AC Ace Bristol

Chassis # 656D | Engine # BE319 | Registration # 240DPE

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The AC Ace is doubtless one of the most beautiful and iconic cars of its time – perhaps of all time. The grand descendance began with John Tojeiro and his Barchette-inspired sports-racer which he built in 1952 for Cliff Davis. Shortly after this AC took the design Tojiero had brought into the world and delivered the AC Ace. It was the AC Ace that captivated Carol Shelby  - who fitted a V8, and the Shelby Cobra was born.


The car here offered for sale, Chassis Number BE 319 still fitted with its original 2 Litre Bristol engine, left the Thames Ditton factory on the 1st July 1957, and sold new by Ken Rudd (of Ruddspeed fame) to A.N.H. Lodge of Yorkshire, registered ‘240 DPE’. The substantial 3 volume history file supplied with the car, includes the original buff logbook which describes the car finished in mist green with white leather, with engine number 100D 656.

List below record ‘240DPE’ subsequent custodian

  • D.H. Roberts – London – 4th December 1961
  • J.H. Barrett – London – 1st September 1962
  • Gold Seal Car Co. – London – 27th April 1966
  • R.H. Jones – Gloucestershire – 24th May 1966
  • Mr J.A. Bancroft  - Skipton – 27th March 1993
  • Mr P. A. Le Marchant – London – 17th December 2005
  • Mr G.I.L Henderson – London – 3rd March  2007
  • Mr C. R. M. Bishop – Witham- 19th June 2010
  • 10th owner and vendor 28th October 2018

The 6th and most notable custodian was one Mr. J.A. “Tony” Bancroft of Skipton, N. Yorkshire on the 27thMarch 1993, co-author of “Ace-Bristol Racing, A Competition History”. A keen amateur racer, Tony Bancroft, treated the Ace-Bristol to a body-off restoration. Bancroft had motorsports and fast road use planned, and so ‘240 DPE’ was improved with racing modifications including a wrap-around screen, smaller wheels, a removable role hoop, a hard top and chassis strengthening.


In 2001 Tony restored the original 100D Bristol engine to fast road-racing specification with high compression pistons and a high-lift camshaft by Nuthall Racing. It went on to compete in numerous historic events and the car featuring in the following publications:

  • ‘AC Heritage’ by Simon Taylor
  • Classic & Sports Car - August 1996
  • AC Action - June 1996
  • AC Action - December 1996
  • Sports Car Classics - August 2003
  • Classic & Sports Car - December 2003
  • Octane - August 2010 (Front Cover)

In 2018 ‘240DPE’ was for sale via Robert Glover Ltd and purchased by our long-term client and current vendor. Already in possession of a Tojeiro Bristol, our vendor bought the AC Ace as a road car for travelling between race events where he was using the Tojeiro, then moving on to overseas road tours latterly.

This is an original example of the legendary Ace-Bristol, with a lovely, well-developed patina acquired since Tony Bancroft completed the body-off restoration. The two most recent owners have entrusted ‘240DPE’ to Blakeney Motorsports. As a result, ‘240 DPE’ has an engine which is capable of performance and reliability – a very desirable combination. Included in the history file is the V5C, MSA Historical Technical Passport, countless photographs and slides and correspondences documenting Tony Bancroft’s ownership and competition use of the car. It is supplied with the set of 15-inch racing wheels, roll hoop, wrap-around screen, and hard-top.


Offered on its own, or as the “Blood line collection” including 1952 Tojeiro Bristol and 1962 AC Cobra 260 Mk1, this AC Ace Bristol is suitable for a wide variety of uses and early viewing is recommended.

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