The AC Aceca was a closed coupe grand tourer available from 1954 to 1963. It was produced by the Thames Ditton, England-based AC Cars. Only 328 units of the AC Aceca were manufactured.
AC Aceca Design and Ace Comparisons
The design of the front-end styling has been rumored to be based off of the Ferrari Barchetta of the day, as well as the Pinin Farina models done for AC Cars late 1940s. Although very similar vehicles, the Aceca sets itself apart from the AC Ace with a hard-top coupe design used in the Aceca compared to the Ace’s open-top roadster look. Like its roadster Ace companion, the Aceca used a lightweight tubular frame platform with an aluminum engine black and rolled body panels. The weight distribution was close to 50% front and 50% rear, making it ideal for cornering and overall performance. It had a 90 inch (2,286 mm) wheelbase with overall length of 153.5 inches (3,899 mm). The width comes in at just 61 inches (1,549 mm). But perhaps most impressively, the curb weight is just 2,120 lbs (962 kg), showing off how it was able to be such a fun ride with a relatively small engine.
First made with AC’s own 2.0L straight-6 engine with an overhead camshaft and somewhat lackluster performance. It produced 90 horsepower and was paired to a 4-speed manual transmission. Eventually, an engine from Bristol Cars was used in the Aceca leading to the AC Aceca-Bristol variant. This was also a 2.0L straight-6 design, but was capable of producing 125 horsepower. This was known as the Aceca Bristol “D-Type”. This was based on a German design from prewar BMW, featuring hemi-shaped heads and three Soles downdraft carburetors. The carbs were bolted directly to the cylinder head with adaptor plates. A third engine option was also available, known as the “B-type” Aceca-Bristol with midrange performance, tuned to achieve 105 horsepower. Although both of the Bristol engines featured a cast iron block, the increased performance was worth the weight changes. In the future, the Aceca-Bristol variants would be the hottest version of the vehicle, while the less-powerful AC-engine variant was still a classic English coupe worth its weight in the right hands.
Features and Options
The AC Aceca had 16” spoked wheels, transverse leaf spring suspension, and an optional overdrive on gears 2 through 4. The leather bucket seats enveloped the driver and passenger, providing support through the curves. It featured front-wheel disc brakes in 1957, showing how it was geared toward performance and could tackle the long straights of any race track with enthusiasm before braking hard to handle the turns. The AC Aceca became well-known in the racing community, just like its earlier sibling the AC Ace.
Eventually, the Cobra would come in to replace both the AC Aceca and the AC Ace. Carroll Shelby’s influence was just around the corner, and while he focused on squeezing a giant Ford V-8 engine into the Ace’s lightweight frame, it is sure that this decision had a large impact on the future of the Aceca as well. In today’s auction world, the AC Aceca is showing signs of rising prices. As one would expect from cars of this era, many coming across the auction block have been fully restored, sometimes with improved engine design and interior comfort. If the Aceca is the version with AC’s in-house engine option, the price has been hitting between $99,000 and $132,000 in recent history. But if the Bristol engine variant is up for sale, those prices jump dramatically. Multiple models have gone for over $250,000 recently, with one hitting $286,000 featuring a comprehensive restoration that met the concours standard.