1958 AC Aceca Bristol

Darin Schnabel ©2014, courtesy of RM Auctions

1958 Aceca Bristol chassis BEX678

The Aceca Bristol offered here has its original Bristol engine, the number of which matches the car’s original firewall tag. According to the consignor, John Moir, the car’s original owner was Peter Winston, the son of renowned New York City jeweler Harry Winston.

Young Mr. Winston used the car as an everyday driver in Manhattan for some years, after which he sold it through an acquaintance to Tom Hickey, a well-known motorcycle and sports car racer from Cambridge, MA.

Mr. Hickey sent the Aceca Bristol back to AC Cars in Thames-Ditton, where it was totally refurbished to its original condition by the factory that had built it new. Upon its return stateside, the proud owner displayed the car at various New England sports car events, where it was very popular and became well known as one of the finest Aceca Bristols in the world. Only when Mr. Hickey was stricken with a tragic illness did he sell his pet to perhaps the most avid of its many admirers, John Moir. It has remained a great favorite in the Moir Collection ever since.

The past three decades have left the car with a wonderful, rich patina, a term often overused but well-applied here. The red leather interior has softened and been broken-in gently, and it is as comfortable as it appears. The dashboard instruments and interior trim are still in beautiful condition throughout, and the black finish, which has only the lightest of wear, is still in good condition; it will polish out well for local shows or continued driving. Overall, the car is best described as resembling what a well-kept, gently driven Aceca Bristol would have looked like in 1968.

1960 Aceca Bristol chassis AEX756

The example offered here was completed at Thames Ditton on January 4, 1960, and it was sold new as a left-hand-drive example to North America. While originally delivered with an AC two-liter engine, the car was fitted, under the previous owner’s tenure, with the desirable 1,971-cubic-centimeter Bristol engine and gearbox.

After being acquired by the current owner in 2010, a comprehensive restoration of this Aceca Bristol coupe was recently finished by renowned British car specialists at Kevin Kay Restorations in Redding, CA.

The aluminum body panels were taken down to bare metal prior to a show-quality repaint, and it should be noted that the body required a minimal amount of metalwork during restoration. The interior was newly trimmed in correct materials, and every component was either rebuilt or restored, as needed, including a new front windscreen.

The braking system was rebuilt, Spax shocks were fitted, and some of the new components include a stainless-steel exhaust system and all of the wiring and rubber seals. The body is finished in an original AC shade of Slate Blue, and the interior is trimmed in black leather with gray carpet, making for a very stunning appearance. This is a superb chance to slip behind the wheel of a freshly and extensively restored, dashing British sports car that exhibits the outstanding performance that took the world by storm in the mid-1950s.

1959 Aceca Bristol chassis BEX711

This Bristol-powered Aceca, with chassis number BEX711, was AC’s display vehicle at the 1959 New York International Automobile Show. At the show, it caught the eye of William Willock Jr., who purchased the car. This was one of eight examples delivered to the United States in 1959. The car was purchased for his son Norman, a recent university graduate. Norman enjoyed the car occasionally until moving to the Virgin Islands, with the Aceca placed into long-term storage at a family property in Maryland in the late 1960s. Norman returned to the United States circa 1988, and settled in Tucson. His Aceca was removed from storage and delivered to him. During the late 1990s, the car was given a sympathetic restoration, which included rebuilding of the Bristol engine, a bare-metal repaint in the original gunmetal gray, and re-trimming of the interior in red leather as original. The work was completed in 2001. In 2007, it was acquired by Norman’s son. Since new, the car has traveled fewer than 15,700 original miles. The 1,971-cc overhead valve inline 6-cylinder engine is fitted with triple Solex carburetors and offers 128 horsepower. There is a 4-speed manual gearbox with Girling disc brakes in the front and hydraulic drums in the rear.