Tuesday, 28 August 2018

1957 AC ACE - Houtkamp Collection Netherlands


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Houtkamp Collection
Telephone: 0031 625 098150     
Website:  http://www.ClassicCarHolland.eu 

1957 AC ACE
  • Mille Miglia Eligible
  • A Remarkably Original Example of the Revered AC Ace
  • The Ace’s outstanding looks can be traced back to Carrozzeria Touring of Italy, the coachbuilders who created the 166 MM Barchetta for Ferrari
  • 1,991 CC Inline 6-Cylinder Engine
  • This example has the very rare Light Weight transmission (was installed in only 7 examples) Laycock-overdrive and aluminium front callipers
  • The AC Ace is a fabulous and rare classic with great history, gorgeous body, and enjoyable driving experience

‘Of them all, the Ace was the truest sports car: it could be used for daily commuting or for high-speed long-distance touring, but it could also be driven to a race meeting, campaigned with distinction, and driven home again – even if that race was the Le Mans 24 Hours.’ – AC Heritage, Simon Taylor & Peter Burn. 

No wonder Carroll Shelby was smitten by the Ace when he first saw one. This British-built automobile has that perfect sports car look, with a simple, unspoiled shape that is pure beauty. It was this very same model that spawned the incredibly successful Cobra.

The Ace’s outstanding looks can be traced back to Carrozzeria Touring of Italy, the coachbuilders who created the 166 MM Barchetta for Ferrari.

Upon seeing this gorgeous little Italian sports car, Englishman John Tojeiro, a mechanically minded sports car enthusiast, built his own version. 

Based on Cooper mechanicals with an MG engine, John’s 1952 sports car was called a Cooper-MG; its registration number was LOY500. 

The second version was registered as JOY500, which went on to become one of England’s most famous and historically significant racing cars of all time.

To capitalize on his competition success with his Ferrari-inspired sports car, Tojeiro sold the rights to his sports car to A.C. Cars Ltd. of Thames Ditton, Surrey, England. 

Since 1908, Auto Carriers Limited was a small-scale manufacturer that mainly built conservatively styled saloons, although they did build the striking AC 16/18 Sports back in the late 1930s. With the postwar years booming with racing and a growing number of sports car activities, the Ace was just what the little car company south of London needed.

The first Ace rolled out of the A.C. factory back in 1953 and remained in production until 1963. A year after the Ace was presented to a sports car-hungry public, a fastback hardtop version called the Aceca was introduced; this also remained in production until 1963.

All Aces were powered by a straight-six engine, although there were basically three different versions. The early cars had A.C.’s own and outdated 1,991-cc single-overhead-cam powertrain that produced 85 horsepower with its three SU carbs. Sometime during 1956, a two-litre Bristol engine was introduced, thus these cars became known as the AC Bristol. However, buyers were still able to order the A.C. engine.

Production figures are somewhat sketchy, as we’ve seen a variety of different estimates. Using a variety of sources, mainly British, we’ve determined that about 220 A.C. Ace engines were produced, 463 Bristols and 46 Ford Zephyrs.


This specific AC is fitted with the AC engine. In our opinion, a surplus as this makes the car eligible for the greatest road race in the world, the Mille Migila.
The chassis number of the AC is 1 apart from the 1957 Le Mans car. 

The AC has a special option as it has the very rare Light Weight transmission (was installed in only 7 examples) Laycock-overdrive and aluminium front callipers.

From 1998, the former owner, Colin Smith, had the vehicle extensively restored by the English AC expert David Senderson, the work was completed in 2004. 

The engine was then completely revised and optimized by Brian Taylor (fine balancing, head machining, sharper camshaft, special pistons and connecting rods with bearing shells, etc.) which has run since completion only a few hundred Km.
In 2008, the car won the AC Owners Club Concours.

Its rarity, but also its sporty and powerful appearance, make this vehicle a very good choice for a subscription in the Mille Miglia.


The AC is in a wonderful condition. It seems that the car has not been used often since the restoration which results in a beautiful looking example. 
Door fittings are very nice even as the paint.
One can find upon very close inspection some very minor details but an AC is not a Concours car, an AC is a drivers car so we think such a car may show a little bit of patina.

The chrome window surround is in a perfect condition even as the impressive grille. 

On a variety of hinges, the chassis number can be found which is a rare appearance. Quite often these parts have been replaced over the years and the originality has disappeared. 

The wheels and tires are in a perfect order so condition wise this car is in our opinion in a wonderful condition. 


The interior is in a superb condition. The leather on the seats is wonderful without damages like scratches or signs of wearing. 
The carpet is in the same condition, very nice and it appears to be in the period correct material. 
All meters and gauges are in a restored condition and are all properly working. 
Even the unique overdrive switch on the right sight of the steering wheel is nicely restored and is immediately working when used. 

in the very good and the Ace comes with a black tonneau cover. We like this car’s colour combination and think it makes for one of the best-looking examples we’ve ever seen. 


We have driven quite a lot of AC Ace’s because we love to drive them. The handling is superb and we don’t know many other cars which give the same feeling when driving as an AC Ace.

This specific example is certainly 1 of a kind. The engine starts immediately and it becomes immediately clear that the engine is very well set.

This car is an absolutely superb example to drive. It has clearly been sorted to the highest level in a way that many cars fail to achieve. 

Every aspect of its operation has been carefully sorted to provide the utmost driving pleasure. The engine is strong, well-tuned, and powerful, the brakes are progressive and capable, the suspension tight and compliant, and the steering direct and precise.
The transmission works superb and smooth and is highly satisfying.
This car has clearly been set up to work better than properly. the engine note is very pleasing and performance brisk. 

We think the AC Ace is possibly one of the most quintessential British sports cars. Exuding finesse from every angle, these agile roadsters with racing pedigree are widely regarded as one of the most elegant and characterful British designs of the period.

This hugely attractive and beautiful example of a rare and desirable collectable is certain to deliver many hours of thrilling motoring to its next owner.


For more information or an appointment, please call Rutger Houtkamp+31625098150 or send an e-mail to Rutger@Houtkamp.nl. Please do not hesitate to contact us by phone during evenings or at the weekend. The Houtkamp Collection is centrally located near Amsterdam and only 10 minutes from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport.

The information provided on this website has been compiled by The Houtkamp Collection with the utmost care. The information contained within this advert is provided ‘as-is’, without warranties as to its accuracy whether expressed or implied and is intended for informational purposes only. The Houtkamp Collection is not liable for any errors or mistakes.


Disclaimer:  Whilst Classic Chatter ("we") attempt to make sure that the information contained in this website is accurate and complete, we are aware that some errors and omissions may occur from time to time. We are not able, therefore, to guarantee the accuracy of that information and cannot accept liability for loss or damage arising from misleading information or for any reliance on which you may place on the information contained in this website. We highly recommend that you check the accuracy of the  information supplied. If you have any queries with regard to any information on our website, please contact us at  jeff.classicchatter@mail.com

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