AC Ace Roadster
Like all British manufacturers, AC struggled after the war with its product line that consisted of visually freshened designs on chassis carried over from before. The company, small and strapped for cash, faced imminent ruin but recognized its salvation in a one-off racer built in 1953 by Vincent Davison on a simple chassis designed by John Tojeiro. The frame consisted of a pair of closely spaced three-inch diameter tubes with a single cross member and four-wheel independent suspension using transverse leaf springs. Its simplicity was perfectly suited to AC’s artisan construction techniques, and a prototype was quickly built for the 1954 London Motor Show. AC called it the Ace.
Not only lightweight and nimble on its four-wheel independent suspension, the Ace was graced with a simple yet attractive body recalling a Touring-bodied Ferrari Barchetta. Utilizing Superleggera-style techniques, a framework of five tubes was constructed, supporting a hand built and welded aluminum skin. Weight is the enemy of performance, but with the venerable aluminum block AC engine, the Ace weighed well under 2,000 pounds, giving the much developed six little opposition in its class.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in January of 2010 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, Phoenix, Arizona.
102 hp, 1,991 cc single overhead camshaft inline six-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission with overdrive, four-wheel independent suspension, front disc, rear drum brakes. Wheelbase: 90"
Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel