Formerly the property of James Bond creator, Ian Fleming 1962 AC Aceca Coupe Registration no. 6649 TU Chassis no. RS5506 Engine no. S251773E
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, but 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 Aceca during its production life apart from a change of engines. For the 1956 season the more-powerful (up to 130bhp) Bristol six-cylinder engine became available and thus equipped the Aceca could touch 120mph, its combination of a fine-handling chassis and a decent power-to-weight ratio making for delightful motoring. With AC's own engine at the end of its development and the Bristol six about to cease production, AC turned to Ford power in 1961. Ken Rudd, a long time Ace enthusiast and Ford tuning specialist, was recruited to proved modified versions of the 2.6-litre Ford Zephyr/Zodiac six-cylinder engine, which was available in different states of tune ranging from 120 to 170bhp. Only eight Ruddspeed Acecas and 37 similarly powered Aces were produced before AC turned to Ford V8 power for the Carroll Shelby-inspired Cobra. Chassis number 'RS5506' is one of only six surviving Ford-powered Acecas. A matching numbers car, it is recorded as leaving the Thames Ditton factory on 14th August 1962 for delivery to Mr Fleming, who registered it as '9181 ML' on the 17th of that month. Co-incidentally, that same year Ian Fleming completed 'The Spy Who Loved Me', the 10th of the 14 books in the James Bond series. The Aceca passed to a Dr Webster in 1963 and then to Brian Gell in 1967 with a registration change to 'AC 4'. In 1973 the car went to a collector in Holland, Harry van Bakel, returning to the UK in 1987 and acquiring its current registration '6649 TU'. The Aceca was ordered from the factory with Ruddspeed's 'Stage II' conversion incorporating larger inlet/exhaust valves, lightweight pistons and triple 1½" SU carburettors mounted on a Barwell inlet manifold. Other specification highlights include a Moss four-speed overdrive gearbox, servo-assisted disc/drum brakes, twin electric fans, heater and a radio, the latter converted to FM reception. We are advised that the body has been refurbished recently, with all corroded alloy removed from the 'B' posts and new metal let-in wherever necessary prior to repainting, and the engine's block and cylinder head rebuilt. '6649 TU' completed the Rome-Liège-Rome Rally in 2002 and has a current FIVA identity document. Finished in dark blue with re-carpeted original red leather interior, the car is offered with original buff logbook, current road fund licence, MoT to July 2011, Swansea V5 and an extensive history file of correspondence and other detailed documentation.