Author Topic: AC Ace Bristol's at Le Mans 24hr... 57-62  (Read 97679 times)

Louism

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AC Ace Bristol's at Le Mans 24hr... 57-62
« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2011, 09:56:22 »
Tim,
   
   In my explication, the most important was:
   
   The group classification IS INDEPENDANT from the engine category class.
   
   In 1961, you have a classification in Sport and GT. The Ace is 7th in GT (first mistake of the website "experiencelemans.com", the Porsche in 10th position is a GT and not a Sport car)
   classification in GT is
   1- Ferrari #14
   2- Ferrari #20
   3- Porsche #36
   4- Lotus #38
   5- Lotus #40
   6- Sunbeam #34
   7- Ace #28
   
   Second classification is the class based on engine category, in our case we are looking at 1601-2000 class.
   1- Porsche #33
   2- Porsche #32
   3- Maserati #24
   4- Triumph #27
   5- Triumph #26
   6- Triumph #25
   7- Ace #28
   
   For the period we are talking about, you don't have to mix car category and engine capacity class.
   
   My source is ACO
   
   It should be better to understand like that...[;)]
   Louis

Louism

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AC Ace Bristol's at Le Mans 24hr... 57-62
« Reply #16 on: January 17, 2011, 13:28:10 »
Well, well, well...
   
   It seems we can have a different eye reading the classification, I mean:
   The overall classification is, of course, the same !
   The Sport and GT winners are the same !
   But starting in 1960 some people mix group and engine capacity class (generalized only in 1978 on ACO documents like "Les 24 Heures du Mans 1923-1982" from the Automobile Club de l'Ouest).
   
   The ACO classification is the one I gave yesterday, does FIA think different ?
   Let's investigate...It's important for our Ace !!! [;)]
   
   Cheers
   Louis

nikbj68

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AC Ace Bristol's at Le Mans 24hr... 57-62
« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2011, 18:33:37 »
A selection of Le Mans Aces:
   
   Firstly, BEX1110, missing from the transferred post above :
   
   

   
   And then the same car, at the same place, some 49 years later:
   
   
   
   
   
   One of the most famous of all Aces, BE214, in 1959. Before the race:
   
   
   
   During the race...
   
   
   
   ...And after the race!
   
   
   
   BEX399 made it there in 1958:
   
   
   
   And 1961:
   
   
   
   and a more recent shot:
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

Louism

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AC Ace Bristol's at Le Mans 24hr... 57-62
« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2011, 10:17:56 »
Thank you so much for the pictures...!
   
   specially BEX399 in 58. You can see through the years how the regulation regarding windscreens has modify cars aspect.
   
   Remember BE214 in 58, on both Tony and Rinsey's books you can read the story between practises on wednesday with a race windscreen and practises on thursday with a standart road windscreen. The first time I heard about a 30" difference for one lap, I could not believe it ! At that time in Le Mans, a lap with an Ace Bristol was around 5 minuts for 8.67 miles and one of the most important parameter was top speed.
   
   Looking at the nice picture of BEX1110 before scrutineering you can also notice the car has no hardtop fixed. This ace in 61 had a hardtop for the race. I have to check if this equipment had to be fix for regulations reasons or because the team wanted to have a better top speed.
   There is of course a relation between those 2 equipments: windscreen/hardtop.
   
   This is a picture of BEX365 at the 24 Hours 1960
   
   
   
   Another picture of BEX365 but at Le Mans Classic 2002 (the first edition of this event):
   
   
   
   The car still has its original "unusual" windscreen. In fact it is an XK120 screen (to be confirmed), why not an ordinary AC road one ? Jean, the actuel owner of BEX365, speaks about a rule asking for a split windscreen.
   
   To close, for now, the different classifications of the 24 Hours:
   - The official classification of the race by the organizer (the ACO: Automobile Clib de l'Ouest) is the one I gave.
   - The CSI (Commission Sportive Internationale) is a division of the FIA (Federation Internationale de l'Automobile), can give a classification by engine capacity in each group: in 1961 BEX1110 is 17th overall and first in GT 1601 to 2000.
   
   Thanks again for the pics.[;)]
   Have a nice weekend
   Louis

Louism

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AC Ace Bristol's at Le Mans 24hr... 57-62
« Reply #19 on: January 30, 2011, 11:05:12 »
Back in 1958, I found some nice pictures on website cobracars.be
   I you read Tony and Rinsey books it makes a good compilation with those pics.
   
   Project LM5000 started in 57, Thames Ditton commissioned Tojeiro to build the car. The body was studied by Morton.
   
   
   
   If you look at page 229 on Rinsey's book and the picture showing the engine, the chassis looks different. Anybody to tell us why ?
   
   The car is lovely from this angle, you can notice the yellow sticker on the left of the numberplate. This is Le Mans regulation for the drivers to identify the different categories of groups and classes when following...
   
   
   
   Tony Bancroft gives the story of the Test at Goodwood before Le Mans. Ken Rudd was not very enthousiast about handling.
   Is there a reason at that time the wheelbase was different from each side ? Some old road cars have a short difference due to suspension but in that case...
   
   
   
   100D2 engine
   
   
   
   On the road to Le mans, I loved the anecdot about the crewman in the ferry who INSISTED to shunt the car and despite the fierce engine and the hard brakes, he bumped the front [:(!]. I think you can notice this incident at the front left of LM5000 during scrutineering.
   
   
   
   The car driven by Peter Bolton and Dickie Stoop was timed just under 5', disappointing ! But top speed was good on Mulsanne straight at more than 150 mph (I always thougt strange this part of the circuit has a different name in french, for us it is "Hunaudières straight" because Mulsanne is the slow corner at the end of it)
   
   The car during the race
   
   
   
   1958 edition was very wet, the two Aces (LM5000 and BEX399) finishing close together in 8th and 9th position overall. It was very hard at the end for LM5000 due to rear chassis failure.
   
   Mister Bird, you have two nice babies in your garage, congratulations...![;)]
   
   

bex316

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AC Ace Bristol's at Le Mans 24hr... 57-62
« Reply #20 on: February 05, 2011, 11:49:00 »
Keith asked me to post a few more photos on his behalf, this time of the special LM5000 that raced Le Mans 24 hr in 1958 together with BEX399.
   
   Jerry
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

Louism

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AC Ace Bristol's at Le Mans 24hr... 57-62
« Reply #21 on: February 06, 2011, 21:03:08 »
Keith and Jerry, thank you so much !! [;)]
   
   To continue about LM5000 in 58, as I wrote in my last message I was "confused":
   - by the picture of the car at the page 229 in Rinsey's book showing the rear of the car without body.
   - by the picture of the engine in the car in my last message.
   In both cases, looking at the chassis displayed beside LM5000 in Bird's collection, it does not fit together...
   
   when reading carefuly the book, the chassis broke a first time in Le Mans and started to break again in Goodwood TT in august 58. It was decided to redisign the chassis, in consequence.
   We can notice two little blisters on the upper rear as shown here:
   
   
   
   Those blisters were not on Le Mans pictures...
   
   If you look at the the picture of the chassis, you can notice paint is different at rear back. It is said the problems at the end of the 24 Hours race were located at the back of the car. This different color shows the repair made after Le Mans.
   
   
   
   Why rear left ? Because Le Mans and Goodwood are "clockwise" circuit and the left side of the car is more solicited.
   
   The conclusion is also: picture in page 229 of Rinsey's book was shot after august 58 when the chassis was modified.
   
   That was a hard job for me to explain, sorry for my "frenglish" ![:p]
   
   I am back from Retromobile in Paris where I found a few new pictures, I spoke also with Georges who owns BEX1192 from Le Mans 62.
   
   Back with more pictures soon...[;)]

bex316

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AC Ace Bristol's at Le Mans 24hr... 57-62
« Reply #22 on: February 07, 2011, 01:20:33 »
One thing, the chassis picture shown is of an Ace, certainly not of LM5000 which looks completely different with its spaceframe construction.
   
   After I made this post I saw I received an email from Tim Isles with exactly the same remark.
   Tim also remarks LM5000 is not an Ace as it shares very little with production models apart from the engine and gearbox design.
   Technically this is correct of course but maybe we can view this topic as AC's combined efforts at Le Mans during the production run of the Ace which includes Aces AND the one-off LM5000.
   
   Jerry

Louism

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AC Ace Bristol's at Le Mans 24hr... 57-62
« Reply #23 on: February 07, 2011, 08:08:25 »
Yes Jerry,
   
   All of us agree LM5000 has very little to share with an Ace, but she is registered as an "AC Ace LM" in Le Mans datas.
   We can consider LM5000 is one of the eight Aces which took part in the 24 Hours of Le Mans...
   
   LM5000 ran in 58 with BEX399.
   
   
   
   BEX399 is breaking for Indianapolis turn.
   Miserable weather, isn't it Mister Marshal !
   
   Louis

Louism

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AC Ace Bristol's at Le Mans 24hr... 57-62
« Reply #24 on: February 07, 2011, 12:28:39 »
I found last friday an interessant picture about (again...[:D]) LM5000.
   
   As Tony tells in his book, a crewman damaged the front of the car when shunting the car in the ferry.
   
   This picture shows LM5000 during scrutineering, here at weigh station. Quite a big bump no ! [:(!]
   That is the kind of anecdot we are looking for here !
   Please admire the "numbers-painters" in white coats and tie with their brushes...
   
   
   
   I wrote the copyright on the picture, I bought it to the famous "Washington photo" in Le Mans.

Louism

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AC Ace Bristol's at Le Mans 24hr... 57-62
« Reply #25 on: February 07, 2011, 17:19:33 »
quote:
Originally posted by ANTOINE PRUNET
   
Hello Louism
   
   Sorry for my typo with VD 31156. Of course I meant VD 21156 which I had not seen before on the car at Le Mans.
   
   I am still struggling to understand how to post in this forum a photo of BEX 289 at Le Mans with plate VD 2065. (What does mean?) Anyway that change of plates does not change anything with the car.
   
   The reference to Drogo is (another) mystery to me: I have seen many photos of many Drogo cars (mostly Ferraris) but this Ace never appeared.
   
   Regarding AE 205 ex-Le Mans, I have a picture of a Japanese entry in some Mille Miglia retrospective. It is metallic green and looks like the car shown in Rinsey Mill's excellent book, on the bottom of page 136. But this forum...
   
   Regards
   

   
   Hello Antoine,
   
   Five minutes ago, I spoke with Georges Gachnang. Still very young and enthusiast !
   On the way to Le Mans, the car was behind this big american car on a trailor. After the race, the car returned to Switzerland by road but for some insurance reasons the number plate VD 21156 was changed for VD 2065.
   VD 2065 was the professional registration of André Wicky, the co-driver of the car. Wicky is very well known for Le Mans fans as a driver and as entrant (Bizzarrini, Porsche...).
   
   A picture of BEX289 with the plate VD 2065 is certainly on the way back from Le Mans to Aigle after the race.
   
   And the most important, still no information about this "Drogo" conversion...
   
   
   
   The white Alfa Romeo at the back belongs to the "pit chief" of the team, he was also the chemist of Gachnang's village: Aigle.

