AC Aceca - Forerunner To The AC Cobra

AC Ace

The AC Ace was the convertible two-seater sports car produced in Britain in the 1950s. In 1954 AC introduced the AC Aceca - a coupe version of the convertible and one of the first hatchbacks on the market.

It was about the AC Ace that in the early sixties Carroll Shelby offered the idea of a V8 engined version to the Hurlock brothers, owners of AC Cars.

Both the Ace and the Aceca had the aged 2-litre four-cylinder engine and a four-speed gearbox. It never topped 90 bhp and performance was adequate rather than stunning. Shortly after production started AC started to install the Bristol 2-litre engine which had around 130bhp (power claims vary) and this has long being the preferred option for buyers.

The Aceca had the usual rock hard ride of sports car of the day, something which went by the name of a heater - as long as you didn't expect it to live up to that name in winter - and non existent soundproofing, so conversation over 70 mph was challenging.

There was another option but only for a lucky few who could afford them.

AC Aceca 2.6

Kevin Rudd of tuners Ruddspeed fitted the Ford six-cylinder 2.6-litre engine in to the Aceca and in a far more advanced state of tune than cars of the blue oval ever saw (apart from the works rally cars).

The car was fitted with the Raymond Mays ( a well know tuner of the day, both on Ford and Jaguar cars) aluminium cylinder head and triple Webber carburettors pushing the power up to 170 bhp, double the standard Ford output. Top speed was around 125 mph and I've not seen a 0-60 time for one but I would guess it should be close to 7.0 seconds, not to slow in the 1960s. In fact performance shouldn't be a million miles away from an E Type Jag, at least on acceleration if not quite on top speed.

The AC Aceca was produced from 1954 -1963 but production figures were a meagre 357 hand-built cars in that time.

The AC name has been in the news again lately with a German company getting the right to use the name on its Cobra replicas, which they seem to be calling the AC MKVI, perhaps they couldn't get the rights to the Cobra name as well.

AC Aceca Race Car

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