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1957 AC Ace-Bristol

Ex-Keene Annis / SCCA

  • Supplied new to American horse breeder & racing driver, Keene Annis
  • Raced from new by Annis in the 1957 SCCA Championship, finishing in 8th place
  • Acquired & subsequently restored by a British AC enthusiast
  • Raced by the current owner & his son in the Fifties Sports Car Racing Club (FISCAR) series
  • Supplied with roll hoop & aero screen for racing or full weather equipment for road use
  • Eligible for numerous grids at events including Le Mans Classic, Goodwood Revival, Members Meeting, FISCAR & many more..

Ex Works 1st May 1957, Chassis BEX 284 was supplied via Auto Engineering, Lexington, Massachusetts to its first owner, Keene Annis. Finished in Bright Blue Metaline, Red leather interior with hood and a tonneau, the car was built in US export specification – left hand drive.

Annis had previously raced a Jaguar XK120 and a Siata 208 with the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) but had ordered an AC Ace-Bristol to race within Class E, Production-Sports. 1957 would prove to be ‘the’ year for Ace-Bristol’s in the SCCA with some fierce battles taking place across the country. Annis would concentrate on those circuits closer to home as not only was he deeply involved in the family car dealership business, but he was also starting a family.

Annis wasted no time in getting the Ace ready for competition and in some insightful correspondence with a previous owner said, “I know that for 2 weeks in April (sic) the Bristol and I spent most evenings on the MassPike putting break-in miles on at 60 to 70 to be ready to race”. In May ’57, Keene Annis would make his debut with the Ace-Bristol at the Thompson Raceway, Ohio and achieved a 2nd in class. Other results came from Lime Rock with 5th in class in June, 4th in class in July and another 2nd in class in July.

Annis went on to say that; “SCCA racing was changing from a ‘Sunday afternoon’ sport for gentlemen, to a highly competitive, do or die sport”. Annis had never had an accident, bar being pushed off into the banking with no serious harm done, so decided to call it a day and focus on his family and other interests which included breeding show horses, dog breeding and building his car dealership business which included makes such as Porsche, Audi, and Volkswagen.

‘BEX 284’ was duly sold into the local motor trade and would subsequently change ownership on both sides of the Atlantic over the coming decades. In the early 2000’s, the Ace-Bristol was acquired by a marque enthusiast in the UK who wanted to restore the AC into a car he could both drive on the road but also race with his son at weekends.

A full restoration was embarked upon with all the various stages outsourced to appropriate specialists before the Ace was re-assembled and then repainted in its original colour. As the owner wished to drive the Ace on the road as well as race it, a tractable and torquey engine was built by Competition Engine Services. A removable roll hoop was discreetly mounted behind the driver’s seat (not currently fitted) and an aero screen added for racing (the Ace is currently fitted with a curved windscreen). The interior benefitted from new carpets and door trims whilst the original red leather seats were cleaned and refitted. The wire wheels have just been refitted to the Ace having been inspected and repainted by MWS.

‘BEX 284’ is now UK road registered ‘SKT 106’, UK taxes paid and is supplied with roll hoop, hood, hood frame and full tonneau. This Ace-Bristol is equally adept on road or track with pleasingly very little required to switch between the two specifications. The next owner is offered an inordinate number of driving opportunities with this AC, whether it be tours, rallies, hill climbs, circuit racing or just road use – this really is the ‘do it all’ classic.

Photo Credit: Charlie Brenninkmeijer – Charlie B Photography

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