In present ownership since 1971, a rare LHD example,1961 AC Ace 2.6-Litre Roadster  Chassis no. RSX 5006

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Lot 16
In present ownership since 1971, a rare LHD example
1961 AC Ace 2.6-Litre Roadster
Registration no. 661 CGT Chassis no. RSX 5006

£ 240,000 - 280,000
US$ 330,000 - 390,000
In present ownership since 1971, a rare LHD example
1961 AC Ace 2.6-Litre Roadster
Registration no. 661 CGT
Chassis no. RSX 5006
To view a video of this lot please click here

*Original left-hand drive model
*Known ownership history from new
*Present ownership since 1971
*Professionally restored in the 2000s
*Enthusiastically campaigned

Footnotes

  • "There is no doubt that the 2.6 Ace now lowered with restyled bodywork is the fastest production model ever produced by the AC Company, and maximum speeds in the 125mph range may be expected, with acceleration to match." – AC Cars Ltd.

    Powered at first by AC's venerable long-stroke six and then the BMW-derived Bristol engine, the Ace was made available towards the end of production with the 2.6-litre overhead-valve Ford Zephyr engine installed. The first cars were converted by Ken Rudd of Ruddspeed before the factory took over. A 12-port aluminium-alloy cylinder head, developed by Raymond Mays of ERA and BRM fame, was usually fitted together with other internal modifications, in which form the Zephyr-derived unit produced 155bhp on triple SU carburettors and up to 170 horsepower on triple Webers. Only 36 examples of the Ford-powered Ace 2.6 were made, making it by far the rarest of the three engine types offered.

    Owned by the current vendor since 1971, this rare left-hand drive AC Ace 2.6 is the sixth example of the 36 production models built. Three people are known to have owned 'RSX 5006' during its first decade. It was purchased new in December 1961 by Mr A J Schwartz, a Paris resident with connections in Monaco, as an 18th birthday present for his son, Patrick. The son did not keep it very long, for by early 1964 it was advertised on the noticeboard in the recreation area at SHAFE in Paris. It is not known why this medium was chosen: perhaps Mr Schwartz had connections to the US military.

    Peter Napier, an Englishman working in Paris for Boeing, noticed the advertisement and bought the AC. A photograph on file, taken on the banks of the Seine around 1964, shows Peter behind the car.

    Peter Napier kept the Ace for several years, eventually selling it to a friend, Robert Seidman, an American writer who at that time was working in France. Robert moved to the UK in 1969 and brought the car with him, selling it to the current owner for £700 in August 1971 when he decided to return to the USA.

    With various problems needing to be fixed, and no time to carry out the work required, the owner took the Ace off the road in May 1975. A partial rear end rebuild was carried out over the next two years, and the car then remained in storage for the next 29 years while family life, business commitments and three house renovations took precedence. Between 1994 and 2006, the Ace was restored, the engine being rebuilt by Tony Steele and almost all other aspects of the renovation entrusted to internationally renowned marque specialist, David Sanderson.

    The engine was rebuilt to Stage IV tune with a Ruddspeed alloy cylinder head by Burton Power; triple Weber 40DCOE carburettors; Arias forged pistons; Carillo con-rods; stiffened main bearings; lightweight pushrods; and a Kent A14 'fast road' camshaft.

    The rear chassis was stiffened by incorporating Cobra box-section outriggers, while many original factory options incorporated at time of rebuild include a curved windscreen; 15" wheels; overdrive; alloy fuel tank; and a duplicate fuel system. Modern upgrades (all easily removable, no holes in bodywork) include a pre-engaged starter motor; 123 electronic ignition; LED headlight bulbs; and amber indictor bulbs. Most of the parts that were replaced in this process come with the car.

    Despite not being in a particularly high state of tune when manufactured, the Ace was specified with a factory roll bar. This is not fitted at present but would be supplied with the car (it simply bolts in). (The original cast-iron head complete with triple SUs and a Barwell manifold is available by separate negotiation with the vendor).

    '661 CGT' at last returned to the road on 10th June 2006, just in time for the AC Owners Club's annual concours on the following day when it won 2nd prize in the Ace class. Since then the Ace has been enthusiastically campaigned through the UK and Europe, commencing on 13th June 2006 with a Continental tour taking in Le Mans on the way to Monaco in an attempt, sadly unsuccessful, to make contact with the first owner's family. Italy, Spain and Portugal were visited in turn before the Ace arrived back home seven weeks later having covered 4,231 miles.

    Since then there have been trips to Ireland (2007), the Le Mans Classic (2010) and Scotland (2011), while that same year '661 CGT' also attended the Ace 2.6 50th Anniversary gathering at Stourhead, Wiltshire. The Ace served as the owner's wedding car when he married in 2013, and in June/July 2015 successfully completed an Arctic Circle trip taking in Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway via the Netherlands and Germany. In total, some 43,000 kilometres (approximately 27,600 miles) have been covered since the restoration's completion in 2006. The owner describes the Ace's condition as generally very good, the only minor 'niggles' being poor synchromesh on the Moss box's 2nd gear, and a non-functioning electric clock. In the vendor's own words: "The car is in very fine order, but is not perfect. This is a working road car, to be used and enjoyed."

