1959 AC Ace-Bristol:  Ancestor of the legendary Cobra

1959 AC Ace-Bristol:  Ancestor of the legendary Cobra

Engine Inline 6 Horsepower 105 HP (77.28 KW) @ 4750 RPMTorque 123 Ft-Lbs (167 NM) @ 3750 RPM Engine Location Front Drive Type RWD Weight 1680 lbs | 762.035 kg Transmission 4-speed manual

The Ace-Bristol was well-regarded for its handling, performance, and overall driving experience. It was considered one of the best-handling roadsters of its time and was highly prized by sports vehicle enthusiasts.

Source: Henderson Fellowes

The Ace-Bristol had a sleek, aerodynamic body that was considered modern and attractive at the time. The model had an excellent performance compared to the standard inline-four engine used in the AC Ace previous automobiles. This allowed the Ace-Bristol to achieve higher speeds and better acceleration, making it a very desirable automobile for sports-driving fans. The automobile also featured excellent handling as it was designed with a lightweight aluminum body and a well-engineered suspension system, which gave it excellent road-holding and handling characteristics. Sporty and attractive-looking it was admired for its sleek design and powerful performance. 

The origins

Source: Ruote Vecchie

The AC Ace-Bristol was created by the British company AC Cars. It had been producing an Ace model since 1953, which was a two-seat roadster powered by a small, inline six-cylinder engine. In the mid-1950s, the company began to look for a more powerful engine to replace the original one. In 1956, the AC agreed with the Bristol Aeroplane Company to use their 2.0-liter straight-six engine in their automobile. The Bristol engine provided the Ace with much more power and performance than the original engine, and the new roadster received a new name featuring the company that provided this engine. The new updated version became a highly sought-after vehicle, particularly in the US, where it gained a reputation as a reliable and fast racing roadster. The company managed to sell many Bristol-powered vehicles to American customers, as well as to take part in various renowned race competitions in the United States. It was produced until 1963 when the company stopped production due to financial difficulties. This, however, didn’t stop it from having a lasting impact on the racing world. Moreover, it served as the foundation for the legendary AC Cobra. More particularly, in 1962 American racer and auto enthusiast, Carroll Shelby, purchased Ace-Bristols and fitted them with Ford V8 engines, and named it the Cobra, which became extremely successful on the race tracks. This was the beginning of a new chapter in the legacy of Ace-Bristol.

The 1959 model year

Source: Bonhams

Powered by a 2.0-liter inline 6 engine and paired with a 4-speed manual transmission with synchromesh on the top three gears, this automobile had an overhead valve configuration and featured twin SU carburetors and a high-performance cylinder head. In addition, it was equipped with a live rear axle and independent front suspension with coil springs and wishbones. The 1959 roadster also featured front disc brakes and rear drum brakes. The 1959 edition was a high-performance sports car that was able to reach a top speed of around 110 mph and accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in around 8 seconds, thanks to its powerful 2.0-liter inline 6 engine and its aerodynamic design. The open two-seat cockpit design and sleek bodywork of the automobile contributed to its sporty and attractive appearance, while its aerodynamic design helped to reduce drag and improve the car’s overall performance. Additionally, the model’s independent front suspension and disc brakes on the front wheels added to the car’s handling capabilities and further enhanced its performance. The model was produced from 1956 to 1963, and only around 400 Bristol-engined AC Ace vehicles were built during that period. Due to its limited production and the model’s high-performance characteristics, the car remains quite rare today and is highly sought after by collectors.

Did you know?

Source: Arcurial

The automobile was powered by a 2.0-liter Bristol engine, which provided it with good performance and handling. The engine was developed by the Bristol Aeroplane Company, which was known for building aircraft engines during World War II. This high-performance roadster was also used in competition with success. Owned and driven by David Piper, it set a new lap record at the Nürburgring in 1959.

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1959 AC Ace-Bristol:  Ancestor of the legendary Cobra

Engine Inline 6 Horsepower 105 HP (77.28 KW) @ 4750 RPMTorque 123 Ft-Lbs (167 NM) @ 3750 RPM Engine Location Front Drive Type RWD Weight 1680 lbs | 762.035 kg Transmission 4-speed manual

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