As you may know, the original Shelby Cobra was actually an Ac Ace on steroids, after Carrol Shelby dropped a massive V8 under its bonnet, but AC constructed much rarer cars. Like this Aceca model.
Introduced at the 1954 London Motor Show, the Aceca was based on AC’s two-seater, but it was more than an Ace with a roof.
The Aceca was manufactured to be a sophisticated, elegant Gran Tourer, focusing on passenger comfort with various improvements over its al fresco sibling. It utilized sound-absorbing fiberglass and had rubber bushings on the chassis-mounted rear differential.
Hand-built from aluminum on a tube frame chassis, the model was initially powered by an in-house 2.0-litre inline-six, developing 90 hp. However, from 1956 AC began offering an Aceca-Bristol variant – powered by pre-war BMW-inspired, 2.0-litre Bristol engines that were available in both 105 and 120 HP tune.
Only 151 regular models have been hand-built between 1954 and 1963, and another 196 Aceca-Bristols from 1956 to 1963. In total, the company manufactured 328 models, 8 of which were sold as the Aceca 2.6 and were animated by 2553 cc tuned Ford Zephyr engines.
The example in Matt Farah’s latest video is a truly outstanding gem, but it’s governed by some interesting… discrepancies. According to the owner, the 1958 model still has the original paint, and it’s the last car AC painted “before going out of business”. Petrol crises and world events led to the bankruptcy of AC in the late seventies.
Moreover, it’s said that the engine in the car – which develops 150 hp – comes from a pre-war BMW 328, but that’s a stretch, especially considering it’s actually a Bristol-built copy of BMW’s variant. It also says it’s a Bristol on the badge. And no, it’s definitely not a swap, considering that an original 328 goes for double the price (or even more) of an Aceca.
But you’ll find more about the model in the video down below from a person that uses it as a daily driver.