2023 |Estate of Mark Smith Auction
1959 AC Ace BristolRegister to Bid
$150,000 - $200,000| Without Reserve
One of Just 466 Ace Bristols Built; Benefits from Long-Term California Ownership
Desirable Factory Left-Hand-Drive Example with Powerful Bristol Engine
Well-Preserved Example with Documented Early UK Racing History
1,971 CC OHV Inline 6-Cylinder Engine
Three Solex Carburetors
125 BHP at 5,500 RPM
4-Speed Manual Gearbox
4-Wheel Hydraulic Finned-Aluminum Drum Brakes
4-Wheel Independent Suspension with Transverse Leaf Springs, Lower Wishbones, and Shock Absorbers
Please note that the engine currently installed in this vehicle is numbered 865 D2, not 982-D2 as stated in the published pamphlet. The original cylinder head, which the vehicle retains, is numbered 982 D2.
Among the most identifiable sports car shapes in the world, the AC Ace continues to inspire enthusiasts 70 years after its 1953 introduction. The Ace was offered with either an 85 hp AC engine or the desirable two-liter Bristol engine, based on the inline-six from BMW’s legendary 328 sports car. This engine offered great power and torque, complementing the nimble driving traits of the lightweight alloy-bodied car.
This particular Ace Bristol, chassis BEX 1067, is documented in the competition history book Ace Bristol Racing by John McLellan, and its period racing history includes outings in 1961 at Mallory Park, Silverstone, Aintree, Crystal Palace, and three races at Goodwood, where Bill Bowman finished an impressive 3rd on May 6th.
Today, BEX 1067 appears very well preserved, having resided in California collections for many years. Under previous ownership, the Ace was thoughtfully maintained, and a document on file summarizes mechanical work performed, including a new fuel tank. In 2019, the Ace was serviced by Sierra Classic Sportscar in Meadow Vista, California, including work to the radiator, fuel lines, fuel pump, and electrical system. While the Ace Bristol retains its original cylinder head, no. 982 D2, the original engine block was replaced with a correct type D2 unit, no. 865 D2.
Acquired by Mark Smith in 2019, BEX 1067 features gorgeous red leather seats that possess a lovely and inviting patina, and beautifully mellowed older white paint. Accompanied by literature, a tool kit, grease gun, knock-off hammer, and tonneau cover, this Ace Bristol is quite rare in the fact that it not only boasts an impressive period race history but has also been carefully kept over the years, remaining largely unrestored. The sale of this Ace Bristol is a unique opportunity for originality-minded enthusiasts and BEX 1067 would be a great candidate for the many motoring events for which it is eligible.
*Please note that this Lot, like all vehicles in this Auction, has been in long-term static storage and may not be currently operational. It will require mechanical attention prior to any road use.
Gooding & Company presents and conducts the Estate of Mark Smith Auction under the authority of John J. Rendemonti, Executor of the Estate of Mark J. Smith, duly appointed by the Circuit Court of the State of New Hampshire, Probate Division, Case Number 312-2022-ET-00072. The Estate has compiled available title and/or registration paperwork for the Vehicles offered in the Auction and will provide such paperwork to the Buyer if it is available. However, as set forth more fully in the Conditions of Sale, neither the Estate nor Gooding makes any representation or warranty with respect to any existing certificate of title or registration with regard to any Lot in the Auction. Any Lot may be sold on a Bill of Sale. By participating in this Auction, all bidders and buyers recognize that Estate and Gooding have expressly disclaimed all such warranties concerning the availability or sufficiency of any title or registration documentation.