A Matching-Numbers D2 AC Bristol Roadster, One of the Best Driving We Have Ever Encountered
1957 AC Bristol Roadster
s/n BEX 329, engine no. 100D 682
Light Blue Metallic with Blue Leather Interior
Frequently described as the more sophisticated older brother of the Cobra, the AC Ace, and later the AC Bristol are embodiments of the quintessential British sports car. Featuring a beautiful and elegant hand-formed aluminum body, the car weighs less than 2,000 pounds, making it a very lithe and sporting car to drive. Originally powered by a comparatively anemic 100hp AC powerplant, the car received the excellent ex-BMW triple carbureted overhead valve inline-6 for 1956, giving the car a level of power that was more in keeping with the capabilities of its excellent chassis. The cars were successful in competition, with examples competing at Le Mans in 1957 and 1958, while in the United States, the AC Bristol won the Sports Car Club of America's E production class championship in 1957, 1958, and 1959. Just 466 examples were built with the Bristol power plant between 1956 and 1962, and when the supply of six-cylinder powerplants dried up, the Cobra was born, creating one of the most iconic and dominant sports cars of all time. Unlike the Cobra, however, the AC Bristol is eligible for the world's most prestigious events, including the Le Mans Classic, Italian and California Mille Miglia, and the Monterey Historics, and others.
This particular car is a matching numbers example that is the finest driving example we have come across in recent memory. Originally completed in the summer of 1957, this car was finished in Bright Blue Metalline with blue leather upholstery, top and tonnau, according the AC Registry. The car left the factory on the 22nd of July 1957, destined for AC Imports in Arlington, Virginia. The car’s first owner is unknown, but by 1964, it belonged to George Conrades of Bexley, Ohio. Conrades sold the car to Bob Fergus, a pioneering sports car enthusiast who was involved in the early days of American postwar road racing. Like all the cars in Fergus’ collection, this example was maintained by his race shop, although he used the car exclusively on the street. In 1989, he sold it to a collector in Maryland named Randy Hardgrove.
In recent years, the car has seen considerable maintenance and restorative work, including new paint in 2011 and new upholstery to the seats, door panels, and carpets, done in 2012. The brakes were rebuilt with new hydraulics, shoes, and turned drums. The carburetors were rebuilt and flow benched, which resulted in a 15% increase in power. The car is a D2 specification example. The electrical system was sorted and a new battery fitted. The mchaanical fuel pump was also rebuilt and the valves adjusted. The steering column bearing was also replaced, the fuel tank restored, and the generator rebuilt. The heater core was slo rebuilt and the ignition system serviced. All mechanical work was performed by Unsworth Engineering. It has proven to be an enjoyable and trustworthy touring car, having been used on the Colorado Grand, Montana Going to the Sun Rally (2012), and the Arizona 500 Rally twice (2013 and 2014).
The car is a high level driver, and is as nice as one would ever want for a car that can be used on events. The paintwork was done to high standards and shows minimal blemishes, with a few chips on the front of the car and the occasional surface blemish. Overall, the paintwork is fresh in appearance and attractive. The body is straight with good panel fit and gaps. The chrome and brightwork are very nice, as are the lights and glass. There is light road wear to the windscreen and the car is equipped with Lucas headlamps.
The interior is in very nice condition, with fresh blue leather and carpets which are in as-new condition. The dashboard is not freshly restored but is in very good condition throughout. The gauges and controls are in very nice shape and are correct throughout. The steering wheel is in beautiful as-new condition.
The engine compartment is clean and detailed. It is not prepared to show standards but is well above average for a car that is driven and is impressively clean considering the car’s consistent event usage. The inner fenders are original to the car. The trunk is functional and somewhat Spartan, and is complete with original spare, hammer, and jack.
This is one of the finest driving AC Bristols we have encountered in recent memory. The engine is well-tuned and powerful, the gearbox is a pleasure to use, and the overall feel of the car is coherent and satisfying. The brakes are effective, the steering tight, and the chassis and suspension provide the ideal blend of communication and sure-footedness. The brakes work well, and this is one of those rare cars that simply feels right.
This is an excellent opportunity to acquire a wonderfully sorted matching-numbers AC Bristol roadster. Attractively restored and a proven event car, this example is eligible for prestigious rallies and events around the world. It comes with 5 original painted wheels, miscellaneous small parts, extra steering wheel (a wood-rimmed Moto-Lita), hammer, jack, and full weather equipment including tonneau, top and bows, side curtains.
The above vehicle information is complete and accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time it is posted to this website. Corrections or additional information is always appreciated. All advertised prices exclude government fees and taxes, any finance charges, any dealer document preparation charge, and any emission testing charge. Vehicles are subject to prior sale. All advertised to be true but not guaranteed. We assume no liability for errors or omissions.
Fantasy Junction • 510-653-7555 • 1145 Park Ave, Emeryville, CA 94608