    The history file contains the original bill of sale; the owner's bill of sale; all invoices from 1971 onwards; and some correspondence with AC Cars which predates the current ownership. In addition, the Ace also comes with a manufacturer's handbook and brochure; a genuine Ford workshop manual for the engine; and press cuttings, magazines, and souvenirs of the (admittedly minor) competitive events it undertook in the vendor's hands. There is also full weather equipment: hood, tonneau cover and dash-top tonneau (to prevent reflections from the white paint at night).

    The Ace's history with the current owner is detailed in a delightful illustrated presentation folder containing numerous fascinating colour photographs, including of the car in competition in the 1970s at Wiscombe Park and Silverstone (perusal essential). Boasting known ownership from new and long-term enthusiast stewardship for the last five decades, this rare '2.6' has to be one of the best Aces currently available.
Contacts
In present ownership since 1971, a rare LHD example,1961 AC Ace 2.6-Litre Roadster  Chassis no. RSX 5006
In present ownership since 1971, a rare LHD example,1961 AC Ace 2.6-Litre Roadster  Chassis no. RSX 5006
In present ownership since 1971, a rare LHD example,1961 AC Ace 2.6-Litre Roadster  Chassis no. RSX 5006
In present ownership since 1971, a rare LHD example,1961 AC Ace 2.6-Litre Roadster  Chassis no. RSX 5006
In present ownership since 1971, a rare LHD example,1961 AC Ace 2.6-Litre Roadster  Chassis no. RSX 5006
In present ownership since 1971, a rare LHD example,1961 AC Ace 2.6-Litre Roadster  Chassis no. RSX 5006
In present ownership since 1971, a rare LHD example,1961 AC Ace 2.6-Litre Roadster  Chassis no. RSX 5006
In present ownership since 1971, a rare LHD example,1961 AC Ace 2.6-Litre Roadster  Chassis no. RSX 5006
In present ownership since 1971, a rare LHD example,1961 AC Ace 2.6-Litre Roadster  Chassis no. RSX 5006
In present ownership since 1971, a rare LHD example,1961 AC Ace 2.6-Litre Roadster  Chassis no. RSX 5006
In present ownership since 1971, a rare LHD example,1961 AC Ace 2.6-Litre Roadster  Chassis no. RSX 5006
In present ownership since 1971, a rare LHD example,1961 AC Ace 2.6-Litre Roadster  Chassis no. RSX 5006
In present ownership since 1971, a rare LHD example,1961 AC Ace 2.6-Litre Roadster  Chassis no. RSX 5006
In present ownership since 1971, a rare LHD example,1961 AC Ace 2.6-Litre Roadster  Chassis no. RSX 5006
In present ownership since 1971, a rare LHD example,1961 AC Ace 2.6-Litre Roadster  Chassis no. RSX 5006
In present ownership since 1971, a rare LHD example,1961 AC Ace 2.6-Litre Roadster  Chassis no. RSX 5006
In present ownership since 1971, a rare LHD example,1961 AC Ace 2.6-Litre Roadster  Chassis no. RSX 5006
In present ownership since 1971, a rare LHD example,1961 AC Ace 2.6-Litre Roadster  Chassis no. RSX 5006
In present ownership since 1971, a rare LHD example,1961 AC Ace 2.6-Litre Roadster  Chassis no. RSX 5006
In present ownership since 1971, a rare LHD example,1961 AC Ace 2.6-Litre Roadster  Chassis no. RSX 5006
In present ownership since 1971, a rare LHD example,1961 AC Ace 2.6-Litre Roadster  Chassis no. RSX 5006
In present ownership since 1971, a rare LHD example,1961 AC Ace 2.6-Litre Roadster  Chassis no. RSX 5006
In present ownership since 1971, a rare LHD example,1961 AC Ace 2.6-Litre Roadster  Chassis no. RSX 5006
In present ownership since 1971, a rare LHD example,1961 AC Ace 2.6-Litre Roadster  Chassis no. RSX 5006
In present ownership since 1971, a rare LHD example,1961 AC Ace 2.6-Litre Roadster  Chassis no. RSX 5006
In present ownership since 1971, a rare LHD example,1961 AC Ace 2.6-Litre Roadster  Chassis no. RSX 5006
In present ownership since 1971, a rare LHD example,1961 AC Ace 2.6-Litre Roadster  Chassis no. RSX 5006
In present ownership since 1971, a rare LHD example,1961 AC Ace 2.6-Litre Roadster  Chassis no. RSX 5006
In present ownership since 1971, a rare LHD example,1961 AC Ace 2.6-Litre Roadster  Chassis no. RSX 5006
In present ownership since 1971, a rare LHD example,1961 AC Ace 2.6-Litre Roadster  Chassis no. RSX 5006
In present ownership since 1971, a rare LHD example,1961 AC Ace 2.6-Litre Roadster  Chassis no. RSX 5006
In present ownership since 1971, a rare LHD example,1961 AC Ace 2.6-Litre Roadster  Chassis no. RSX 5006
In present ownership since 1971, a rare LHD example,1961 AC Ace 2.6-Litre Roadster  Chassis no. RSX 5006
In present ownership since 1971, a rare LHD example,1961 AC Ace 2.6-Litre Roadster  Chassis no. RSX 5006
In present ownership since 1971, a rare LHD example,1961 AC Ace 2.6-Litre Roadster  Chassis no. RSX 5006
In present ownership since 1971, a rare LHD example,1961 AC Ace 2.6-Litre Roadster  Chassis no. RSX 5006
In present ownership since 1971, a rare LHD example,1961 AC Ace 2.6-Litre Roadster  Chassis no. RSX 5006
In present ownership since 1971, a rare LHD example,1961 AC Ace 2.6-Litre Roadster  Chassis no. RSX 5006
In present ownership since 1971, a rare LHD example,1961 AC Ace 2.6-Litre Roadster  Chassis no. RSX 5006
In present ownership since 1971, a rare LHD example,1961 AC Ace 2.6-Litre Roadster  Chassis no. RSX 5006
In present ownership since 1971, a rare LHD example,1961 AC Ace 2.6-Litre Roadster  Chassis no. RSX 5006
In present ownership since 1971, a rare LHD example,1961 AC Ace 2.6-Litre Roadster  Chassis no. RSX 5006
In present ownership since 1971, a rare LHD example,1961 AC Ace 2.6-Litre Roadster  Chassis no. RSX 5006
In present ownership since 1971, a rare LHD example,1961 AC Ace 2.6-Litre Roadster  Chassis no. RSX 5006
In present ownership since 1971, a rare LHD example,1961 AC Ace 2.6-Litre Roadster  Chassis no. RSX 5006
In present ownership since 1971, a rare LHD example,1961 AC Ace 2.6-Litre Roadster  Chassis no. RSX 5006
In present ownership since 1971, a rare LHD example,1961 AC Ace 2.6-Litre Roadster  Chassis no. RSX 5006
In present ownership since 1971, a rare LHD example,1961 AC Ace 2.6-Litre Roadster  Chassis no. RSX 5006
In present ownership since 1971, a rare LHD example,1961 AC Ace 2.6-Litre Roadster  Chassis no. RSX 5006
In present ownership since 1971, a rare LHD example,1961 AC Ace 2.6-Litre Roadster  Chassis no. RSX 5006
In present ownership since 1971, a rare LHD example,1961 AC Ace 2.6-Litre Roadster  Chassis no. RSX 5006
In present ownership since 1971, a rare LHD example,1961 AC Ace 2.6-Litre Roadster  Chassis no. RSX 5006
In present ownership since 1971, a rare LHD example,1961 AC Ace 2.6-Litre Roadster  Chassis no. RSX 5006
In present ownership since 1971, a rare LHD example,1961 AC Ace 2.6-Litre Roadster  Chassis no. RSX 5006
In present ownership since 1971, a rare LHD example,1961 AC Ace 2.6-Litre Roadster  Chassis no. RSX 5006
In present ownership since 1971, a rare LHD example,1961 AC Ace 2.6-Litre Roadster  Chassis no. RSX 5006
Auction information

PLEASE NOTE
Entry to the Saleroom is strictly for registered bidders only.

In order to bid at the sale you will be required to complete a bidder registration form, and provide identification, photographic (passport or driving license) and proof
of address (utility bill/bank statement). In addition for
a company registration please provide a copy of the Certificate of Incorporation plus proof of address.

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Buyers' Premium and Charges

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For Motor Cars, Motorcycles and vehicle registration numbers a 15% Buyer's Premium is payable on the first £500,000 of the final Hammer Price of each Lot, and 12% on any amount by which the Hammer Price exceeds £500,000. VAT at the standard rate is payable on the Premium by all Buyers, unless otherwise stated.

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Shipping Notices

Transport and Shipping
A representative of Straight Eight Logistics, will be at the Sale and can arrange national and international transportation as agent for the Buyer or the Seller (as the case may be).

Straight Eight Logistics
Unit 15 Lymington Enterprise Center Ampress Park
Lymington, SO41 8LZ
+44 (0) 20 3540 4929
[email protected]
www.straighteightlogistics.com

Storage Notices

Motor Cars
Vehicles must be collected from the sale venue no later than 6pm on the day of the sale Wednesday 19 May 2021.

Buyers should satisfy themselves that they have collected all relevant log books, documents and keys relating to their Lot(s) at time of collection. Otherwise Lots shall be removed to storage at the Buyer's expense (see below). Lots are at the Buyer's risk from the fall of the hammer. It is strongly advisable that overseas purchasers and absentee bidders make arrangements regarding collection with Bonhams in advance of Sale.

Removal and Storage of Vehicles
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Vehicle Removal charges
£260 + VAT per vehicle

Vehicle Storage charges
First 14 days
£14 + VAT per motor car per day

Thereafter
£10 + VAT per motor car per day

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