02 June 2011
Eric Bryan takes a look at the history and diecast model toy replicas of the Dinky AC Aceca Coupé. ...
A great British classic
It was while researching another article that I came across an image of a Dinky Toys No 167, the AC Aceca Coupé. The car’s beautiful shape and two-tone paintwork caught my attention. I thought the lines of it were reminiscent of Aston Martins and Ferraris of the late 1950s and early 1960s era. Digging a little deeper, I discovered some background on the car – and speaking of Aston Martins, an Ian Fleming connection.
The Dinky Aceca Coupé was made from 1958 to 1962. Its primary advertised feature was printed on the box: WITH WINDOWS. The main variations of this beautiful model are the paint scheme and wheel type. Colour schemes were grey (sometimes of varying shades) lower body with red upper body, cream lower body with chestnut brown upper body, cream lower body and maroon upper body, and all cream. Wheel types were red ridged hubs with the grey and red models, cream ridged hubs with the cream and chestnut brown versions, and bare metal spun hubs on all four colour variations.
The real deal
The AC Aceca Coupé debuted at the Earls Court Motor Show in 1954. Produced until 1963, it was based on the two-seater AC Ace. The coupé was a traditionally British, handmade grand tourer. The car used an aluminium body over ash wood and steel tubing on a ladder steel frame chassis construction. The Aceca Coupé was the second car to utilise the hatchback feature – the first was the Aston Martin DB2/4.
The Aceca Coupé originally had an AC engine, but from 1956 had a Bristol engine from Bristol Cars. Several Acecas were fitted with a 2553cc Ruddspeed-modified Ford Zephyr/Zodiac engine in 1961 to 1963, being the 2.6 models. When production ceased in 1963, 151 Acecas, 169 Aceca-Bristols and eight Ford Zephyr Acecas had been built.
The Aceca’s first engine was the same one as used in the AC Ace: a straight six cylinder, overhead cam, 90 horsepower unit with an aluminium engine block. The Aceca-Bristol had a 2.0 litre, 125 horsepower engine, derived from a pre-war BMW 328 design, with a cast iron block and aluminium cylinder head...