Author Topic: 5 BPG, Racing History & Restoration.  (Read 13542 times)

nikbj68

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5 BPG, Racing History & Restoration.
« on: October 07, 2011, 21:29:48 »
Following on from the excellent Octane Magazine feature (November 2011).
   With the Permission of owner Tony Bancroft & Steve Gray of The Brooklands Motor Company (AC Heritage) who carried out the restoration, this thread is intended to expand on the story of 5 BPG (chassis number BE212), the fastest Ace in Britain in it`s heyday.
   
   
Starting with Early racing, here is Ian Smith in 1957:
   
   
   
   And at Brands Hatch in 1958:
   
   
   
   The following week, Smith was at Goodwood:
   
   
   
   But by 1960, Peter Bolton had taken ownership & carried out much development of the engine & suspension:
   
   
   
   The Autosport caption tells us that Bolton`s mods were effective!:
   
   
   
   But maybe it was more than David Alexander could handle by 1963?!:
   
   
   
   Sold to Gerry Bagshaw for £175, the wreck of 5 BPG sits outside it`s new home in Barnet.
   Although the soft Aluminium body is virtually destroyed, the running gear had survived the accident much better:
   
   
   
   You could look down and see the inside of the rear wheel from above! The bootlid is virtually the only part of the Ace`s body to escape damage during the crash!:
   
   
   
   Where do you begin? [xx(]
   
   
   
   Over the winter of 1963/64, Gerry set about straightening the Ace out with a rubber hammer & tyre lever, a truly mammoth task for an experienced panelbeater, let alone a complete novice!
   
   
   
   The beautiful, flowing lines of the Ace are a little bit less graceful now...
   
   
   
   ...But not long ago she looked ready for the scrap-heap!:
   
   
   
   
   
   Summer 1964 saw the return of 5 BPG to racing, at Silverstone:
   
   
   
   Due to the stretching of the aluminium whilst repairing the rear wing, the Ace ALWAYS looked like it was taking a right-hander flat out, but in this case, she is!
   
   
   
   OH NO!!!! The only part of the Ace that survived the Snetterton crash gets a bloody good THUUMMPP! That`s just not fair!
   
   
   
   By 1965`s season, 5 BPG was now professionally repaired and painted dark green. Beautiful again, seen here on  new wide 15" wheels, swapped for the 16" road wheels:
   
   
   
   On the circuit, the new wheels have little clearance to the rear wing!
   
   
   
   Gerry Bagshaw beams with pride as he prepares to race, (on the old narrow 15" wheels ):
   
   
   
   But, then along came the ex-Willment Cobra, and the Bristol 6 couldn`t match the V8 grunt, so 5 BPG went into retirement.
   
   
   
   In 1974 Gerry sold the Ace to Ron Stern(who had bought the Cobra from him in 1973), who then sold it on to Ken Rodgers, who by the Bentley Drivers` Club meeting in 1975 had painted it red.
   Despite the fact that it was sold without registration & issued the new number 314 JGY, 5 BPG remains on the boot!
   
   
   
   Now seen at Le Mans for the 'Historique', 1978, the Ace is black, but with the correct registration number :
   
   
   
   For many years 5 BPG resided in the museum at Spa Francorchamps, showing her age and signs of a hard, hard life. [:(]
   
   
   
   
   
   But given a polish & sat in the sunshine at the ACOC 50th anniversary in 1999, looks hardly any different to how she did
   34 years before, does she? [8D]

   (Still got the naughty wrong number on the front, but correct on the rear!!!)
   
   
   
   Tony Bancroft had been in contact with Ken Rodgers for many years, and finally persuaded him to sell the Ace to him in September of 2005.
   Around November `05, Steve Gray`s Brooklands Bashers got their hands on 5 BPG (Now re-issued that registration due to Tony`s hard work).
   The chassis was checked for straightness & some minor repairs were carried out, and then it was in to the paint booth:
   
   
   
   Meanwhile, the body is tended to. Some parts are just too far gone, like this headlight surround:

   Ouch, nasty burn there, fella![:0]
   
   
   
   A new segment for the lip around the nose is created on the original AC body buck.
   
   
   
   Finessed back to the lines that AC intended, British craftsmanship at it`s best:
   
   
   
   The original & new sections of Aluminium may be visible, but you can`t feel the join!
   It`s amazing how little of the body needed to be replaced! [8D]
   
   
   
   A new section is grafted into place around the door reveal, one of only a handful of replacement pieces required.
   
   
   
   Dashboard modifications are repaired to original configuration
.(Compare photos of the Ace in red, then in Spa museum, above.)
   
   
   
   40 years on, the wheel arch is the right shape again, after much hard work.
   
