1957 AC Aceca
Year of manufacture1957
Number of seats2
1957 AC Aceca Coupé
Registration no. 851 CPD
Chassis no. AE511
The success of independent racing car builder 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. Designed by AC's founder John Weller, 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 October 1954, its name like that of the Ace itself recalling that of a previous AC model of the 1930s.
Extremely shapely and attractive, the Aceca's two-seater 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. Unlike the flat windscreen of the open Ace, that of the Aceca was curved to blend into the cabin, while the luggage space behind the seats was accessible either from within the cockpit or via the large hinged rear window panel. 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 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.
One of 151 built with the 2.0-litre AC engine, this particular Aceca has belonged to the same family since 1978 and the same owner (the lady vendor's late father) since 1990. A recognised marque specialist, its late owner was President of the Aceca Club and thus well known in Aceca circles, being responsible for organising the remanufacture of many unobtainable spare parts. He is also famous as owner of the 1928 Bentley 4½-Litre that was brought to the attention of The Medcalf Collection a few years ago, having been dismantled some 50 years previously and stored throughout his house and garden in pieces!
Its late owner carried out all of the Aceca's maintenance and servicing himself (hence there are no accompanying bills) and the vendor advises us that it has benefited from extensive cosmetic refurbishment in recent times, the body having been repainted in the 2000s and the interior re-trimmed around 2014. Rare, desirable, and offering exceptional value for money, this beautiful Aceca Coupé is offered with a V5C Registration Certificate.