20th Sep, 2023 12:00

30th Anniversary Sale at The Imperial War Museum | Duxford, Cambridgeshire

Lot 379

1955 AC Aceca
Well-known historic race car, modified in-period

Lot details

Registration No: 464 UXY
Chassis No: AEX 525
MOT: Exempt

  • Converted in 1960s to AC Ace Ruddspeed spec. with Raymond Mays 2.6 Litre Ford engine with triple Webers
  • Extensive documented racing history throughout the 1980s, '90s and 2000s
  • Large history file documented car throughout its life

Introduced in 1954, the AC Aceca fastback was conceived as a more refined alternative to the company's seminal Ace roadster. Developed by Alan Turner and Desmond Stratton, the new model augmented its open-topped sibling's ladder-framed chassis with an elegant square-tube superstructure. Boasting a generous glasshouse, sensuous roofline and practical side-hinged rear hatchback, the Aceca's Grand Touring credentials were more than skin deep as proven by its all-round independent transverse-leaf suspension and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Initially powered by the John Weller designed 1991cc OHC straight-six which had been a staple part of AC production since 1919, the arrival of an alternative 1971cc Bristol engine in February 1956 gave performance more akin to that of the contemporary DB2/4 Aston Martin. Although, the fastest Acecas were the select few that employed Ford 2.6 litre straight-six engines.

Factory records confirm that Chassis AEX525 was originally fitted with an AC 2-litre OHC straight-six engine and completed to export specification on 14th September 1955. A left-hand drive machine, it was supplied new to Portugal later that year. In 1962, a Portuguese nobleman, Francisco Jose Gentil Heredia, bought a new one of the rare, 35 factory produced, 2.6 litre Ruddspeed AC Aces - RSX 5009. He had it returned to the factory a number of times to increase the engine’s specification to Stage Four tune (details within the history suggest it eventually ended up in Stage Five tune). He also uprated it with Borrani wire wheels. Although officially 'road-going', the car was later raced in Europe, including Cascais.

Tragically, however, the Ruddspeed Ace suffered fire damage on a European ferry dockside in August 1964. This caused extensive damage to the aluminium bodywork and interior. It was stored for some years, in this condition, until Heredia's brother decided to carry out a mechanical transplant to the Aceca he then owned. The 2.6 litre Ford engine and ancillaries were professionally transferred from the ruined Ace to this Aceca. (a modification that became accepted and approved by AC Cars who, by this time, were fitting either the Ford 2.6 litre engines or Bristol 2.2 litre engines to their production models). Also fitted were triple Weber carburettors, a Raymond Mays head (CL28694), a Moss gearbox, front-wheel disc brakes and rear drums, Ace front and rear over-riders and 15in x 6in Borrani wire wheels. The owner also had the front of the car lightly re-modelled to Ace/Cobra 'long-nose' dimensions, naturally in aluminium.

In c.1975, the car was exported to America where it remained until 2006 and this important example became extremely well known in the USA during its early history through the VSCCA and Historic Racing during its 29 years ownership with Mr. Warren Wegele and was reported to have always been a top ten finisher with a podium finish (2nd) in August 1989 at Meadow Brook Historic Races at Waterford Hills, MI.

Between 1987 and 2002 the car appeared at the following events;

Meadowbrook Historic Races - 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990.

Pocono VSCCA - 1988.

Pittsburgh Grand Prix - 1988, 1991, 1992, 2001, 2002.

Mid Ohio - 1992.

Whilst in the States, a roll cage was added and the suspension modified by the renowned engineer and race driver, Chris Lawrence (class winner - 1962 Le Mans) who was also racing a 'Cobra-beating' Aceca on the West Coast. During 2007, the car was re-commissioned for the UK and, apart from light road use, has had some shake-down runs at Prescott and the 'Wings and Wheels' display/runway run at Dunsfold where it was reported to cause more of a sensation than the Cobras.

It was featured in Classic & Sportscar's 'Discovered' section (page 33, June 2007) and also numerous editions of the ACOC club magazine 'ACtion' including a lead article in April 2007. It is also shown on the AC website under the 'Wings and Wheels' feature. The car is also included in the book 'AC Six Cylinder Sports Cars' by Rinsey Mills showing the Ace driven by Heredia that became the donor to the Aceca following the Ace's disastrous fire and this tragic episode is reported in the book.

This car is truly unique as it is the only one in the world having such history and provenance. In spite of spending much of its life abroad, the car is well known in terms of reputation, especially by members of the ACOC UK.

Lucas Gomersall
07484 082430


All successful bids must be paid in full by midday the day after the auction at the latest.

You can collect your new pride and joy from our venue until 1pm the day following the sale or our partners are on hand to help arrange safe transportation:


Auction: 30th Anniversary Sale at The Imperial War Museum | Duxford, Cambridgeshire, 20th Sep, 2023

Established in 1993, H&H has sold some of the world's most significant motorcars and motorcycles over the past 30 years. Now owned by its employees and trusted by over 75,000 clients worldwide, we are the longest established auction house of our kind in Europe.


Buyers, bidders and attendees will enjoy a special day in the prestigious Imperial War Museum with some fantastic treats including.
Drinks Reception   |   Music   |   Guest Speakers

With each successful bidder receiving a specially selected hamper.

Watch the website for more details.


To take part in the bidding action please click 'Register to Bid | Sign In' at the top of the page



Tuesday 19th September 2023 from 1pm to 8pm
Wednesday 20th September 2023 from 9am


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