1957 AC Aceca

Supplied to Castle Garage on January 15th 1957 for first owner D.G. Bennett Esq, chassis BE586 was 1 of the 169 Aceca-Bristol cars made. With an appetite for motor sport, Mr Bennett contested the 1958 RAC Rally aboard `WTG 339′ and reputedly commissioned AC to install its twin fuel fillers (a competition-inspired addition that the factory also made to Betty Haig’s Aceca).

Following a brief period in Ireland, the Aceca returned home in 1977. Now modified from Bristol to Ford Zephyr MKII power (as found in the Aceca 2.6), chassis BE586 was subsequently treated to an extensive restoration. As well as a bare metal refurbishment of its aluminium bodywork (the photographs on file highlight the impressive extent of this work), WTG 339 was also completely re-trimmed, the bright work refinished and brakes entirely refurbished. Now sitting on new 15-inch Cobra style wire wheels and fitted with a Ford Type 9 five-speed manual gearbox, balanced propshaft and refurbished differential, the AC was also fitted with a new wiring loom, alternator, facet fuel pump and electric fan.

The following owner continued this program of restoration and improvement, having a fast road engine built with an improved camshaft, ported head, lightweight Volvo pistons and new bearings. There was also a Ben Yates-supplied rack-and-pinion steering conversion, uprated transverse-leaf front spring (to compensate for the heavier 2.6-litre powerplant) along with fresh gearbox bearings & seals.

With a cleverly designed remote spin-on oil filter, Ruddspeed rocker cover, Aquaplane inlet manifold and three 1.25-in SU carburettors, the Ford engine has been installed without disturbing its predecessor’s chassis mounts. With paperwork dating back to 1978, this is a very usable example of the pretty Aceca.

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