Finished in Bright Metallic Blue with black upholstery, AE 49 was the 28th Ace to roll off the Thames Ditton production line, completed on the 18th May 1955. Registered just a few days later on the 26th May to the Fishponds Motor Company, Bristol with the registration number UHY 577,for use by Mr A Thompson. It changed hands twice in that year, the first time to Mr J. Pitt and then in December to its 3rd keeper, Mr J. Day.
During Mr Day’s ownership he kept an astonishingly detailed record of use, right from day one, which means that both the original purchase invoice and photographs of the day he acquired AE49 have been retained. There is also a wonderful bound daily diary recording his six years of ownership, logging all mileage covered, costs of fuel, servicing, repairs and European travel including an image of the car rounding the Mulsanne corner at Le Mans in 1956. The car was fastidiously maintained by AC Works Thames Ditton, with every service record and correspondence on file including a record of the conversion to front wheel disc brakes. During his ownership the car suffered rear end damage and was converted by the factory to short boot specification. Images and correspondence between the insurance company and AC Cars are also on file, fully documenting this work.
Following Mr Day’s ownership it was purchased, via Ken Rudd, by Mr R. Walker who also used it extensively and regularly for European tours. Included in the history files are superb images showing the Ace in Romania, Scandinavia, Spain and literally parked on top of the Alps! In 1961, shortly after purchase and during a high speed run on the M1, Walker lost control of AE 49. While he escaped unharmed, unfortunately the same cannot be said for AE 49, as is shown by the images on file. Ultimately the damage necessitated a replacement chassis which was supplied by Ken Rudd, along with a replacement body from AC Works. After seven years of ownership and an impressive 100,000 miles of adventures, the Ace was sold to R. Christie before being acquired by another long term owner, Mr E Webb who kept it between 1970 and 1980.
In 1980 AE 49 was purchased by D. Whitehouse who treated the car to a full body restoration along with an engine rebuild. He used the car on high days and holidays before it was acquired by the current owner in 1997.
Between 1998 to 2000, AE 49 was the subject of a comprehensive nut and bolt restoration and was upgraded with an overdrive as well as rack and pinion steering. Much like the past owners, the current owner has kept a detailed file of all paperwork relating to the car and has maintained it faultlessly. In 2022 the Ace was completely resprayed by XK Engineering in the lovely dark blue it is presented in today.
An extensive array of files accompany the Ace, documenting in detail its fascinating journey from leaving the factory to the present day, all catalogued by a wealth of images, correspondence and invoices.
After 25 years of ownership and an impressive 38,000 miles covered, it is now time for a new custodian to continue this motoring adventure. So rarely do we come across a car as well documented, travelled and enjoyed as AE49.