1958 AC ACE Roadster At Bonhams Scottsdale

‘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.


1958 AC Ace Roadster
Chassis no. AEX221
Engine no. CL2334

1,991cc SOHC Inline 6-Cylinder Engine
3 SU Carburetors
102bhp at 5,000rpm
4-Speed Manual Transmission
4-Wheel Independent Suspension
4-Wheel Hydraulic Drum Brakes

*Superb nut-and-bolt $400K restoration recently performed by Kevin Kay Restorations
*Well-documented with excellent provenance and matching numbers engine
*Special-order color and highly optioned example from new
*Multiple Concours d’Elegance winner eligible for the most discerning events Globally

An influential and widely imitated design, the AC Ace (and its Cobra derivative) could trace its origins back to a one-off sports-racer built by chassis engineer John Tojeiro for Cliff Davis in 1952. The success of Davis’ Tojeiro sports-racer prompted AC Cars to acquire the rights to the design, which was put into production in 1954 as the Ace.

The Tojeiro’s pretty Ferrari 166-inspired Barchetta bodywork was retained, as was its twin-tube ladder frame chassis and Cooper-influenced all-independent suspension. The power unit was AC’s own venerable 2.0-liter long-stroke six. Designed by AC co-founder John Weller, this overhead-camshaft engine armed the light and nimble Sports Roadster with brisk performance and excellent torque. In tuned Bristol-engined form the Ace would go on to win its class at the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1959.


Bonhams: The Motorcar Offered

Bonhams is honored to offer what might very well be the best restored and pedigreed AC Ace Roadster in existence, of the just 266 examples ever produced. Thanks to the outstanding work of the noted AC and Aston Martin specialists at Kevin Kay Restorations (KKR) of Redding, California, this very car has outshined it competition at major Concours d’Elegance events, but this well-documented Ace also boasts excellent provenance and an exciting factory specification from new.

Accorrding to the original handwritten AC factory build record for this AC Ace Roadster, chassis no. AEX221 was completed at the Thames Ditton AC Cars Ltd Works finished in a rare, special-order silver metallic color on the lightweight aluminum Roadster bodywork, while the interior was trimmed in dark blue leather, just as it appears today. AEX221 was factory configured with its left-hand drive steering arrangement, and equipped with engine no. CL2334, which it retains to this day. The new AC had been special ordered by an American airman, Captain J. M. Glickstein, and was delivered through Chardonnet, AC’s French distributor located in Paris. Captain Glickstein was a pilot with the 492nd Fighter Bomber Squadron based at Chaumont, slightly to the north of the center of France.

Captain Glickstein, surely fond of his rare aluminum-bodied sports car, would later bring the car back to the States with his him, as he returned from duty to his hometown of Jacksonville, Florida. Oral history tells us the Ace later went from the Captain’s custodianship to a Sergeant Tanner from Upstate New York. It is believed that the next owner became Bruce Perry from Bradford, Pennsylvania. Mr. Perry restored the AC Ace and kept it for over 45-years, adding only the current 2,700 and some miles to the odometer, before selling the AC to the current and fourth owner in June 2015, a discerning Texas based collector, with an affection for the absolute best and most accurately restored examples of European post-war sports cars.


In March of 2016 the current owner shipped AC Ace no. AEX221 to noted AC marque expert Kevin Kay Restorations (KKR) of Redding, California, to achieve absolute perfection in bringing the aging Roadster back to its former glory. KKR has had the good fortune, and great restorations, to win or place in the most prestigious Concours d’Elegance events in the US and aboard, including the Amelia Island Concours, Silverado, Hillsborough, Palo Alto, Newport Beach, Pebble Beach and The Quail – A Motorsports Gathering. The owner basically left the AC Ace with a blank check at KKR, with the wish to return the car to its original livery, at a restoration level commensurate with their Concours winning traditions. Over the next 29 months and $400,000 (restoration costs only) later, AEX221 was ready to take on serious Concours judging. The owner remembers mentioning to KKR upon completion, that this must be the most expensive AC Ace in the world, and without missing a hesitation, the main specialist on the car said: ‘Yes, but it is also the best in the world’.

The AC Ace would debut at the 2018 Trump Charlotte Concours d’Elegance, where it was deservedly awarded Best in Class and Best of Show runner-up. From there the spectacular car was shown at the 2019 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, the 2019 Park Place Luxury & Supercar Showcase Collectors Concours, and at the 2021 Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance. In person, AC Ace Roadster no. AEX221 is nothing short of breathtaking. Not only is fit, finish and quality of the paint and interior impeccable, but it is evident that crucial original components have been preserved and retained in the car, including the original, matching-numbers six-cylinder AC engine and the delicate aluminum Roadster bodywork. The latter is finished to perfection in the as-delivered, special order silver metallic color, with superb shine and panel fit. Chrome wire wheels sparkle in the sun, wrapped on period-style Michelin X radial tires, and Lucas tripod headlights are fitted out front.

The cockpit is perfectly trimmed to factory-correct specifications in as-delivered dark blue leather. The original Smiths gauges has been expertly resorted, as has the classic banjo-style, 3-spoke wood rimmed steering wheel. The engine compartment is impeccable, with factory correct finishes throughout, and the original chassis plate and stampings intact. A tightly fitted dark blue soft top can be erected on foul weather days, something this car hasn’t seen post restoration! The trunk, or boot as it is correctly referred to on a motorcar such as this, is equally well prepared and detailed, and retains the matching spare wire wheel on Michelin X tire.

Accompanying items offered with this superb AC Ace Roadster include an instruction manual, a full tool kit, period correct King Dick jack and Tonneau cover. The impressive history file assembled for the car includes the aforementioned copy of the original handwritten factory production record, several articles about the AC Ace motorcars in various periodicals, numerous newsletters from the AC Owners Club, and receipts documenting KKR’s impressive restoration.

These early Ace Roadsters are the initial and purest form of AC’s sports car, the car that would become the Shelby AC Cobra just a few short years later. Elegant and sporty, with well-documented provenance and a no expense spared $400,000 restoration performed by the marque specialists at Kevin Kay Restorations, this Ace offers an opportunity to acquire an absolute ‘Best of the Best’ example of a rare and desirable sports car.

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