Is it Time for an AC Aceca Kit?

Posted January 22, 2019

By Dean Larson

Photos: Seller,

Connecting the dots, that’s all I’ll claim to be doing here. But with the amazing proliferation of replicas and kit cars available today, it’s a bit surprising to me that no one has taken a crack at the AC Aceca. I’d imagine at least a handful of one-offs have been built over the years, but we’re not aware of any Aceca replicas or kits that have been available in recent memory. If you know of one, please let us know in the comments below. Otherwise, if you’re still with me, hear me out while I debate the validity of an Aceca reproduction.

By association with the AC Cobra and all possible derivatives, I'll assume you’re with me when I say that the AC Ace is a beautiful little roadster. And if you disagree, you’re likely wrong, plain and simple, as a nicely restored Ace commands in excess of $300,000 and $400,000 these days, take this 1959 Ace-Bristol for example.

With the Ace successfully debuted in 1953, it was a sharp idea for AC to diversify its offerings by adding a gorgeous coupe roofline with a functional hatchback door to its existing Ace platform. Preserving most of what made the Ace great, the new Aceca had some legitimately usable space in the rear that could be easily accessed. The Aceca was only the second car to incorporate a hatchback rear, after the Aston Martin DB2/4, but I’d argue that the AC was superior in styling.

AC only made about 320 Acecas before halting production in 1963. The last 169 of these cars were produced with the 125 hp Bristol engine, while the initial cars were powered by the Ace’s 2.0-liter AC engine. All Acecas utilized transverse leaf spring suspension, along with aluminum and ash wood body construction. The cars were quite light at 2,120 pounds, and were said to handle well thanks to a near-50/50 weight distribution.

With its swept, nearly fastback styling, the Aceca is a gorgeous car. It’s both sporty and elegant, with just enough utility to be a practical weekend getaway car. I’d even make the brave argument that the Aceca coupe is better looking than the more popular Ace roadster, not to mention being a bit more practical. Now I understand that this defeats the purpose of the small British roadster, so I’ll rest that argument.

To recover my dot-connecting analogy, I just want to point out that every possibly variation of the AC/Shelby Cobra has been replicated in kit and turnkey forms. So it seems reasonable that an AC or slabside Cobra kit platform could be modified into an AC Aceca. Source an affordable Jaguar six-cylinder, or small-block Ford to salute one of the many V8-converted ACs, and either way, you’ve got an feasible product.

After this admittedly smitten review of the Aceca, it might surprise you when I say that no one has any business building an Aceca replica or kit in substantial numbers at this time. And it comes down to cost, because while the Aceca is quite rare, it’s not nearly as expensive as the more common AC Ace (729 cars produced). While an Ace gets a healthy $300,000 to $400,000 today, the Aceca only fetches a modest $130,000 to $170,000. It might shock you to know that the silver Aceca in these photographs recently sold on for just $140,000. Keep your eyes open, and you might find a deal on a disassembled project car for much less, like this car that sold for a mere $30,000 a while back.

If there’s a firm out there that could keep its cost low, and adapt an accurate fiberglass body to early Cobra replica chassis, then there’s potential. But an accurate six-cylinder car with convincing wire wheels wouldn’t come cheap.

I’ll hold my breath that this happens one day, but for now the Aceca continues to be an under appreciated quirky little coupe.

Comments for: Is it Time for an AC Aceca Kit?

comments powered by Disqus

Related Stories You Might Like

Filed Under

AC Cars