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1955 AC Aceca Bristol

Posted in Specialist cars


First of three pre-prototype Aceca, Millie Miglia Eligible

Technical info

Engine 2.0
Transmission manual
Brakes drums

Full description

No two cars are the same – each one is an individual. We are attracted because of individuality provenance and facts. This pre-production model AC Aceca stands out from the crowd of individuals and I expect it will attract early attention.
Completed by the Thames Ditton works in December 1955 with chassis number BE546, and Surrey issue registration number YPK60, and she still retains that registration and original factory red leather interior, painted silver as per factory records.
From day one she led a full and active life. Her first registered owner was Bob Gibson Jarvis Managing Director of UDT Laystall. They were the motorsport sponsor for AC at this time, and YPK60 formed part of their sponsorship package, although remaining at the factory until late 1957. in June of 1957 Bristol engine number 100D681 was delivered to AC and fitted to BE546 chassis.
In October 1957 YPK60 was then displayed by AC at the Earl Court motor show, standing behind a bare chassis featuring the new Bristol engine option. YPK60 was the poster child for this new engine-chassis combination.
It seems likely that at the motor show YPK60 found a new owner - one who resided in Massachusetts; even the ignition key carries ‘made in the USA’, and the car resided there for several years, returning to the UK in 1963.
In July 2020 the car was found in the deceased estate of Martin Shaw and was purchased as one of a pair to obtain an Ace.
In 2021, our client secured this pre-production Bristol Aceca. It would be his entry for YPK60 in the “greatest race in the world”-  the Millie Miglia.  Supported by Woodham and Mortimer, but sadly on the third evening the car failed, and they were stranded by their support crew untimely failing to finish the event. 
With unfinished business, the 2022 event by contrast was a resounding success. Then other major events followed, including being displayed at Hampton Court concourse for the late Queens 95th Birthday display. Each event has been a real highlight for the owner, and with two sons each now in possession of a Chopard watch, it’s time for the vendor to allow the next custodian to make their own lifelong memories. YPK60 has Millie Miglia registration status giving automatic entry to the event upon application until 2027. 
Full ownership history and other interesting exploits.
1963-66 the car returned to the UK from America and was owned by David Merrington a chemical engineer, who undertook a full suspension overhaul, body refurbishment and re-paint along with a re-wire, all assisted by the factory at Thames Ditton. During the work David befriended AC factory manager Jock Henderson. Jock recounted the car’s early life. Once these works were completed David entered and competed in sprints at Brands Hatch and Silverstone, along with hill climbs during 1964 season, as well as European road trips. The vendor recalls spending an enjoyable time with David re-telling these exploits, David sold YPK60 in 1966 shortly after his marriage.  
1966-68 Bruce McIntosh acquired YPK60 from Bobby Bell one half of the Surrey dealer Bell & Colvill. Bruce at that time was working for coach builder Fantuzzi, whilst with them original Bristol engine failed and his employer, offered a new Lancia B20 2 litre V6, which was fitted in just two weekends!
On one trip to the UK whilst at Silverstone Bruce bumped into Dennis Jenkinson, who told him that his car YPK60 had been displayed on the AC stand at the 1957 Earls Court motor show. Bruce went on to be chief race engineer at Serenissima, then holding the same position at Alfa Romeo Brabham, where he worked with Gordon Murry eventually joining the McLaren F1 road car project in later life.
From 1968 to 86 there were three further owners, the first purchased YPK60 whilst heading back from Switzerland. He had always wanted a Lancia B20, which was beyond his means. At £575 the AC-Lancia, as it was known was the perfect compromise. In many ways a better option. In the 1970 the next owner fitted the overdrive. Finally, in 1977 John Parker a well-known and respected AC expert acquired YPK60, returning her to 1957 specification with Bristol engine, refurbishing the body along with mechanicals, finally repainting her Silver.
In 2001 YPK60 entered the hands of her longest custodian, of 19 years Martin Shaw. In 2006 Martin sent YPK60 to Nottingham based In Racing for full D2 specification rebuild, opting for a Bristol Sport Camshaft resulting in a very tractable road car with 128bhp. Martin enjoyed the car regularly alongside his Ace Bristol until in 2020.
Preparation for the MM
Included replacing rubber water hoses, and rebuilding the water pump.
Re-bushing the suspension with bronze bushes.
Same for the shock absorbers.
New MWS wheels.
New Michelin X tyres
Replacement clutch and wheel cylinders.
Fitting of electric fan.
A number of old MOTs the first dated September 1987 showing 13470 miles, to present day reading of 48688; assuming the milage was zeroed in 1977 that’s just a little over 1000 miles per year..

Tom Hardman Limited

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