Seeking to add verve to its post-World War II model catalogue, AC Cars of Thames Ditton, England acquired a sleek, lightweight open two-seater built by racecar designer and constructor John Tojeiro. Lightly modified, fitted with a 2.0-liter, inline, six-cylinder AC engine, and christened the AC Ace, the car debuted to great acclaim at the 1953 Earls Court motor show in London.
While the Ace offered adequate performance, its initial AC inline-six was, by the mid-1950s, showing its age. And so, beginning in 1956, AC offered the Ace with a more powerful engine sourced from Bristol Cars. Bristol’s design was, in turn, based on the inline-six developed by BMW for its renowned 328 sports and racing cars, which Bristol had obtained the rights to produce following WWII. Breathing through triple carburetors, this overhead-valve engine featured hemispherical combustion chambers and produced over 120 bhp; mated to a four-speed manual transmission, this was enough to substantially elevate the Ace’s performance and boost its top speed to 186 km/h.
The AC Ace Bristol we are offering here is chassis BEX459 and is believed to be one of the two Paris show cars for the year 1958, alongside french novelist Françoise Sagan’s example, chassis BEX483. Our car was originally supplied in white with black interior (a colour combination which the car still shows to this day) and retains all its original numbers and body panels throughout. It was purchased new to Mr Andreotti of Carcassone as a gift for his then 18 years old daughter. The car remained in the Andreotti family until 1966, at which point second owner Mr Pulles from Paris, and one of the first AC club members, made its purchase. Mr Pulles kept the car until 2016! During his ownership, BEX459 received two extensive engine serviced, one by Pigelet in the 90s, and another one by Lucky, a Paris-based Bristol specialists. Both braking system and carburetors were refurbished, making the car exceptionally well balanced throughout.
We should insist one the outsanding authenticity BEX459, which retains its untouched interior, all its original parts, metal, body panels and original numbers all around. The car is offered with its original crank and jack, and both the soft-top and side windows were made to exacting original standards. The bumpers are also original to this car, which is rare enough to be noted.
BEX459 represents an exceptional example of the AC Bristol and would enhance any classic car collection.
Photos : Mathieu Bonnevie