Hershey

9-10 October 2014

Offered from the collection of John Moir

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Lot 140

1958 AC Ace-Bristol

  • Chassis no. BEX 436
  • Engine no. 805 D2

Sold for $341,000


125 bhp, 1,971 cc D2-specification Bristol six-cylinder engine, four-speed manual gearbox with overdrive, independent front and rear suspension with transverse semi-elliptic leaf springs, and front disc and rear drum hydraulic brakes. Wheelbase: 90 in.

  • Offered from the collection of John Moir
  • A genuine, original Bristol-powered Ace with an original engine
  • Wonderfully evocative; a car to drive and enjoy
  • Includes the rare factory hardtop


The Ace, which was based on a sports racing car designed by John Tojeiro, was introduced at the London Motor Show in October 1953, and it remains the signature product of the AC marque. It was equipped with four-wheel independent suspension and sleek bodywork reminiscent of contemporary Ferrari Barchettas, and it garnered praise from magazine testers, including John Bolster of Autosport, who wrote, “The machine does all the right things all the time.” He continued with “no emergency or advanced driving technique will ever catch it on the wrong foot.”

In 1956, the highly regarded 1,971-cubic centimeter Bristol six became available, upgrading the standard Ace to Ace-Bristol specification. This state-of-the-art power unit initially produced 103 horsepower, which rose to 125 in its ultimate D2 specification, and it could trace its origins to BMW’s advanced pre-war 328 design, which helped make it successful in racing well into the 1960s.

Bristol-powered Aces were brilliant in competition, winning three successive SCCA E-Production Championships between 1957 and 1959, followed by two D-Production Championships in 1960 and 1961. The Ace-Bristol also scored very well at Le Mans, where it finished 2nd in class in 1957 and 1958 and achieved a sterling class victory and 7th overall in 1959. This performance no doubt left an impression on overall 1959 Le Mans champion Carroll Shelby, who later created his 289 and 427 Shelby Cobra derivatives of the classic Ace.

According to Mr. Moir, his original D2-powered Ace-Bristol “was sold originally to a Mr. Gold, of Canada, and it was equipped with all of the available bells and whistles. Mr. Gold passed away, and his widow had a disagreement with a hedge in the car, so she sold it. Kirk F. White, then of Wayne, Pennsylvania, acquired the car after several intervening owners, one of whom had painted the car a dark, dark blue.” Mr. Moir acquired the car from Mr. White in 1988, and it has remained in the collection ever since. The car’s paint and interior are best described as driver-quality and well-kept but lightly aged. It has been run fairly recently, and it is expected to be in good running order at the time of sale.

In a world of over-restored Ace-Bristols, it is wonderful to find one in such charming, enjoyable condition. Its new owner can enjoy running it as its manufacturer intended…one hopes, avoiding the hedges.

Addendum

Please note that contrary to the print catalogue, the engine number of this car is 100 D2.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more