminium bodied sports car a welcome boost in both sales and performance. Upgraded with optional Girling front disc brakes in 1957, Ace Bristols achieved considerable success at Le Mans (1957: 10th o/a & 2nd i/c, 1958: 8th o/a & 2nd i/c, 1959: 7th o/a & 1st i/c) as well as dominating the Sports Car Club of America's production championship for classes E (1957-1959), D (1960) and C (1961). Phased out during 1962, just 466 AC Ace Bristols are thought to have left the Thames Ditton factory.

 

A home market car, this particular example - chassis number BE 1058 - was supplied new to Osmond Hayes Butt Esq of East Grinstead on 8th July 1959. Thereafter, it is known to have passed through the hands of Albert Betley Esq (Cheam), Geoffrey Howard Esq (Cheam), Michael Lewer Esq (Ashtead), Richard Pickering Esq (London), William Ford Esq (Rothley, Leicestershire), Mark Harold Esq (Hanwell) and M. de Berry Esq (Hanwell) before entering the current ownership on 28th April 1979. Repainted from black to maroon at some stage, the AC appears to retain its original leather upholstery, desirable Bristol 100D2 engine and aluminium bodywork (the number '1058' is clearly stamped into its bonnet and boot hinges).

 

Riding on silver painted wire wheels, the two-seater also sports a full set of weather equipment (hood, tonneau cover, sidescreens), speedometer peak, wood-rim steering wheel, Marchal driving lamps, front disc brakes and delicate tubular bumpers. Said to have been "serviced regularly and only used in dry conditions", accompanying MOT certificates indicate that 'PPM 2' has covered little more than 2,000 miles during the course of the last thirty-one years. Further understood to have had "work carried out as and when needed" including an oil filter adaptor conversion, new clutch master / slave cylinders, refurbished shock absorbers and minor wiring repairs etc, the most recent instance of fettling saw the Ace benefit from a reconditioned rear leaf spring in April this year.

 

Starting readily upon inspection and showing an unwarranted 67,447 miles to its odometer, the 'matching numbers' two-seater looks - to our eyes at least - all of a piece. One of the great 1950s sports car designs, the Ace Bristol has a loyal following and the vendor has certainly enjoyed his time as a member of the AC Owners' Club. Decidedly appealing, 'PPM 2' is offered for sale with original buff logbook, twenty odd expired MOT certificates, sundry invoices (AC, Bristol Cars, TT Workshops, J.M. Automotive) and current MOT certificate valid until March 2011.

 

The MJF Collection

 

The letters M, J and F equate to the initials of a charming Scottish gentleman and lots 50 - 54 are offered for sale from his private collection. MJF started his working life in the Clydeside shipyards at the age of just fourteen. Thereafter, a prodigious talent for football saw him embark on a career as a professional goalkeeper which culminated in two championship titles and a FA Cup win. Paid the princely sum of £6 per week to begin with, MJF's first motorcar was a Singer Nine Le Mans. While, time spent as a RAF driving instructor during National Service only cemented his love of motoring.

 

Farsighted enough to take various polytechnic courses as his football days were coming to an end, he founded a steel stockholding company upon 'retirement' which supplied metal to a good proportion of the British car industry during the 1960s and 1970s. Able to fund his passion for motor cars on a somewhat grander scale, MJF bought the 1977 Triumph Stag (lot 50) new and has since covered some 120,000 miles aboard it; proof that a well-maintained example can be reliable. The 1959 AC Ace Bristol was next to join the stable followed by the 1963 Aston Martin DB4 Convertible and 1989 Ferrari 328 GTS.

 

The 1980 MG B LE Roadster was purchased new as a twenty-first birthday present for MJF's son but not road registered until the landmark date occurred in April 1989. Sadly, the son died last year and it is this bereavement which has prompted the collection's dispersal. During MJF's ownership the cars have been kept garaged and indeed have had the benefit of their own in-house curator. It may sound trite but we believe the quintet to have come from a good home. Though, the last word goes to MJF: "I will be sorry to part with them, of course, as they have given me such a lot of pleasure. But you can't keep them forever and I will be hanging on to one or two."