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Lot 170
1959 AC Ace Bristol
Chassis no. BEX 1090 Engine no. 100 D2 1000

Sold for US$ 286,000 inc. premium
1959 AC Ace Bristol
Chassis no. BEX 1090
Engine no. 100 D2 1000
1,971cc OHV Inline 6-Cylinder Engine
3 Solex Downdraft Carburetors
128bhp at 5,750rpm
4-Speed Manual Transmission with Overdrive
4-Wheel Independent Suspension
Front Disc/Rear Drum Brakes

*One of only 465 AC Ace Bristols produced
*Professionally restored to exacting standards
*Colorado Grand participant
*Well-understood history
*The elegant older brother of the Shelby Cobra

The AC Ace Bristol

Frequently described as the more sophisticated older brother of the Cobra, the AC Ace Bristol is an embodiment of the quintessential British sports car. Featuring a beautiful and elegant aluminum body, the car weighs less than 2,000 pounds, making it a very lithe and sporting car to drive. The AC was styled closely after the Ferrari 166 Barchetta and remains a beautiful and striking shape. The specification was remarkable for the late 1950's and included the triple carbureted BMW-derived 120hp inline-six, an interesting independent suspension design with hydraulic shock absorbers, and Girling front disc brakes. In total, just 465 AC Ace Bristols were produced.

The Motorcar Offered

This wonderfully restored, factory left hand drive Bristol-powered AC Ace was originally purchased by Charles Kaleta of Le Grange Park, Illinois, reportedly as a gift for his son Charles Junior, who planned to study in Switzerland. It is fitted with a factory heater, oil cooler and oil temperature gauge. As part of the restoration work, a Laycock electric overdrive with period appropriate switchgear was fitted for extended high-speed touring, and the engine rebuilt to desirable and correct D2 specifications.

The car passed through several hands, eventually being discovered by respected AC marque specialist Jerry Bensinger in a northern Ohio barn in 2006. Although needing complete restoration, the Ace remained wonderfully complete and unmolested. Evidently, very early in the car's life engine number 930 was exchanged for engine number 100 D2 1000. On file are pre-restoration photos confirming the undisturbed nature of the car upon its discovery.

The previous owner, noted vintage racer and enthusiast Richard Scott of Sidney, Ohio, purchased BEX 1090 with the intention of restoring it for extended and reliable touring, as well as for Concours events and shows. Accordingly, equal attention was paid to its running and handling as well as its cosmetics, with suspension, steering, springs, shocks, brakes, instrumentation and wiring either replaced or restored. The respected firm Marcovicci-Wentz, of Long Island, New York, rebuilt the Bristol engine with work including all new bearings, pistons, and valves and a 0.020-inch overbore. Upon completion, the Bristol was dynamometer tested and tuned with detailed reports produced, which are included in the documentation file accompanying the car.

Mark Wehrman, also of Long Island, rebuilt the four speed gearbox. A proper Laycock electric overdrive unit, complete with correct switchgear was sourced from England and provides extended highway cruising capabilities.

During restoration, the entire car was completely disassembled, but the body was not removed from the car's tubular chassis to avoid loss of critical alignment points. A rotisserie was fabricated to allow work on the body and chassis from all possible angles. This work was completed by the staff at Automotive Hammer Art of Indianapolis, Indiana.

An authentic and correct restoration, the car features such original specification items as flocked rear boot side panels, proper corrugated radiator hoses and clear, corrugated fuel lines, plus heavy, grease impregnated covers for the front and rear leaf springs. Even the window washer bottle and correct Guildford air cleaner housings are present.

Cosmetically speaking, the car has an outstanding and fresh appearance, as would be expected of a high quality recent restoration. Fewer than 4,000 miles have been logged since completion. The paint, brightwork, upholstery, undercarriage, and engine bay are all finished to exceptional standards.

Following the completion of the restorative works the car was amply road tested and final sorting performed in preparation for the 2009 Colorado Grand, where it performed brilliantly and was admired both for its appearance and performance. The Grand is but one of many prestigious events this AC Ace Bristol is eligible for.

The car is offered complete with a new top and tonneau cover, side windows, a grease gun and "T" key, correct storage bags for the top as well as tool kit. Also included is a reprinted owner's manual, photo documentation of the restoration including before and in process photos, extra keys, and select documentation relating to the restoration and previous ownership period.

With its authentic and stunning high-point restoration and mechanical excellence, BEX1090 is an ideal candidate for Concours events around the globe, as well as road rally events where its nimble chassis and suitably powerful 2.0-liter Bristol power plant are a near perfect driver's combination.
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