B.P.Bird

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AC Ace Bristol's at Le Mans 24hr... 57-62
« Reply #26 on: February 09, 2011, 16:25:42 »
Nice to read the learned discussion on Aces at le Mans. To try and dispel a little confusion here are some points:
   1) LM 5000 was named by A.C. and registered with Surrey County Council as the 'Ace le Mans' and to be entirely pedantic any other 'standard' competition Ace which ran at le Mans could be correctly described as a le Mans Ace.
   2) The picture of the chassis, which seems to have caused a bit of head scratching is of AE22.
   3) The chassis breakage suffered by LM5000 reflects a bit of a Tojeiro failing in that several of his designs seem to have had a compliance problem in the suspension geometry leading to over stressed components and some major failures. In this instance the rear suspension was by heavily inclined semi-trailing arms which somehow fed heavy loads into the differential case which is magnesium. I have two differential cases and one of them has a mounting lug completely torn out and cracks around the other two mounts - was this the failure? Who knows, as the original le Mans/Goodwood tubework from the spaceframe is no longer present one cannot say if there was a failure there as well.
   4) After The Tourist Trophy in 1958 the rear suspension was redesigned at Thames Ditton. It looks very much like Alan Turner's work, but I could not be certain. In any event it was a proper bit of engineering and has never given a moments concern since. The geometry was changed to strut and wishbone, hence the small blisters in the rear decking which give clearance to the pinnacle nuts which mount the top of the strut/coil spring/damper.
   5) The British Rail Channel Ferry accident, whilst en route to le Mans in 1958 has left traces with the car to this day. It was never properly repaired for the race, or afterwards and it was only because I hit a low bollard, at walking pace, in Caen, whilst returning from le Mans, in exactly the same place on the nose, some years ago, that I finally had to repair it properly. Fortunately David Sanderson was available and it was possible to lift the bonnet skin and untangle the spaghetti like tubes around the nose without sacrificing too much of the 1958 paint.
   6) The parts used on LM500 are mostly unique. The engine was one of two 100D2S, the other engine went into BEX399. The gearbox was a BWCR12, but shortened. The differential is magnesium with straight cut crown wheel and pinion. The rear suspension is completely one off. The front suspension is similar to and shares some parts with the later Greyhound - another Alan Turner work. Alloy rim Dunlop competition wheels were used. The steering wheel, Smith's gauges and gear lever knob are standard Ace....
   The really interesting 'what if' arises if you consider why A.C. took all the trouble to sort out and develop LM5000 in late 1958/early 1959 and then abandoned the design completely, apart from some very minor carry over into the Greyhound?
   Discs all round, coil springs all round, space frame chassis, really good aerodynamics and, as I can testify over many racing miles, delightful roadholding plus Cavendish Morton good looks: 1958/59 remember - the Ace/Ace 2.6/Ace 3.6/Cobra family had to carry on with transverse leaf springs til 1965, the ladder chassis was never retired and no one ever accused a Cobra of aerodynamics. Could a production version in 1959/60 have been a world beater?

Louism

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AC Ace Bristol's at Le Mans 24hr... 57-62
« Reply #27 on: February 12, 2011, 14:24:05 »
Barrie Thank you so much and welcome !
   With your intervention, it's all clear now.
   Accept my apologize for my mistakes about LM5000.
   
   Why not going in 1959 now ?
   
   As you know, 59 is the best result ever at the 24 Hours by an AC Bristol.
   Our main actors are: chassis #BE214 entered by Ken Rudd and driven by Ted Whiteaway and John Turner.
   
   This picture was taken after the chequered flag
   
   
   
   The two drivers in the car, Ted at the wheel with helmet and John.
   Near the car on the right is Jane Waugh.
   Can you confirm it is the mechanic Arthur Harwood with hat behind Ted ?
   
   More to come...
   Louis

Louism

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AC Ace Bristol's at Le Mans 24hr... 57-62
« Reply #28 on: February 12, 2011, 20:50:58 »
BE214 left Thame Ditton in november 1956 and was bought by Don Levy in Ken Rudd's garage.
   The car had been seen in various club races and was quite badly damaged in august 57.
   Then Jane Waugh purchased BE214 in 1958.
   
   Both Tony and Rinsey books tell the story in details, the most important to know is to remember Le Mans involvement started when Jane and Ken Rudd met each other in february 59.
   After specific preparation for Le Mans in Rudd's workshop and tests in Goodwood, The car arrived for scrutineering:
   
   
   
   
   
   

Louism

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AC Ace Bristol's at Le Mans 24hr... 57-62
« Reply #29 on: February 12, 2011, 21:31:31 »
Another important actor of the story is Ken Rudd.
   I saw him twice, both case thanks to Steve Gray (AC Heritage):
   
   The first time at Goodwood Revival 2005 where an AC garage was recreated
   
   
   
   The second time in september 2008 during the Revival again, a few months before he died in 2009.
   Ken Rudd is sitted in Steve's AE35
   
   
   
   
   
   And finally in John Arnold's AE51