'Of them all, the Ace was the truest sports car: it could be used for daily commuting or for high-speed long-distance touring, but it could also be driven to a race meeting, campaigned with distinction, and driven home again - even if that race was the Le Mans 24 Hours.' - AC Heritage, Simon Taylor & Peter Burn. The success of Cliff Davis's 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-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. In 1955 AC added a hardtop version - the fastback-styled Aceca - and both models became available from '56 with the more-powerful (up to 130bhp) Bristol six-cylinder engine. The l,971cc 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. Downdraught 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 first-in-class and seventh overall finish at Le Mans in 1959. This early Bristol-engined Ace was first registered to AC Cars Ltd, Thames Ditton on 20th July 1956, the car's first private owner being one Peter Gourlay of Guildford, Surrey to whom it was registered on 27th July of that same year. On 21st November 1960 the Ace passed to the second (current) owner, the late Derek Cattley Morris of Clifton, Bristol (a friend of Peter Gourlay). Derek Morris worked for Rolls-Royce in Filton (it is believed on missile development) and used the Ace as his daily driver to work. It is understood that the car was fitted with the racing screen and side pipes very early in its life, while Derek repainted it himself and fitted electronic ignition to cure plug fouling. Derek frequently took the car overseas on camping holidays to various UK and European events including the Claret & Classics Rally in the 1990s. A friend claims the car was never raced or suffered major damage. Last taxed for the road to 31st January 2006 and SORN'd to January 2011, '240 BPD' was got running by Polygon Transport in March of this year and comes with the relevant invoice for the work. In addition, the car is offered with its original buff logbook, old-style Swansea V5s (x3), current Swansea V5C and a number of instruction manuals: original workshop manual for the Bristol 2-Litre; original spares handbook for the Bristol 2-Litre; original AC Bristol General Instructions (x2); original AC Ace and Aceca General Instructions; and original Arnolt-Bristol 2-Litre Instruction Manual.