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Lot 274: AC Aceca V8 Coupé

Goodwood Festival of Speed, Bonhams (29 June 2012)

A year after the Ace roadster's 1954 debut, a hardtop version - the fastback-styled Aceca coupé - arrived, powered by the same 2.0-litre long-stroke six. The following year the more powerful (up to 130bhp) Bristol six-cylinder engine became available, and thus equipped the Ace/Aceca could touch 120mph, its combination of a fine-handling chassis and decent power-to-weight ratio making for delightful motoring. From 1958 front disc brakes were fitted and later models had AC's own gearbox in place of the earlier Moss 'box. The design's ultimate expression, though, was the Cobra. Brainchild of Texan racing driver Carroll Shelby, the latter successfully combined the Ace's simple twin-tube chassis frame - supplied with four-wheel disc brakes for the Cobra - and a small-block Ford V8 to create one of the all-time great classic sports cars. AC Cars never got around to building a closed, Aceca-style version of the Cobra, though the Frua-styled AC 428, introduced in 1966, did used a lengthened Cobra MkIII chassis frame. This unusual car represents one individuals attempt to create a 'closed Cobra' using an Aceca Bristol re-engined with a 289ci (4.7 litre) Ford V8 coupled to a Borg Warner T10 close-ratio manual gearbox and a Salisbury limited slip differential. It thus offers an intriguing glimpse of what AC themselves might have achieved. Chassis number 'BE 605' was exported to Hong Kong in 1957 but was in California by 1963. It is believed to have been converted around 30 years ago using contemporary parts. The Aceca appears to have had only one US owner from 1985 to 1999 before returning to Europe in 2001. It has most recently resided in Germany in the hands of a knowledgeable and enthusiastic AC owner who has maintained the car to a high standard. Finished in bright red with black interior, 'BE605' is described as in generally excellent condition with very neat and well-engineered modifications. This Aceca combines very exciting performance with docility yet retains the nimble handling for which this chassis is renowned. Currently taxed for the road, the car is offered with a history file containing invoices, photographs and correspondence going back 20 years; an AC Cars Ltd letter confirming original specification and build date; MOT to May 2013 and Swansea V5C document.

Lot Details
Auction Goodwood Festival of Speed
Bonhams, Chichester, Goodwood,UK
TypeCar
Lot Number274
Estimate£55000-£70000
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£55000
Hammer Price (inc premium)£63100
Year1957
Condition rating
Registration number
Mileage-
Chassis numberBE605
Engine number9K 113610
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors2