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1958 AC Ace Bristol

Matching Numbers, Extensive History, Event Eligible, Extras.

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Exterior Color Dark Blue
Interior Color Black
Mileage 4740 Miles
Engine Inline 6-Cyl no. 100D2899
Transmission 4-Speed
Status Sold
Stock FJ1413


1958 AC Bristol Roadster
s/n BEX450
Dark Blue with Black Leather Interior

Frequently described as the more sophisticated older brother of the Cobra, the AC Ace, and later the AC Bristol are embodiments of the quintessential British sports car. Featuring a beautiful and elegant hand-formed aluminum body, the car weighs less than 2,000 pounds, making it a very lithe and sporting car to drive. Originally powered by a comparatively anemic 100hp AC powerplant, the car received the excellent ex-BMW triple carbureted overhead valve inline-6 for 1956, giving the car a level of power that was more in keeping with the capabilities of its excellent chassis. The cars were successful in competition, with examples competing at Le Mans in 1957 and 1958, while in the United States, the AC Bristol won the Sports Car Club of America’s E production class championship in 1957, 1958, and 1959. Just 466 examples were built with the Bristol power plant between 1956 and 1962, and when the supply of six-cylinder powerplants dried up, the Cobra was born, creating one of the most iconic and dominant sports cars of all time. Unlike the Cobra, however, the AC Bristol is eligible for the world’s most prestigious events, including the Le Mans Classic, Italian and California Mille Miglia, and the Monterey Historics, and others.

This particular car is a superbly prepared example that was originally fitted with a number of unusual and desirable competition features, as verified from multiple reputable registries, including that in The AC Bible. Delivered on the 28th of April 1958, this car was built with a D2 specification Bristol engine, disc brakes, roll bar, 1.75” diameter (as opposed to 1.5”) Le Mans header and side exhaust, parallel electric fuel pump with special fuel manifold, endurance number illumination, and original British oil cooler and temperature gage. The car comes with its original matching numbers motor, number 100D2819, which is crated and rebuilt, and is currently fitted with engine number 100D2899, which is also a recently rebuilt unit done about 3000 miles ago by Shawn Thomas. The numbers of all other components match, including the body hinges.

The car was originally sold in the United States to a Colonel A. B. Littleton, and the car is believed to have raced in period, as suggested by its competition equipment. Its early history is unknown, but it was raced by a Harry Warren of Fort Worth, Texas, from the late 1970’s until about 1989. It has a logbook back to 1983. The venues include Sebring, Road Atlanta, Watkins Glen, and Lime Rock. A conversation with Mr. Warren indicates that he won an SCCA vintage championship with this car during the 1980’s. The car then passed on to Syd Silverman, whose family owns the showbiz paper Variety. Under his ownership, the car continued to race at most major East Coast race tracks, in addition to Laguna Seca, when it competed at the Monterey Historics in 1993. The car saw substantial restorative work in 2006 and was used in several events since, including the Monterey Historics in 2007. The car was featured on page 88 of Alex Gabbard’s 1986 book Vintage and Historic Racing Cars, where it is described as one of 24 built for racing in 1958.

It is currently in substantially the same configuration as it would have originally raced in, aside from the fitment of a heavier duty roll bar that uses the factory roll bar mounting points (included with the car but not currently installed), fuel cell, plumbed in fire system, and external power cutoff. The car retains all standard road equipment, and includes full weather equipment as well, making this a great car to use on tours. This weather equipment includes restored side curtains with custom bag, restored canvas top and frame, and full tonneau cover. The car also comes with many other extras including several boxes of sundries, the aforementioned crated motor, a set of spare painted wire wheels, floor mats, and car cover.

The car has of course received much mechanical and cosmetic attention to ensure it is in top condition, both mechanically and cosmetically. In addition to the engine rebuild, the steering linkages have also been recently rebuilt. As part of the process, the front spindles, a known weak spot, were replaced with much stronger billet pieces. There are also many receipts, which indicate that the car was repainted and a new interior fitted, both in 2006. Countless other items relating to the sorting of the car have been performed within the last few years, including rebuilt carburetors, new fuel pump, servicing the electrical system (including ignition), fitting a new exhaust system, and many other odds and ends. The car has also had overdrive fitted, a new clutch master cylinder, and the fitment of Ohlins TTX shock absorbers with remote reservoirs!

At present, the car is in excellent cosmetic condition, with very high quality paint over straight panels. The gaps and fit are both very nice, and there are almost no blemishes whatsoever. Extremely close inspection reveals a handful of minute chips to the front and one small crack in the paint on the right door where it meets the cowl, but nothing beyond that. The chrome is very nice, showing the lightest of haze and pitting on the bumpers, and being nearly flawless elsewhere. The wheels are lovely chromed items fitted with difficult to find and period correct Michelin Xs that were sourced in the United Kingdom. These are supplemented by the painted wire wheels.

The interior is equally nice, with high quality leather on the dashboard, seats, and door panels, and lovely correct Smiths instrumentation. The driver’s seat shows light patina. The carpets are high quality wool in excellent order, and a custom pair of coco over mats was also procured. The wood steering wheel is excellent as well.

The engine compartment is very tidy and has a few functional upgrades to improve the car’s reliability for event use. This includes Aeroquip fittings and stainless lines, even for the fuel supply, electric cooling fan, and Optima battery. The engine and the engine bay are both extremely clean and make a very strong impression. The frame is impressively clean.

The trunk is quite spare but is well-prepared and clean. There is a provision to mount the spare wheel atop the fuel cell, including leather retaining strap. The underside is extremely clean, solid, and well-detailed.

This car is an absolutely superb example to drive. It has clearly been sorted to the highest level in a way that many cars fail to ever achieve. Every aspect of its operation has been carefully sorted to provide the utmost driving pleasure. The engine is strong, well-tuned, and powerful, the brakes are progressive and capable, the suspension tight and compliant, and the steering direct and precise. The transmission works properly and is highly satisfying, and details down to the alignment and orientation of the pedals are just so. This car has clearly been set up to work properly, as evidenced by its enthusiastic event use.

This is an absolutely unique chance to acquire one of the finest examples of this rare and desirable car that we have had the pleasure to encounter. A wonderful model to begin with, this example is further enhanced by its unique features, lovely condition, unparalleled level of preparation, event eligibility, and pleasurable driving experience. A conversation with organizers of prestigious events such as the California Mille has indicated that this car would be granted provisional acceptance, and so the new owner can expect the opportunity enjoy this car in a wide variety of events.


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

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