Chassis BEX 258 was completed in left-hand drive configuration at Thames Ditton in Mail Red with Black trim on 18th March 1957 and exported to the USA. Sold new to renowned American west coast racer, William ‘Bill’ Love, the Ace-Bristol would be entered for Love to race in SCCA events throughout 1957. Love proved to be insurmountable in his Ace-Bristol putting on a dominant display with no less than twelve victories and twenty class wins during 1957.
27th July 1957, Preliminary Pomona, Bill Love, 1st Place
28th July 1957, Pomona, Bill Love, 1st Place
31st August 1957, Preliminary Santa Barbara, Bill Love, 1st Place
1st September 1957, Santa Barbara, Bill Love, 1st Place
21st September 1957, Preliminary Riverside, Bill Love, 1st Place
22nd September 1957, Riverside, Bill Love, 1st Place
6th October 1957, Sacramento, Bill Love, 1st Place
20th October 1957, Hourglass Field, Bill Love, 1st Place
26th October 1957, Preliminary Pomona, Bill Love, 1st Place
27th October 1957, Pomona, Bill Love, 1st Place
10th November 1957, Laguna Seca, Bill Love , 1st Place
7th December 1957, Preliminary Paramount Ranch, Bill Love, 1st Place
In 1958 Bill Love sold the AC to his business partner Paul Cote from Santa Monica who would race together with his wife, Cathi. The motor sport press picked up on the sale and reported.
‘Bill Love to continue his victory spree. Offers of rides have come flowing in for the San Bernardino master since he sold the undefeated AC Bristol—a brilliant two-liter who carried the “lapping” Love to 20 class wins in as many starts’.
Love, along with Gordon Crowder and Paul Cote would form a race car preparation business together called West Coast Racing, Inc and the following year would reunite Love with ‘BEX 258’. Teamed with Skip Conklin, Love was entered as a reserve to race the Ace-Bristol in the Sebring 12 Hours but did not take part. Not wishing to waste his journey across to the east coast, Love together with co-driver Len Sutton would enter the 1000 km of Daytona. Now painted in a light shade of yellow as car number 81, the duo finished the race in 20th position.
A month later, Paul Cote was back racing the Ace-Bristol with the SCCA at Del Mar, entered as number 195 – the number with which Love became synonymous with the Ace.
By 1974 ‘BEX 258’, was now in the ownership of Raymond Cramer of California – as documented by a California Ownership Certificate (pink slip) held in the history file. Cramer did not restore the AC and it would remain in the light-yellow paint scheme that it wore at Daytona when the car was bought by the next owner in Texas.
In 2012, infamous New York car dealer – Gullwing Motor Cars acquired and subsequently sold ‘BEX 258’ to the current UK owner who imported the Ace and then embarked upon a complete chassis up restoration here in the UK which was completed in early 2017. The owner, a long-standing member of the AC Owners Club documented his journeys in the Ace in a mileage book detailing how much fuel he used, destinations and dates travelled – the mark of meticulous ownership which is reflected in the cars condition today. In 2022, renowned AC specialists, Stanton Motorsports completed a major service which included tuning the engine and running the car on the rolling road.
‘BEX 258’ is UK road registered, taxes paid and available with roll hoop, hood, hood frame and full tonneau. The Ace-Bristol is available for viewing in our SW London showroom and is accompanied by two very informative history files which contain period SCCA race results and race programmes.
Photo Credit: Charlie Brenninkmeijer – Charlie B Photography