   
   
   Another small section of new metal, blended perfectly into the original.
   
   
   
   Beauty isn`t just skin deep on this Ace.
   All running gear is returned to perfect condition, Tony even managed to retrieve the original cyinder head from an Aceca owner!
   
   
   
   Body & chassis reunited after months of painstaking restoration.
   It almost seems a shame to hide all that hard work under paint!
   
   
   
   The bonnet scoop, missing since 1965, is recreated as an essential aid to getting air into the carbs at full chat!
   
   
   
   She may look like new, but the battlescars are all still there, under the paint.
   
   
   
   The original mirror which had sat in a workshop for nigh on 50 years is reunited with the Ace & provides the colour she will be restored to.
   
   
   
   Nearing completion at Brooklands. Paint so deep, you could swim in it!
   
   
   
   The extra suspension spring, an early competition upgrade, wrapped in Denso Tape in the restored engine bay.
   
   
   
   
   Better than new? Brooklands Motor Company`s craftsmen are second to none!
   
   
   
   A new hood is made to complement the interior colourscheme.
   The sign at the back of the garage seems most appropriate! [:D]
   
   
   
   Looking better than ever!
   The Hardtop fits for the first time in 40+ years!
   It has taken over a year to complete, but the results are stunning.
   
   
   
   
   
   But that doesn`t mean that this is a 'Trailer Queen'.
   5 BPG is used regularly on the road, for instance having driven down from Yorkshire to Brooklands for the ACOC 60th Anniversary in 2009 (seen here at Denbies Vineyard the day before)...:
   
   
   
   ...Or Silverstone (with myself & Jack sears in front!!! What a day!):
   
   
   
   
   ...Or in Cork, Ireland for the ACOC 2010 International Meeting:
   
   
   
   ...Or Oulton Park, for the Gold Cup, where Gerry Bagshaw was reunited with 5 BPG, for the first time since 1974.
   
   
   
   So there you go. Probably the finest example of AC`s Ace Bristol.
   Good for another 50 years at least!
   
   AC... Bloody Well Done!

Gus Meyjes

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5 BPG, Racing History & Restoration.
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2011, 21:46:23 »
What a great thread!!
   Fantastic having the direct relation and all the pics!
   Great restoration work and a beautiful finish. I absolutely love the color! Single stage paint? Enamel, lacquer?
   
   Thanks for sharing all those photos Nik.
   
   Gus

Louism

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« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2011, 22:13:51 »
Absolutely Marvellous !
   Great job !
   
   Thank you Nik
   Louis

Chafford

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« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2011, 22:24:46 »
A fascinating thread Nik, and an unbelievable photo of David Alexander's escape in 1963!

Stephan

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« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2011, 22:03:26 »
Absolutely fascinating! Thanks a lot for those pics.
   
   Stephan

aaron

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« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2011, 22:05:40 »
A cracking thread Nik, well done for taking the time to put this together.

cobham cobra

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« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2011, 12:52:21 »
Hi Nik,
   A great way of bringing the car’s  history to life and an enjoyable read with good photos – thank you.
   Cheers – John.

nikbj68

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« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2012, 17:30:10 »
The Octane magazine feature now appears online, and includes many more photographs than they used in the original article, some of which I hadn`t seen before!
   
   Enjoy it here: AC Ace Bristol - Conservation order

hawk289

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« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2014, 22:47:49 »
Really nice, always like this type of thread. You look like your dad!

nikbj68

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« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2014, 00:19:53 »
Thanks John! I may look a bit like my Dad, but he still has a full head of hair!!
   This old thread got 'bumped' back to the top as I had to correct a couple of errors that Dad pointed out; I had said he was racing on 16" wheels, but he actually swapped his 16's for wider 15's, with R6 tyres, but he reckoned  the Ace was quicker on the narrower 15" wheels and R5's! Also, I omitted Ron Stern from the owners' history.
   It is a fantastic story, had it not been Dad's only way to afford an Ace, the car would probably have been scrapped, which would have been tragic.

hawk289

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« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2014, 08:42:15 »
Nik,
   
   When cars are very low production (which is the case with many Ace's) the history is always interesting. I really enjoy doing research and when I see posts like this and Keith's own post I find the information fascinating.
   
   Again thanks for sharing!

nikbj68

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« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2015, 12:26:24 »
Just found a great photo of 5 BPG in the Stanford University 'REVS' Library, just before the big crash at Snetterton in March, 1963 that began Dad`s part of the Ace`s history!
   
   Click pic to go to the full-sized version.
   
   
   Courtesy of The Revs Institute for Automotive Research, Inc. All rights reserved.
   
   What an excellent resource, never seen the Ace with the soft-top on!