1955 AC  Aceca Coupé  Chassis no. AE505
Lot 228
1955 AC Aceca Coupé
Registration no. XPD 510 Chassis no. AE505
Sold for £91,100 (US$ 121,710) inc. premium

Lot Details
1955 AC  Aceca Coupé  Chassis no. AE505 1955 AC  Aceca Coupé  Chassis no. AE505 1955 AC  Aceca Coupé  Chassis no. AE505 1955 AC  Aceca Coupé  Chassis no. AE505 1955 AC  Aceca Coupé  Chassis no. AE505 1955 AC  Aceca Coupé  Chassis no. AE505 1955 AC  Aceca Coupé  Chassis no. AE505 1955 AC  Aceca Coupé  Chassis no. AE505 1955 AC  Aceca Coupé  Chassis no. AE505 1955 AC  Aceca Coupé  Chassis no. AE505 1955 AC  Aceca Coupé  Chassis no. AE505 1955 AC  Aceca Coupé  Chassis no. AE505 1955 AC  Aceca Coupé  Chassis no. AE505 1955 AC  Aceca Coupé  Chassis no. AE505 1955 AC  Aceca Coupé  Chassis no. AE505 1955 AC  Aceca Coupé  Chassis no. AE505 1955 AC  Aceca Coupé  Chassis no. AE505 1955 AC  Aceca Coupé  Chassis no. AE505 1955 AC  Aceca Coupé  Chassis no. AE505 1955 AC  Aceca Coupé  Chassis no. AE505 1955 AC  Aceca Coupé  Chassis no. AE505 1955 AC  Aceca Coupé  Chassis no. AE505 1955 AC  Aceca Coupé  Chassis no. AE505 1955 AC  Aceca Coupé  Chassis no. AE505 1955 AC  Aceca Coupé  Chassis no. AE505 1955 AC  Aceca Coupé  Chassis no. AE505 1955 AC  Aceca Coupé  Chassis no. AE505 1955 AC  Aceca Coupé  Chassis no. AE505 1955 AC  Aceca Coupé  Chassis no. AE505
1955 AC Aceca Coupé
Registration no. XPD 510
Chassis no. AE505
*Restored and upgraded in the 1990s by David Royle
*Bristol engine and correct overdrive gearbox fitted
*Rebuilt with no expense spared

Footnotes

  • The success of Cliff Davis' Tojeiro sports-racer prompted AC Cars to put the design into production in 1954 as the Ace. The Davis car's pretty Ferrari 166-inspired barchetta bodywork was retained, as was John Tojeiro's twin-tube ladder frame chassis and Cooper-influenced all-independent suspension, while the power unit was AC's own venerable, 2.0-litre, long-stroke six. This overhead-camshaft engine originated in 1919 and with a modest 80bhp (later 100bhp) on tap, endowed the Ace with respectable, if not outstanding, performance. A hardtop version - the fastback-styled Aceca coupé - debuted at the Earls Court Motor Show in 1954. The Aceca's hatchback body was constructed in hand-formed aluminium over a tubular steel framework, while the tubular chassis was more substantially built than the Ace's. To reduce noise levels within the cabin, AC mounted all major components on rubber bushes. The result was a well-engineered, light in weight and extremely pretty GT car in the best AC tradition.

    Very few alterations were made to the Ace and Aceca apart from a change of engine for 1956 when the more powerful (up to 130bhp) 2.0-litre Bristol six-cylinder engine became available, while towards the end of production the 2.6-litre Ford Zephyr engine was on offer also. The Bristol six was based on that of the pre-war BMW 328, which featured an ingenious cylinder head, designed by Rudolf Schleicher, incorporating hemispherical combustion chambers and inclined valves without recourse to overhead, or twin, camshafts. Instead, the earlier BMW Type 319 engine's single block-mounted camshaft and pushrod valve actuation were retained, thus avoiding an expensive redesign. Two rocker shafts were employed, one situated above each bank of valves, giving the engine an external appearance almost indistinguishable from that of a twin-overhead-cam design. Downdraft inlet ports contributed to the motor's deep breathing, and its tune-ability made it a popular choice for British racing car constructors, most notably Cooper, during the 1950s. Externally, Bristol's clone of the BMW motor differed little from the German original, the most obvious difference being the adoption of SU, rather than Solex, carburettors part way through production. The most significant changes made by the Bristol designers were metallurgical, their utilisation of the highest quality materials contributing to greatly increased engine life.

    The combination of a fine-handling chassis and a decent power-to-weight ratio - in Bristol-engined form the car could touch 120mph - helped the Ace to numerous successes in production sports car racing, arguably its finest achievement being a 1st-in-class and 7th overall finish at Le Mans in 1959.

    Originally fitted with an AC engine, chassis number 'AE505' was delivered new in May 1955 to Alan Stross of Leeds (see AC Cars' letter on file), who used the car in sprints and hillclimbs, as mentioned in Rinsey Mills book AC 6 Cylinder Sports Cars In Detail. The next piece of surviving ownership history is an old-style continuation logbook (issued in 1961) which lists seven owners, the last of whom, Gordon King of North Shields, sold 'XPD 510' to the current vendor in 1995 having owned the car since 1970.

    While in the present owner's possession, the Aceca has been painstakingly rebuilt by David Royle (as mentioned in his book Royle) with no expense spared, a Bristol engine (to B Type specification) and correct overdrive gearbox replacing the original AC engine and transmission. Apart from the engine/transmission swap, the rebuild was undertaken maintaining originality as far as possible. The process took from 1995 to 1997 to complete, since when approximately 11,600 miles have been covered. The quality of the restoration is well illustrated by the car having won several AC Owner Club Concours events.
    Rare, desirable, and offering exceptional value for money, this beautiful Aceca coupé is offered with sundry restoration invoices, current MoT, and a V5C Registration Certificate. A spare Borg Warner four-speed manual gearbox and a spare windscreen are included in the sale.

Saleroom notices

  • Please be advised this car is not offered with a current MOT as catalogued. In the time since cars of this age have no longer required to be MOT'd, it has received an annual service and safety check by Neville Wright of Diamond Garage. The bills for these are on file.
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