Hershey

9-10 October 2014

Offered from the collection of John Moir

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Lot 139

1958 AC Aceca-Bristol

  • Chassis no. BEX 678
  • Engine no. 859 D2

Sold for $214,500


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
  • The rarest Bristol-powered AC variant; one of 169 built
  • Formerly owned by Peter Winston and Tom Hickey
  • Believed to be only three owners from new; original engine
  • Well known and respected in New England British sports car circles


At the 1954 London Motor Show, AC debuted the Aceca, an attractive closed variant of their popular Ace Roadster. As would be expected from a coupe, the new model had a greater degree of refinement and sophistication, and passenger comfort was made a design priority. The chassis-mounted rear differential utilized rubber bushings, which reduced the amount of noise, vibration, and harshness transferred from the road to the car’s interior. In addition, the hand-built aluminum bodywork now included a bulkhead of sound-absorbing fiberglass between the engine and the passenger compartment. Nonetheless, this was no “softie,” and with fully independent suspension and a six-cylinder engine, the Aceca provided remarkable handling and spirited performance.

This was never truer than in the Aceca-Bristol, a new special model that was made available beginning in 1956. The Aceca-Bristol was powered by a 1,971-cubic centimeter, six-cylinder Bristol engine, which was based on the famous pre-war BMW 328 mill that had hemispherical combustion chambers and an inclined valve train. Its greater performance unlocked the true potential of the chassis beneath, and the Aceca-Bristol would be a powerhouse in competition, as well as a favorite of period road tests, many of which noted that most amateur drivers would run out of skill before approaching the Aceca-Bristol’s own limits.

The Aceca-Bristol offered here has its original Bristol engine, the number of which matches the car’s original firewall tag. According to Mr. Moir, the car’s original owner was Peter Winston, the son of renowned New York City jeweler Harry Winston. Young Mr. Winston had used the car as an everyday driver in Manhattan for some years, after which he sold it through an acquaintance to Tom Hickey, a well-known motorcycle and sports car racer from Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Mr. Hickey proceeded to send the Aceca-Bristol back to AC Cars in Thames-Ditton, where it was totally refurbished to its original condition by the factory that had built it new! Upon its return stateside, the proud owner displayed the car at various New England sports car events, where it was very popular and became well known as one of the finest Aceca-Bristols in the world. Only when Mr. Hickey was stricken with a tragic illness did he sell his pet to perhaps the most avid of its many admirers, John Moir. It has remained a great favorite in the Moir Collection ever since.

The last three decades have left the car with a wonderful, rich “patina,” a term often overused but well applied here. The red leather interior has softened and been broken-in gently, and it is as comfortable as it appears. The dashboard instruments and interior trim are still in beautiful condition throughout, and the black finish, which has only the lightest of wear, is still in good condition; it will polish out well for local shows or continued driving. Overall, the car is best described as resembling what a well-kept, gently driven Aceca-Bristol would have looked like in 1968.

Even today, many New England sports car enthusiasts have fond memories of the gentlemanly Tom Hickey and his outstanding Aceca-Bristol. It has not been offered for public sale in decades, marking its availability here a rare opportunity to purchase the car and begin driving it enthusiastically, in the tradition of its three loving caretakers.

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