1959 AC Ace Bristol

This 1959 AC Ace-Bristol is the recent recipient of a complete, concours restoration that focused on driving performance and included the addition of a period-correct Laycock electric overdrive.  Located in Costa Mesa, California, and still wearing special plates from its recent Colorado Grand participation, this award-winning Ace is listed here on eBay in Costa Mesa, California with a Buy It Now price of $325,000.

John Tojiero’s light, independently-sprung English roadster, the Ace, was so well-conceived that slightly different revisions of the design earned race wins from the model’s introduction in 1951 through the Cobra’s successes of the mid-sixties.  A feat even more impressive considering the chassis was generally underpowered until the arrival of more powerful Bristol engine in 1956.  So well balanced and capable was the roadster that cars from other manufacturers boasting far greater horsepower were routinely bested by the little aluminum-bodied cars from Surrey.

The next owner of this particular Ace need not worry about any lack of power as this car retains it original and strong Bristol engine.  Rated in-period between 103-125hp, this Bristol 2 liter straight six no doubt produces much more after a careful rebuild that included all new bearings, pistons, valves and a 0.020 overbore.  This, coupled with the four-speed transmission and electric overdrive promises spirited acceleration and comfortable highway cruising.

Visually, the Bristol engine appears as good or better than new with new paint, plating, and period-correct brass fuel lines.  Just as interesting are the three-into-one headers with a crossover pipe in the collectors.  Inside, the interior presents as well as the engine compartment with all appropriate hardware in place and all surfaces restored as new.  Finally, the bodywork is in impeccable condition with tight panel gaps, smooth panels and fresh paint.

Light, fast, and hand built in England with English components, this Ace-Bristol is a piece of Anglo history that will embarrass cars of far larger horsepower and price.  A fun point to prove on track, this, but one likely forgotten when the weather is fine and the roads are clear.


  1. This is the car that started it all. Shelby’s slab sides were years later. Thank god Toj was inspired by that 166 Ferrari…

Leave a Comment