Ex-Jean Claude Bajol ,1957 AC Ace Bristol Roadster  Chassis no. BEX 281 Engine no. 100D 528
Lot 131
1957 AC Ace Bristol Roadster
Sold for € 287,500 (US$ 352,935) inc. premium

Lot Details
Ex-Jean Claude Bajol ,1957 AC Ace Bristol Roadster  Chassis no. BEX 281 Engine no. 100D 528 Ex-Jean Claude Bajol ,1957 AC Ace Bristol Roadster  Chassis no. BEX 281 Engine no. 100D 528 Ex-Jean Claude Bajol ,1957 AC Ace Bristol Roadster  Chassis no. BEX 281 Engine no. 100D 528 Ex-Jean Claude Bajol ,1957 AC Ace Bristol Roadster  Chassis no. BEX 281 Engine no. 100D 528 Ex-Jean Claude Bajol ,1957 AC Ace Bristol Roadster  Chassis no. BEX 281 Engine no. 100D 528 Ex-Jean Claude Bajol ,1957 AC Ace Bristol Roadster  Chassis no. BEX 281 Engine no. 100D 528 Ex-Jean Claude Bajol ,1957 AC Ace Bristol Roadster  Chassis no. BEX 281 Engine no. 100D 528 Ex-Jean Claude Bajol ,1957 AC Ace Bristol Roadster  Chassis no. BEX 281 Engine no. 100D 528 Ex-Jean Claude Bajol ,1957 AC Ace Bristol Roadster  Chassis no. BEX 281 Engine no. 100D 528 Ex-Jean Claude Bajol ,1957 AC Ace Bristol Roadster  Chassis no. BEX 281 Engine no. 100D 528 Ex-Jean Claude Bajol ,1957 AC Ace Bristol Roadster  Chassis no. BEX 281 Engine no. 100D 528 Ex-Jean Claude Bajol ,1957 AC Ace Bristol Roadster  Chassis no. BEX 281 Engine no. 100D 528 Ex-Jean Claude Bajol ,1957 AC Ace Bristol Roadster  Chassis no. BEX 281 Engine no. 100D 528 Ex-Jean Claude Bajol ,1957 AC Ace Bristol Roadster  Chassis no. BEX 281 Engine no. 100D 528 Ex-Jean Claude Bajol ,1957 AC Ace Bristol Roadster  Chassis no. BEX 281 Engine no. 100D 528 Ex-Jean Claude Bajol ,1957 AC Ace Bristol Roadster  Chassis no. BEX 281 Engine no. 100D 528 Ex-Jean Claude Bajol ,1957 AC Ace Bristol Roadster  Chassis no. BEX 281 Engine no. 100D 528
Ex-Jean Claude Bajol
1957 AC Ace Bristol Roadster
Chassis no. BEX 281
Engine no. 100D 528
•The most desirable Ace variant
•Originally left-hand drive
•Restored circa 2007/2008
•Mille Miglia eligible
•2008 Argentinia Mille participant
•2014 Mille Miglia participant

'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.

An influential and widely imitated design, the AC Ace (and its Cobra derivative) could trace its origins back to a one-off sports-racer built by chassis engineer John Tojeiro for Cliff Davis in 1952. The success of Davis' Tojeiro sports-racer prompted AC Cars to acquire the rights to the design, which was put into production in 1954 as the Ace. The Davis car's pretty Ferrari 166-inspired barchetta bodywork was retained, as was 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 co-founder John Weller, this overhead-camshaft engine had originated in 1919, and with a modest 80bhp (later 100bhp) on tap, endowed the Ace with respectable, if not outstanding, performance. Nevertheless, in tuned form the Ace enjoyed great success in production sports car racing, winning its class at the Le Mans 24-Hour Race in 1959.

In 1955 AC added a hardtop version - the fastback-styled Aceca - and both models later became available with the more powerful Bristol engine before production ceased in 1963. Towards the end of production the Ace was also available with the 2.6-litre overhead-valve Ford Zephyr engine installed.

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. 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.

Up to 130bhp was available from the Bristol unit in road trim, in which form the Ace could touch 120mph (195km/h), while around 150bhp could be wrung from it for racing. The combination of a fine-handling chassis and a decent power-to-weight ratio 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. Indeed, its basic soundness and versatility were reflected in the fact that relatively few major changes were found necessary when the Ace was endowed with Ford V8 power to create the legendary Cobra.

According to a letter from the AC Owners Club, this left-hand drive Ace left the works on 1st May 1957 and was delivered new to AC Imports in Virginia, USA. The known ownership history is as follows: Ken Jackson (1964) followed by Rodney Smith (1981) and then Jean Claude Bajol in France. Sold at auction in 1986, the AC passed via Chris Drake that same year to Eduardo Roca, during whose ownership it was restored and re-trimmed by Niel Twyman. The car participated in the 1990 Mille Miglia with great success, and in 2007 was sold to Martin Chisholm.

The Ace was restored again circa 2007/2008 and the Bristol engine dynamometer-tested, delivering a very healthy 140bhp at around 5,200 rpm. The engine rebuild was carried out by Stanton Motorsports in Berkshire, and there are related invoices dating back to 2008 on file. It should be noted that the engine currently fitted, although not original to 'BEX 281', is of the correct AC Bristol type.

