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1958 AC Bristol Roadster

1961 Sebring 12 Hour History, Ready for Restoration

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Exterior Color White
Interior Color Black Leather
Engine Inline 6 Cyl no. 100D 787 ST II
Transmission 4 Speed
Status Sold
Stock FJ536


1958 AC Bristol Roadster
s/n BEX 426, Engine no. 100D 787 ST II
White with Black Interior

Frequently described as the more sophisticated older brother of the Cobra, the AC Bristol is an embodiment of the quintessential British sports car. Featuring a beautiful and elegant aluminum body, the car weighs less than 2,000 pounds, making it a very lithe and sporting car to drive. Just 466 examples were built with the Bristol power plant between 1956 and 1962. The AC was a very successful racing car, and nearly identical examples competed at Le Mans in 1957 and 1958. In the USA, an AC Bristol won the Sports Car Club of America`s E production class championship in 1957, 1958, and 1959.

This particular chassis was built on February 21st, 1958 and sold to Frank Langton of New York, USA. Langton owned a tuning shop and had previously owned and raced other Bristols before this. This particular chassis was entered by AC Cars Ltd. in the 12 hours of Sebring of 1961 where it was driven by Frank Laughton and Robert Bowers of the UK. The team ended up 51st overall, and 8th in the GT2 category. Holes exist in the body behind the driver`s seat which suggest that this car was special ordered with the factory roll over hoop, although this seems to have been separated from the car sometime in the past.

Recently, the car was uncovered from nearly 30 years of storage in the San Francisco Bay Area. It was last registered for street use in 1979. Bristol expert Shawn Thomas was commissioned to go through the car and make it operable, and he replaced the brake hoses, rear wheel cylinders, clutch master and slave cylinders, and got the car running. A new battery was also installed. The car starts easily and run and drives, but will need a complete restoration which will include all of the cosmetics, and likely much of the mechanical components too.

The car has been resprayed many decades ago in white, and was originally red. The body is wavy in places, and likely carries more body filler than would be acceptable by today`s classic car restoration standards. The exterior of the car appears complete, with correct Lucas headlights, grille, bumperettes, window frame, and badges. The chrome is lightly pitted and weathered in many areas, but is straight.

The interior is also ready for restoration. The gauges, a mix of period Jaeger, Lucas, and Smiths units, are in rather good condition. The seats and door panel upholstery are the original material, which has been dyed from grey to black many years ago. They will prove helpful to have when making templates for the new upholstery if restored. The original steering wheel remains, and is in good condition. Like the exterior, the interior chrome is weathered in selected areas, but complete.

The engine compartment and underside are both unrestored and are not detailed, but are relatively correct in equipment. The frame is extremely straight and solid, and no signs of structural rust or repairs. This will make the restoration a much more simple undertaking. The car has an authentic look of a period racer which was parked throughout recent history and this is a unique attribute which restored cars cannot boast.

The trunk is also unrestored. With the car comes the spare wheel, tonneau cover, top material, and side windows, all of which are in `time warp` condition.

In this condition, and with its competition background, this car is a true one of a kind find. There are an ever increasing number of venues in which this AC Bristol could be used, such as the Le Mans Classic, California Mille, Monterey Historics, and Colorado Grand, among others. A well sorted mechanical package with independent suspension, Girling front disc brakes, and a very light curb weight, AC Bristol Roadsters have agile handling characteristics, and are a delight to drive. 

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Fantasy Junction +1 510 653 7555 Emeryville, California 94608 USA

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