In 1953, A.C. introduced a new sports car that would eventually change the company's fortunes. It had a very modern design courtesy of John Tojiero, with open two-seater coachwork, an aluminum-alloy body, and built atop a lightweight tubular chassis that had a fully independent suspension and powered by a six-cylinder engine. Three years later, a 'Bristol' version was introduced which gave the car even more performance. It included three carburetors, optional front-disc brakes and a four-speed gearbox. The engine was placed farther back in the chassis to enhance the Ace's handling.
The 'Bristol' became a popular car in the racing community, even making appearances at LeMans in 1957 and 1958. The Ace would continue to evolve over the years, eventually becoming the basis for Carroll Shelby's Cobra.
This 1957 A.C. Ace 'Bristol' was shipped from the A.C. factory in Thames ditton to Los Angeles importers in 1957. It has remained in California its entire life. The car was originally an Ace and later upgraded to full 'Bristol' specifications including the correct type 100D2 engine.
In 1969 and 1970, the cars owner, Mr. Ashenfelter, showed the car at Pebble Beach where it received class awards on both occasions. Ownership changed in the mid-1980s to Mr. Sharp of Glendale. While in Mr. Sharp's care, the engine was removed and placed in another of his cars. The car was sold in 1993 and treated to a complete restoration. During the restoration, the car was upgraded to 'Bristol' specifications, which included the 100 D2 spec engine and drivetrain, a larger capacity radiator, differential, and front disc brakes.
Since the restoration, the car has traveled a mere 200 miles. It is currently fitted with chrome wire wheels with stainless steel spokes, and 185/16 Pirelli Cinturato tires. The exterior is bright-red over a black Bridge of Weir leather interior with Wilton carpeting. There is a black soft-top, full tonneau and Plexiglas side curtains.
In 2007, it was brought to the Gooding & Company Auction held in Pebble Beach, California where it was estimated to sell for $130,000 - $160,000. Those estimates proved accurate as the lot was sold for $154,000 including buyer's premium.Also photographed at :