Car is original throughout, completely restored. Concours winner. 6 cylinder ACE CL engine, 3 - 1¼ SU H2 carbs, original exhaust manifold.
AC built 351 Aceca's between 1955 and 1963. 171 cars came with the 2 liter ACE engine, the remainder with the 2 liter Bristol engine. They have all aluminum bodywork and a curb weight of about 1650 lbs. The Aceca and its sister, the Ace open roadster, were the first “production” cars with 4 wheel independent suspension. They were hand built for enthusiasts who wished for a fast touring/racing car in the under 2 liter class. The cars handled extremely well, becoming top runners in their racing class. Bristol ceased supplying engines in 1962. Carol Shelby got the bright idea of fitting an overhead valve Ford V8 engine, combining the excellent handling with a lot of power. The result was the open car that became the legendary AC Ford Cobra. Because of the success of the Cobra and the easy engine conversion, many AC Aces and Aceca's were converted to Cobra-like cars. Few remain in original trim.
This example, AEX 675 (AE = ACE engine; X = export (left hand drive)), was 1 of 28 export cars built in 1958. It is original except for the 1961 Sunbeam Alpine cross flow radiator and swirl pot fitted to the cooling system, to reduce overheating problems during the American summers. Seller has the original radiator.An overflow/coolant recovery tank was also added.
The engine and gearbox were removed and the chassis/body degreased before painting. There was no crash damage. Due to its years in dry storage, there was no electrolytic damage between the steel frame and the aluminum body. The doors were rebuilt with internal turnbuckles to combat the sag and improve fit. The car was painted with a maroon pearl metallic by Jeff Deutch at JMD Restorations. Leather seats, wool carpets and a new head liner were fitted by Jim Riddle at Gladstone Auto Trim. The knock-off wire wheels were sandblasted and painted and 5 new Michelin ZX tires were fitted. A new plexiglass rear windscreen was obtained from the AC Owners Club and fitted .
The carbs were rebuilt with new gaskets and needle check valves. New exhaust manifolds were obtained from the Club and Jet-Hot ceramic coated. A set of stainless steel exhaust pipes were fabricated by Greg Welch of Welch Fabrications. The electric stating carburetor was rebuilt and a set of original air cleaners were found. The radiator was rebuilt by Orr Radiator, and was fitted with a Spal electric cooling fan and adjustable thermostat.
All hydraulic brake cylinders were rebuilt with bronze-silicone liners by Apple Hydraulics. Brake shoes were relined and radiused into the Alfin drums by Caspar Brake and Clutch, who also rebuilt the clutch and pressure plates. The ACE engine was found to have adequate compression. Main and rod end bearings were within specs as determined by Plasitgauge and the engine was refitted. A new oil pump was supplied by Rod Briggs.
The Aceca is a true joy to drive. At 1650 lbs the 95 hp engine and Alfin brakes are quite up to modern traffic. The car corners exceptionally well, as would be expected of the pre-Cobra. Running on period-correct Michelin X tires, it drifts easily and controllably. New wide tires would increase cornering speeds if desired.
The car received a complete restoration . Removal of the body from the frame was not necessary since there was no electrolytic damage, All wood trim was removed and refinished. The rotten wood in the right door was strengthened with “Gorilla hair” type bondo and reshaped to original. Screen-door type turnbuckles were fitted to reverse the sag in the doors, which now fit quite well. Connelly leather hides and Woolton wool carpets complete the interior trim.