Based on the racing car, the Ace-Bristol-AC was first designed by John Tojeiro. It was introduced in the London Motor show around 1953. Till date this car stays to be the signature product in the AC marquee models. What made the public interested was its super cool sleek bodywork. Just imagine the contemporary Ferrari Barchetta and compare it with this convertible cars model. Besides its independent suspension four-wheel system garnered ample praise from the magazine testers.
Timeline of the Ace Bristol Convertible:
So, around this time the Ace-Bristol-AC upgraded its standards with its state-of-the-art power unit. In the beginning the unit used to produce 103 horsepower. The manufacturers pushed the limits to 125 horsepower. When one takes a close look at its D2 specification, he could easily trace the BMW’s pre-war 328 design origins to this model. This model actually was popular till 1960’s because it got the speed of a racing car.
Bristol-powered Aces made amazing performances in the competition. In fact this model won 3 successive championships around 1957 to 1959. It even won 2 D-Production championships in the following years 1960 and 1961. There were several other competitions like Le Mans Championship that this model left a lasting impression on the people.
This model had notable racing provenance. The most like part of this convertible was its rare curved windscreen. There were front disc brakes for perfect grip and safety. When it came to general audience they were more than joyous to experience the engine that was once only exclusive to the sporting cars but now was in the regular convertible.
From 1956 there were around 220 cars manufactured with the definitive Bristol engine of 120 horsepower. As per the nature of the use and demand around 1957, gave serious competition to Jaguar XK 120, Porsche 356 Speedster, Austin Healey etc.
It was in the 1961, AC charged the engine once again and remodeled it 2553cc Zepher unit. There were only 46 models that were built with this frame.
What made this Ace- Bristol-AC popular?
The power-plant in the Ace-Bristol was light. Most importantly it had tubular chasis under its elegant body that was specifically handcrafted for it. After winning several race championships, it firmly stepped into the markets for the mass use. First distinctive step was to offer 2.0 Litre, six-cylinder engine.
Gradual improvements in the designs and the engines were incorporated after studying the buyer preferences. Due to its lightweight and amazing horsepower, this car became a huge hit amongst the people.
The most interesting part was that all of this models were built keeping mind the British market. While the classic design stayed almost on the same lines throughout, there were changes in wheels, tyres, engine etc. When one talks of performance and appearance in the world of convertibles, it has to be the Ace-Bristol-AC.
If you have to get hold of this classic model, in a world of over-restored Ace-Bristols, you will be indeed lucky.