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The post-war period was conducive to the revival of European car production. Several manufacturers came up with new sports models that were soon entered in the major competitions. British brands were no exception, like the most prestigious of them: Aston Martin, Jaguar, Austin Healey, MG, Triumph... Amongst these flagships, AC Cars is experiencing a new impetus thanks to the arrival in its range of a particularly elegant and racy sports car that will establish the brand's reputation. Presented at the London Motor Show at the end of 1953, this new model, called Ace, benefited from a light tubular chassis designed by the brilliant Anglo-Portuguese engineer John Tojeiro, whose creations proved to be particularly effective in competition. Equipped with four independent wheels and an aluminium two-seater spider body reminiscent of the Ferrari 166 MM and the Siata 208, the Ace is initially powered by the brand's 6-cylinder block developing 103 horsepower, which was designed before the conflict. Aware of the need to equip its latest model with a more modern and powerful engine, the manufacturer signed an agreement in 1956 with Bristol, which had recovered the highly innovative M328 in-line 6-cylinder, 1971 cc engine with hemispherical combustion chambers which, from 1936, powered the speedy BMW 328. Installed in the British roadster, it is fed by three Solex twin down draft carburettors and delivers 120 horsepower, allowing acceleration from zero to 100 km/h in 9 seconds and a top speed of 187 km/h. Bristol also undertook to supply AC Cars with its gearbox (type 100), which was far superior to the "in-house" unit.

In 1957, an AC Ace Bristol was entered in the 24 Heures du Mans and proved its exceptional qualities of reliability and performance. Driven by Ken Rudd and Peter Bolton, the little English car finished 10th overall, sandwiched between numerous factory cars, with an average speed of 157.52 km/h and a top speed of 209 km/h in the Hunaudières. The model was also successful in the same race in the following years, notably with a remarkable 7th place in the 1959 edition. That year, the race was won by a certain Carroll Shelby at the wheel of an Aston Martin DBR1. The Texan would not fail to remember the performance of the little AC and, a few years later, would open a new chapter in the history of the brand with the mythical Cobra. As a result, the Ace Bristol occupies an important and decisive place in the brand's adventure.

The example offered (BEX1160) by leBolide is one of 463 assembled with the Bristol engine out of a total production of 724 Ace cars. Delivered new in left-hand drive in New York, with a white body, it was registered for the first time on 16 June 1960. It was found in the 1980s fitted with a V8 engine. However, the original engine was kept and it was restored in the 1990s by the renowned British specialist: Brian Classic.

Offered by a reputable professional in Monaco, the car has its 'collection' registration certificate and is not pledged.


The body has its original front and rear opening parts, numbered 1160. The dark red metallic paintwork dates from its restoration in the 1990s and has a nice overall patina. Close inspection reveals slight paint chips on the front (photo 018), on a wheel arch (photo 091) and on top of the right door (photo 093). The lower right front fender has been damaged (photo 095 and 096). There are also two holes in the rear trunk lid (photos 020 and 021) and two slight dents. The windscreen is damaged in its lower left corner (photo 094). Examination of the extensive photographic record shows that the underbody of the car is free of any sign of impact, deformation or significant corrosion. The spoked rims are fitted with Dunlop Racing tyres with a wear rate of 20%. The spare tyre has a different profile. The car is delivered with its windscreen side deflectors and tonneau cover (photo 054). The original tools (jack, crank and mallet) are on board.


The black leather upholstery is very nicely made. There are traces of use on the left side of the driver's bucket seat. The dashboard instrumentation is complete, in conformity with the original and, according to the seller, in perfect working order, including the watch. The fuel gauge glass shows traces of corrosion (photo 108). Finally, the original miles/h tachometer has been replaced by a speedometer graduated in km/h (photo 108).


The matching number engine (photos 035 and 037) has recently had a complete mechanical overhaul by the French brand specialist. The compressions of each cylinder have been checked and are correct. During the restoration, an electric fan was added and the exhaust pipe was replaced by a stainless steel one. The exhaust pipe has a corroded part that will probably have to be repaired or changed to enhance the sound of the 6-cylinder Bristol (photo 086). A 5-speed gearbox (Alfa Romeo) is currently fitted, but the original 4-speed gearbox (without overdrive) is supplied with the car. This AC Ace Bristol benefits from the front disc brake option available at the time.

2, rue du Gabian
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