Sold to Argentina in 2008, the car participated in that year's Argentinian Mille Miglia, finishing 54th out of approximately 3,200 entries, and in 2014 participated with the current German owner in the Mille Miglia in Italy. Finished in blue metallic with dark blue leather interior, this well restored AC Ace Bristol is offered with German historic registration papers.

Footnotes

  • Please note that it has been brought to our attention that Jean Claude Bajol owned another AC Ace Bristol, Chassis No. BEX 381 and not the car offered here. According to the AC Owners' Club the car offered was sold by Chris Drake to a Mr Rasmussen in Denmark, who participated in the 1990 Mille Miglia. It is believed that the car was then sold to a Spanish Gentleman, who then sold it on to well respected UK-based classic car broker Martin Chisholm ca. 2007. He in turn kept the car for a couple of years and had further work done by Stanton Motorsports (invoices on file). During his ownership the car participated in the Scottish Ecurie Ecosse Tour. The AC was subsequently sold to Nathalie Sielecki in Argentina and it is believed that she participated in the 2008 Argentinian 1000 Millas event. In 2010 the car was offered by respected London based dealer Peter Bradfield. The AC Owners' Club has also kindly confirmed that the car is now back in its original colour combination.

    Veuillez noter que Jean-Claude Bajol était propriétaire d'une autre AC Ace Bristol, numéro de châssis BEX 381, et non celle présentée ici. Selon le AC Owners' Club, la voiture présentée ici a été vendue par Chris Drake à Monsieur Rasmussen au Danemark qui a participé à la course des Mille Miglia en 1990. Il semblerait que la voiture ait été vendue à un Gentleman espagnol qui l'a ensuite vendue en en 2007 à Martin Chisholm, marchand très respecté en Angleterre. Ce dernier a gardé la voiture pendant plusieurs années et elle a fait objet de travaux par Stanton Motorsports (cf. factures). La voiture a participé au Scottisch Ecurie Ecosse Tour. L'AC a ensuite été vendue à Nathalie Sielecki en Argentine et il est fort probable que l'auto ait participe au Argentinian 1000 Millas en 2008. En 2010, la voiture a été présentée par Peter Bradfield, marchand respecté d'Angleterre. Le AC Owners' Club a également confirmé que la combinaison de couleur est celle d'origine.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note that it has been brought to our attention that Jean Claude Bajol owned another AC Ace Bristol, Chassis No. BEX 381 and not the car offered here. According to the AC Owners' Club the car offered was sold by Chris Drake to a Mr Rasmussen in Denmark, who participated in the 1990 Mille Miglia. It is believed that the car was then sold to a Spanish Gentleman, who then sold it on to well respected UK-based classic car broker Martin Chisholm ca. 2007. He in turn kept the car for a couple of years and had further work done by Stanton Motorsports (invoices on file). During his ownership the car participated in the Scottish Ecurie Ecosse Tour. The AC was subsequently sold to Nathalie Sielecki in Argentina and it is believed that she participated in the 2008 Argentinian 1000 Millas event. In 2010 the car was offered by respected London based dealer Peter Bradfield. The AC Owners' Club has also kindly confirmed that the car is now back in its original colour combination. Veuillez noter que Jean-Claude Bajol était propriétaire d'une autre AC Ace Bristol, numéro de châssis BEX 381, et non celle présentée ici. Selon le AC Owners' Club, la voiture présentée ici a été vendue par Chris Drake à Monsieur Rasmussen au Danemark qui a participé à la course des Mille Miglia en 1990. Il semblerait que la voiture ait été vendue à un Gentleman espagnol qui l'a ensuite vendue en en 2007 à Martin Chisholm, marchand très respecté en Angleterre. Ce dernier a gardé la voiture pendant plusieurs années et elle a fait objet de travaux par Stanton Motorsports (cf. factures). La voiture a participé au Scottisch Ecurie Ecosse Tour. L'AC a ensuite été vendue à Nathalie Sielecki en Argentine et il est fort probable que l'auto ait participe au Argentinian 1000 Millas en 2008. En 2010, la voiture a été présentée par Peter Bradfield, marchand respecté d'Angleterre. Le AC Owners' Club a également confirmé que la combinaison de couleur est celle d'origine.
Activities
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

Like the vast majority of auctioneers Bonhams charge what is known as a Buyer's Premium. Buyer's Premium on all Automobilia lots will adhere to Bonhams group policy:

25% up to £50,000 of hammer price,
20% from £50,001 to £1,000,000 of hammer price,
and 12% on the balance thereafter. This applies to each lot purchased and is subject to VAT.

For Motor Cars and Motorcycles a 15% Buyer's Premium is payable on the first £50,000 of the final Hammer Price of each Lot, and 12% on any amount by which the Hammer Price exceeds £50,000. VAT at the standard rate is payable on the Premium by all Buyers, unless otherwise stated.

Some lots may be subject to VAT on the Hammer Price. These lots will be clearly marked with the relevant symbol printed beside the lot number in the catalogue.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licences please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

Contacts
  1. Philip Kantor
    Specialist - Motor Cars
    Bonhams
    Work
    Boulevard Saint-Michel 101
    Brussels, Belgium 1040
    Work +33 1 42 61 10 11
    FaxFax: +33 1 42 61 10 15
  2. James Knight
    Specialist - Motor Cars
    Bonhams
    Work
    101 New Bond Street
    London, United Kingdom W1S 1SR
    Work +44 20 7447 7440
    FaxFax: +44 20 7447 7438
Similar Items