The AC Ace was first introduced in 1953 and its shape has since become iconic as the Ace went on to become a much loved and revered car in its own right, alongside it forming the platform for the fabled AC/Shelby Cobra. When first offered for public sale, the Ace was fitted with AC’s own engine. It was also the first British post-war sportscar to feature independent suspension all round. It is hardly surprising that it was one of the most advanced British sportscars at the time having had a chassis designed the legendary automotive designer, John Tojiero.
The Ace really came to the fore in 1956 when the AC engine was replaced by a two litre six-cylinder Bristol engine. Power rose to as high as 120bhp. This was helped greatly by the ingenious valve gear fitted to the Bristol engine. This upgrade to the Ace started a long rung of competition success, especially in the United States. Alongside the new Bristol engine, the four-speed gearbox was offered with an optional Laycock de Normanville overdrive. This was available on both third and fourth gears. This made the Ace not only faster, but far more comfortable and easy to use on a long journey or when in the cruise. Throughout the life of the AC Ace, only 463 cars were fitted with the much-prized Bristol engine.
The car on offer here at Hexagon Classics has recently returned following the completion of a complete nut and bolt restoration of the car. Chassis number BEX495 was ex-works and was shipped to Hap Dressel’s ‘AC Imports’ dealership of Arlington, Virginia on 01/10/1958. Throughout the majority of the cars life, it was owned by just one person.
The car is an original LHD US example that has finally been restored to the condition that it so rightly deserves. The restoration of this stunning Ace covered a complete re-build and fit of the car. This involved a complete strip and re-build of the engine with the use of Cosworth pistons and the fitment of a brand new stainless-steel exhaust system to complement the re-conditioned engine. The exterior and interior have also been done the highest possible standards by restoration specialists. The car was in period fitted with the optional overdrive for the gearbox. The gearbox linkage and tunnel also feature a remote change unit. This was a popular aftermarket upgrade in period that features on many cars and greatly improves the gear change and driving experience. There is a comprehensive file with the car that details all work carried out during the restoration including invoices.
Being a Bristol engined car with the optional overdrive, this Ace is one of the rarest and most desirable examples available. Thanks to extensive restoration having only just been completed, this must surely be on the best on the market. The quality of the workmanship must be seen to be believed. Presented in sage green with tan leather interior, this is a fantastic opportunity to acquire one the most sought after British sportscars built. The car is available for viewing at our London showroom.