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Homepage. This page: A head-on photograph of a 1950's AC sportscar at a race meeting in the 1960's.

AC Ace.

In recent years interest in the Cobra's elder brother, the AC Ace, has grown markedly. Original examples of the 289 and 427 Cobra now command significant six-figure sums, and prices for the Ace continue to head northwards also. This photograph dates to the mid-1960's I believe, and show Ace registration number 102 EPK parked in a grassy field, at an unidentified race meeting. This car does not appear on either a google search, or by checking the online DVLA enquiry service, so what happened to this particular AC Ace? Is it tucked away, un-registered in a garage somewhere, was it exported and thus re-registered on foreign turf, or did it simply get scrapped or broken for parts?
The owner evidently had interests in club motor racing, at the very least. The car sports enamel badges for the 750 MC (750 Motor Club), the BARC (British Automobile Racing Club), the RAC, and also a badge for the car's maker, AC Cars Limited of Thames Ditton.
(Please click the thumbnail to view full-size image.)
The original AC Ace
EPK is a Surrey registration series, introduced in December 1957. Production of the AC Ace commenced in 1953 and continued, powered by a variety of engines, until 1962. Early production cars featured one of AC's own engines, a 2 litre straight six, under the bonnet, but lacked the grunt and refinement that the car was deemed to deserve. In 1956 the AC Ace Bristol went on sale, and this transformed the car into one capable of 116 mph. Given that the car above was registered late in 1957, or early in 1958, it is most likely to be a Bristol-engined Ace.
In 1962, with production due to come to an end, the Ace's engine was replaced by a Ruddspeed-tuned six cylinder Ford Zephyr unit, often benefiting from the fitment of a Mays' head. Although the Ace went out of production in 1962, the basic silhouette would live on with the later Cobra, albeit with much modified Ford V8-powered running gear, nestling beneath the aluminium coachwork.
Whereas AC's earlier offerings, such as the 2-litre saloon, are less well remembered today, the legendary status of the Cobra, and the car that sired its attractive lines, are as popular now as they ever were.
Return to Page 11 in the classic car photo gallery.
Also of possible interest, the AC Ace free parts ads page.

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