1957 AC Bristol
s/n BEX 278, Engine No. 100D 652
Yellow with Tan Leather
In 1953, AC Cars built the Ace Roadster with a 100hp AC power plant riding on a light, tubular chassis under a beautiful, hand formed aluminum body. In 1956, AC built the Bristol Roadster which featured the lightweight tubular Ace chassis and a 2.0 litre Bristol six-cylinder engine with 3 downdraft carburetors producing 120 horsepower. Due to its light weight of only 1650 pounds, the car had great performance and handling. These cars raced at Le Mans in 1957 and 1958. Just 466 examples were built with the Bristol power plant between 1956 and 1962. When Bristol ceased building their 6-cylinder engine in 1961 the owner of AC, Charles Hurlock, was approached by Carroll Shelby to use a Ford V8 in the Ace chassis, producing the AC Cobra in 1962. Production of the Ace Bristol ended the same year. The AC Cobra was further developed into the legendary 289 and 427 Cobra`s which dominated the motor racing world. Unlike the AC Cobra, this AC Bristol (produced in 1957) is eligible for many of the premier historic events such as the Le Mans Classic, the Monterey Historics, and the Italian and California Mille Miglia, among others.
This particular chassis was built on April 4th, 1957, and was sold new to Mr. W. G. Dunn of Orlando Florida, having been imported to the US though Jarrard Motors of Pensacola, FL. It was originally finished in Svecia Red with red interior and a black tonneau and top. As part of its restoration, it was painted yellow (an Alfa/Ferrari, PPG color) and fitted with tan interior in 1992. It appears that this car has remained in the United Sates throughout its life with past owners residing in Florida, Illinois, and California.
BEX 278 has been the subject of a body off restoration by Ashcraft Restorations in Phoenix, AZ and is in excellent condition. The stunning, high quality yellow paintwork is nearly flawless, done over an extremely straight body with excellent door, bonnet, and boot fit. Photos exist of the body in bare metal during the restoration which depicts an original and extremely straight shell. The chrome and stainless trim was included in the restoration work and is also excellent, with minimal hazing and no weathering to speak of. This car has chrome blank off plates behind the driver`s compartment, which suggests it may have been delivered with the rare factory roll over hoop option. An FIA style electronic cut off switch has been added in an easy to reach location near the driver`s side mirror. The car sits on beautiful chrome wheels and AC knock-offs with period style Dunlop tires.
The interior was also restored, and has been trimmed in very high quality, soft, tan leather on the door panels, seats, dash, and rear firewall. The tan carpets are in very good condition. All the gauges have been restored, and are original Smiths units. This example is fitted with Simpson racing style safety belts and a nice wood rimmed steering wheel which has a period appearance.
The engine compartment has also been restored, and could be casually shown with pride. The inner fender well aluminum has been replaced, and body supports, suspension pieces, radiator, and valve cover all painted correct semi-gloss black. The headers have been freshly ceramic coated, and are pristine. A new wiring harness was fitted as part of the restoration work, along with new water hoses. Nordic air filters sit atop the triple carburetors.
The underside shows every sign of a relatively fresh body off restoration, and is free of rust or obvious damage repairs. Correct finishes are applied where appropriate, and the results are very impressive.
Mechanically, the car in very good condition. During the current ownership period, from late 1993 onward, the car was used in several prestigious events such as the Colorado Grand and California Mille, among others, and kept in careful storage at Fantasy Junction when not in use. The engine was rebuilt by Apex Automotive Engineering, and records are present to confirm this work. The engine starts easily and makes excellent power with minimal smoke. The clutch and transmission both operate as they should. This example is fitted with the much more user friendly front disc brakes which came into mainstream production in 1957, an impressive engineering achievement for the era.
This example has participated in the Italian Retro Mille Miglia, and as a 1957 year of production, remains eligible for this and many other prestigious events around the globe.
With the car comes the restored top and frame, side curtains, tonneau, spare wheel with Dunlop tire, reprinted manuals, grease gun, paint code, AC Cars Ltd built sheet, photo and written documentation of the restoration work, FIA papers, and information for ownership changes back to the late 1980s.
Fantasy Junction +1 510 653 7555 Emeryville, California 94608 USA
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