Courtesy of Bonhams

First seen at the 1959 London Motor Show, the four-seater AC Greyhound was the second coupe based on the Ace roadster, the first being the two-seater Aceca, whose lines were successfully adapted to suit the larger car. Like the Aceca’s, the Greyhound’s extremely shapely and attractive body was constructed in hand-formed aluminium over a tubular steel framework, while the longer-wheelbase tubular-steel chassis was more substantially built than the Ace’s. There was coil-sprung independent suspension all ’round by means of wishbones at the front and trailing arms at the rear, while by the time the Greyhound entered production in 1960 the chassis had been changed to a square-tube design. One notable departure from the Aceca was the bottom-hinged boot lid, replacing the Aceca’s practical hatchback, although this new arrangement did have the advantage of enabling oversize luggage to be carried with the boot open.

The result was a well-engineered, light in weight, generously equipped and extremely pretty GT car in the best AC tradition, boasting rear passenger accommodation roomier than many 2+2 rivals.

Very few alterations were made to the Ace and Aceca apart from a change of engine for 1956 when the more-powerful (up to 130 hp) 2.0- or 2.2-liter Bristol 6-cylinder engine became available, while towards the end of production the 2.6-liter Ford Zephyr engine was also on offer. Most of the 82 Greyhounds built left the Thames Ditton factory fitted with the Bristol engine like this example.

BEF2525 was originally fitted with a 2.2-liter Bristol engine number 110A5185 but now has a 1,971-cc Bristol power unit installed, number 100A3017. It should also be noted that the original Solex carburetors have been replaced with Weber 34ICH. Finished in blue with an original and nicely patinated black leather interior, this well-presented car is offered with an old U.K. buff logbook and V5 registration document; Belgian Carte Grise; and a history file.

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:1961 AC Greyhound
Years Produced:1959–62
Number Produced:82
Tune Up Cost:$250
Chassis Number Location:Top of pedal box
Engine Number Location:Brass plate on right valve cover
Club Info:AC Owners Club
Alternatives:1958–61 Peerless/Warwick GT, 1959–67 Gilbern GT, 1953–57 Aston Martin DB 2/4

This car, Lot 638, sold for $56,863 (€51,750), including buyer’s premium, at Bonhams’ Paris, France, auction on February 2, 2023.

Happy as a hound

Little known, usually neglected, and sometimes even cannibalized for their engines (or worse, cut up to replicate more-desirable models), the Greyhound has popped up on our radar again after a few have been offered at auctions in the past months. It is, essentially, an Aceca stretched by 10 inches, with various detail differences. Though making coupes longer and fatter to accommodate four seats usually means odd, even dowdy, proportions (see Datsun 260Z 2+2, Mercedes 450SLC), AC’s designers made a pretty good job of styling the Greyhound. It looks like the Aceca’s bigger sibling, with a flatter front — which is exactly what it is.

It’s a happy-looking car, more so than the serious and purposeful Ace/Aceca. It has the further advantage of coil springs all around, rather than the transverse leaf springs used by AC up until then, even on the first Cobras. In a further departure from usual Thames Ditton practice, the rear suspension is by semi-trailing arms rather than a double-wishbone layout. Plus, there’s rack-and-pinion steering, which took until 1963 to appear on the Cobra. The trunk lid on a Greyhound is clever, hinging from the bottom to provide a longer load platform for extra carrying capacity, no doubt with those four seats in mind.

A downsized heart

There was little history in the catalog description, except that this car originally had the optional 2.2-liter version of the cross-pushrod Bristol “6” fitted (Type 110A, no. 5185), which at some point has been replaced with the regular 2.0-liter version, number 3017. Greyhounds could be specified with either when new, plus the 2.6-liter Ford pushrod 6-cylinder from the Zephyr (as fitted to the last 37 Aces), though it’s uncertain how many Greyhounds got the Ford unit.

The difference between the 2.2 and 2.0-liter engines is mainly in torque. But even with the smaller displacement, it’s an improvement on the weediest powerplant theoretically available in the Greyhound: the 75-hp 1,991-cc AC 6, which was designed in the ’20s. Though that shouldn’t matter today, as you don’t buy old cars to go fast.

The Greyhound is from the era of the Aston Martin DB4, which will leave the AC in its mirrors. Still, it’s not as much slower than the preceding DB2/4 as you might imagine. Both ACs and Bristols go very well on this power unit, thanks to a combination of light weight (in this case just about on a metric ton, or 2,200 pounds) and slippery aerodynamics. In 1961 The Motor timed a 2.0-liter Greyhound at 110 mph, with 0–60 mph in 11.4 secs; a 3.0-liter Aston Martin DB2/4 gets there in 10.5 seconds and theoretically goes on to 120 mph.

Evenly presented

Now Belgian registered, this car was bought from H&H’s Imperial War Museum, Duxford, sale in 2014 for $73,819 (SCM# 243473). Then in 2- condition with 85,889 miles, we said, “Very straight and proper. Nice older restoration with good, even paint. Door fit good, lightly creased original leather. Previous owner strengthened various parts of the chassis and created an access panel to reach the handbrake cable. Bristol 100-series motor replaces the 2.2-liter 110-series original, now with spin-on oil filter conversion.”

Wearing a decent paint finish that still presents well, and now showing 86,694 miles, it still sports AC’s trademark tube bumpers, and correctly painted — not chromed — wire wheels. Inside, the leather remains beautifully patinated. The sunroof looks like a refurb, as it has a later-style handle. The engine bay was tatty compared with the rest of the car and needed a bit of cleaning up and detailing to remove localized corrosion, but the Webers still wear a proper airbox and filter. H4 headlights are always a sensible upgrade, bringing a modern level of illumination.

A sneaky good buy

Compared with recent sales in the U.K., this Greyhound went slightly cheap (the 1963 Ford-powered car listed in Comps was pretty rough), and $17k under its price in 2014. The Greyhound represents a slightly more sophisticated Aceca at about two-thirds of the money, which means it’s something like a third of the price of an Ace (and a fifth of a Cobra), on essentially the same chassis. Don’t tell everybody. ♦

(Introductory description courtesy of Bonhams.)

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