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Chassis no. AE71 - Engine no. UMC2137M
Categories: L- Limited edition cars (no. 223 manufactured)
Owner: Private Collection
It is one the 223 AC Ace fitted with AC engine.
Introduced at the October 1953 Motor Show, the AC Ace was essentially a reworked version of 'LOY 500' the handsome John Tojeiro designed sports racer with which motor trader Cliff Davis had notched up six wins and four seconds that season (in addition to placing ninth overall at the Goodwood Nine-Hours). Lured into collaboration with the Thames Ditton manufacturer by the promise of a £5 per car royalty fee (capped at £500), Tojeiro ensured that the new model's ladder-framed tubular chassis enjoyed the same handling prowess as its competition forebear by equipping it with all-round independent transverse-leaf suspension. Styled after 'LOY 500' (itself a homage to the Carrozeria Touring clad Ferrari 166 MM Barchettas), the Ace was arguably even more handsome.

With Ernie Bailey as the initial intermediary, Vin Davison's Tojeiro was taken down to Thames Ditton to show to the Hurlocks brothers (the owners of AC cars ltd) and to be assessed by the likes of Marczewski, Sidney and Jock Henderson. Opinions were divided, but there was something about the scruffy little sports racer, let alone the way it went. The ultimate decision lay with William Hurlock, his son Derek and uncle Charles, and history does not record how long these three took to reach one, but it was not long. Davison himself was enrolled as a development engineer at the factory. The production version, however, showed the hand of longtime AC designer Alan Turner and the Aluminium Body was designed and built by Eric George Gray. The Barchetta influence was still visible, but the front end, in particular, was no longer a slavish copy. Not surprisingly, Tojeiro's chassis was relatively simple, with two main tubular rails supporting the differential and racing-derived rack-and pinion steering, transverse leaf spring and lower wishbone suspension, while the bodywork hung on a tube steel subframe. The low-slung body demonstrated excellent handling and was not equipped with anti-roll bar. It had a top speed of about 105 mph.

Entering production in 1954, the aluminium bodied two-seater was initially powered by AC's own 1991cc straight-six engine. The work of John Weller (the founder of the company), the alloy intensive SOHC unit was fed by triple SU carburettors and produced some 85bhp; an output that compared well with the 90bhp claimed for the contemporary Big Healey's 2660cc four-cylinder lump.

Although, overshadowed in performance terms by its later Bristol and Ford powered siblings, the AC engined Ace was deemed a seriously quick car upon launch. Finding it capable of 103mph, Motor magazine also judged the Thames Ditton machine to be the fastest accelerating sub 3-litre car they had yet encountered. However, it was the model's handling prowess rather than its straight-line speed that encouraged early owners to go racing. The first of the line and the derivative which used the fewest proprietary components, the AC engined Ace remained in production until 1961 by which time some 191 are thought to have been sold.

Chassis AE 71 was delived to its first owner A P Jones on May 3, 1955 in black color/green interior and was registered to its subsequent keeper, Derrick Morris Esq of Chapel-en-le-Frith, on 15th March 1973. The AC engined Ace has been manufactured in only 223 examples.
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history - owners & events
17th April 2010
Franciacorta Historic
| Castrezzato (BS) | Italy
driver: Alessandro Franzi
co-driver: Etter Federica
entry number: 42
17th September 2010 - 19th September 2010
Gran Premio Nuvolari
| Mantova (MN) | Italy
driver: Alessandro Franzi
entry number: 154
25th September 2010 - 26th September 2010
Trofeo Aido Monica Giovanelli
| Gardone Val Trompia | Italy
driver: Franzi Alessandro
co-driver: Etter Federica Franzi
entry number: 70
10th October 2010
Campagne e Cascine
| Cremona (cr) | Italy
driver: Alessandro Franzi
co-driver: Federica Etter
entry number: 139
10th March 2011 - 13th March 2011
Coppa Milano-Sanremo
| Milano (MI) | Italy
driver: Alessandro Franzi
co-driver: Federica Etter
entry number: 126
11th May 2011 - 14th May 2011
Mille Miglia
| Brescia - Roma - Brescia | Italy
driver: Alessandro Franzi
co-driver: Federica Etter
entry number: 224
18th June 2011 - 19th July 2011
Le mitiche sport a Bassano
| Bassano Del Grappa | Italy
driver: Alessandro Franzi
co-driver: Federica Franzi
entry number: 84
15th September 2011 - 18th September 2011
Gran Premio Nuvolari
| Mantova (MN) | Italy
driver: Alessandro Franzi
co-driver: Etter Federica
entry number: 149
9th October 2011
Campagne e Cascine
| Cremona | Italy
driver: Alessandro Franzi
co-driver: Federica Etter
entry number: 109

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