Between 1956 and 1963, AC manufactured 169 Acecas fitted with the most desirable of engines, the six-cylinder Bristol.
This car, chassis BE 700, left the Thames Ditton factory in October 1958, supplied through Ken Rudd to Mr Alexander. Durham County Council assigned its first and current registration number, UBR 135. Correspondence in 1966 from the AC factory to the then owner, Richard Barnett, shows that Mr Alexander regularly returned the car to the factory for servicing, before selling it ‘up North’ (heaven forbid!).
There is the original invoice in the extensive history file for Richard Barnett’s purchase of the car on 15th March 1966, as well as his Lloyds insurance cover. At the time, Barnett was a final year student at Bristol University and paid £343 to secure it. He was a fastidious, enthusiastic owner and there is a lot of paperwork during his long-term ownership from 1966 though to 2007. It’s fair to say his name would have been well known to those working at the AC factory! Bristol Cars didn’t escape unbothered either.
In around 1973/74, Barnett decided to undertake a complete overhaul, work that was started but never completed. An enthusiast of the great British canal, he was a driving force behind the regeneration of inland waterways. The partly dismantled, but very complete Aceca was stored on blocks in a garage next to his canal-side house for some 34 years. In a chance meeting with a fellow canal enthusiast, he discovered a fellow AC owner and enthusiast, and after many years of discussions, Barnett finally accepted he was never going to complete the restoration, and sold the car to David Whitehouse.
It was David Whitehouse who completed a thorough restoration over a 3 year period, with the engine initially restored to standard specification. Finding it uninspiring, the engine was given to Steve Stanton who rebuilt it with Cosworth pistons, a fast road cam, new valves etc to give a solid 140bhp at 5,500 rpm. Briefly owned by Alistair Hacking, the well-known AC specialist, before being bought by the current owner. He has driven all over Europe in the car, covering many thousands of miles, maintenance being taken care of by Spencer Lane Jones during this period.
Finished in Black Pearl with Beige trim, UBR 135 has had only 4 owners since 1966. With MOTs back to 1969, the current mileage of 101,347 is well supported. This is the ultimate specification Aceca – Bristol engine, matching numbers, overdrive, disc brakes, a great colour scheme and a superb history file. What more could you ask for?
Report by pendine.co