The AC Ace Roadster is a classic British sports car that was produced between 1953 and 1963. It was designed and built by the small British car manufacturer AC Cars and is known for its timeless design and impressive performance.
The Ace was initially introduced as a lightweight sports car with a tubular steel frame and aluminum body, powered by a 2.0-liter six-cylinder engine producing around 85 horsepower. The early models were fitted with drum brakes, but later versions featured disc brakes, making the Ace one of the first production cars to use this technology.
The Ace’s design was sleek and aerodynamic, with a low-slung body, rounded fenders, and a long hood. The car’s styling was ahead of its time and drew inspiration from American sports cars of the 1950s, such as the Chevrolet Corvette.
In 1956, a new variant of the Ace was introduced, powered by a more powerful 2.6-liter straight-six engine producing 120 horsepower. This model was designated the AC Ace Bristol and featured a Bristol engine sourced from BMW, which was known for its reliability and performance.
In 1961, AC Cars introduced the AC Aceca, which was essentially a closed version of the Ace, featuring a fastback-style roofline. The Aceca was built using the same chassis and mechanical components as the Ace, but with a more refined and luxurious interior.
The AC Ace Roadster gained international recognition when it was used as the basis for the legendary Shelby Cobra. American racing driver Carroll Shelby saw the potential of the lightweight and powerful Ace and convinced AC Cars to supply him with their cars, which he fitted with a powerful Ford V8 engine, creating the iconic Cobra.
Today, the AC Ace Roadster is a highly sought-after classic car, with many examples being restored and preserved by collectors and enthusiasts around the world. Its timeless design, impressive performance, and place in automotive history make it a true icon of British motoring.