Awesome AC from 1963 all aluminum with a cobra mill
According to the AC registry in Europe AEX 198 was originally an AC-engined Ace that left the factory in August 1956. It was white in color with green leather and carpets. It was an East Coast car, imported by AC Imports, Arlington, Va. In the early 60′s the car was upgraded to a Ford high performance 289 V8 engine and 4 speed manual transmission similar to the Carroll Shelby modified AC cars of the day. The car was prepared for the engine transplant by upgrading the suspension front and rear with MG and Jaguar components of the era to include disc brakes all around and the inboard disc brake Jag rear end set up which works well in this type of horsepower upgrade. It received modified flares to accept the much larger pin drive Halibrand knock off wheels and the needed wider high performance tires. The completed car was then titled as a 1963 AC roadster to reflect these changes. This is an outstanding authentic aluminum bodied AC and is really well done in the same spirit as the Shelby Cobras we all see for figures at or above half a million dollars. This is your opportunity to buy a real AC with an authentic AC built aluminum body and powered by a strong running Ford 289 high performance engine at a significant savings. It is an awesome looking and great driving AC with the looks of a road racing Cobra for a fraction of the price of Shelby built cars.
AC came back to the market after the Second World War with the staid Two-litre range of cars in 1947, but it was with the Ace sports car of 1953 that the company really made its reputation in the post war years. Casting around for a replacement for the ageing Two litre, AC took up a design by John Tojeiro that used a light ladder type tubular frame, all independent transverse leaf spring suspension, and an open two seater alloy body that was made using English wheeling machines, possibly inspired by the Ferrari Barchetta of the day.
Early cars used AC’s elderly two litre, overhead cam, 100 bhp (70 kW), straight six engine (first seen soon after the end of the First World War) which gave a top speed of 102 mph (164 km/h) and 0-60 mph (96 km/h) in 13 seconds. It was hardly a sporting engine, however, and it was felt that something more modern and powerful was required to put the modern chassis to good use. Thus, from 1956, there was the option of Bristol Cars’ two litre 120 bhp (89 kW) straight six engine with 3 downdraught carburettors and slick four speed gearbox. Top speed leapt to 116 mph (186 km/h) with 0-60 (96 km/h) in the nine second bracket, and response was much sweeter and modern. This was replaced in 1962 with the 2.6 litre Ken Rudd ‘Ruddspeed’ engine, adapted from that used in the Ford Zephyr. It used 3 Weber or SU carburettors and either a ‘Mays’ or iron cast head. This set up boosted the car’s performance further, but it was not long before Carroll Shelby drew AC’s attention to the Cobra, so only 37 were made.
In the final years of production, some Ace models were fitted with the MKII Ford Zephyr 2.6 litre straight-6 engine. These Ford engined models had a smaller grille which was carried over to the Cobra.
Overdrive was available from 1956 and front disc brakes were an option from 1957, although they were later standardised. With the engine set well back in the chassis, the Ace handled well and was successful in competition.
Joining the Ace in 1954 was the Aceca hard top coupé, which had an early form of hatchback rear door but used the same basic timber framed alloy body.