Author Topic: 1958 Sebring ? / Neat Old Photo  (Read 42073 times)

MkIV Lux

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1958 Sebring ? / Neat Old Photo
« Reply #15 on: June 21, 2012, 08:37:34 »
quote:
Originally posted by shep
   ......
   
   When I spotted the photo I thought it looked a lot like my Ace BEX193 which was shipped to Virginia in 1956..... ...
   

   
   Have I overlooked something here?
   Both cars on the photo are LHD. The register does not mention any conversion from LHD to RHD on BEX193?
   What's the clue [?]
   Constant

tim isles

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1958 Sebring ? / Neat Old Photo
« Reply #16 on: June 21, 2012, 13:30:17 »
Sebring 1957. Three cars were entered, all under the banner of 'The AC Car Company'. I'm not certain what that meant - the factory weren't able to provide much sponsorship.
   
   Car #35, chassis BEX 183, was the newly acquired red Ace-Bristol of Hap Dressel as a replacement for the previous season's AC-engined car. Don Cullen and Bill Woodbury were listed as co-drivers, with Ken Richardson and Bob Drake listed as drivers as well but not taking part. (I'm not certain how the system of listed drivers worked - they were often down to drive other cars as well, with Richardson and Drake also entered to drive a TR3.) This car (BEX 183) finished the race in 22nd place and 4th in class - 2 litre TRC Ferraris placed 1st and 2nd in class, so there was fairly stiff opposition! Alas this car was destroyed in November 1957 at the Venezuela GP, with Hap Dressel lucky to escape serious injury.
   
   Car #36 was the Ace-Bristol of Juan Fernandez, Juan Droullers and Lino Fayen. This was a very experienced team. Juan 'Jack' Fernandez imported some 41 Aces and Acecas to Venezuela, and was very active on the national motor racing scene in his Ace-Bristol. Droullers and Fayen were also seasoned AC drivers, and both went on to race more exotic machinery. This car was brought home in 17th place and 3rd in class. I think it possible that this car was BEX 246, a primrose yellow car delivered to Juan Fernandez the same month of the Sebring race. If it was 246 then the car is a survivor for it spent many years in the USA (perhaps it remained in the USA after the Sebring race?) before appearing at a Coys auction in Belgium in 2006.
   
   The third car was #72, BEX 154, and driven by the husband and wife team of John and Evelyn Mull. Both were very active on the SCCA scene - this car is generally attributed as belonging to Evelyn, for John Mull also owned an Ace as well. Unfortunately the car was a DNF, with the problem attributed to the rear axle (half shaft failure?) Maybe someone knows more? I understand this car is housed in a museum somewhere in the USA? Perhaps someone knows the location? For the moment then my understanding is that the car is a survivor, although it would be good to get a fix on it for in addition to its international and SCCA racing history it also happens to be the first Ace-Bristol imported into the USA.
   
   I have some photos of AE 90 and BEX 183 and 246 which I will get help with posting. I do have a picture of the Mulls with their two Aces, but it was not taken at Sebring, so if someone has a picture of car #72 from Sebring '57 it would be good to see it.
   
   As before, any more information, corrections, photos gratefully received.
   
   Many thanks,
   
   Tim
   
   PS Constant, Andy's car has been converted to RHD.

bex316

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1958 Sebring ? / Neat Old Photo
« Reply #17 on: June 21, 2012, 15:03:04 »
Here are a few 1956 Sebring pictures of AE 90, posted on Tim's behalf.
   
   Jerry
   
   
   
   
   
   

MkIV Lux

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1958 Sebring ? / Neat Old Photo
« Reply #18 on: June 21, 2012, 15:21:02 »
quote:
Originally posted by tim isles
   ...
   
   PS Constant, Andy's car has been converted to RHD.
   

   
   thanks for the feedback Tim
   
   Constant

nikbj68

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1958 Sebring ? / Neat Old Photo
« Reply #19 on: June 21, 2012, 17:05:07 »
For and on behalf of Tim, to accompany the above:
   Car #35, chassis BEX 183
   
   

   
   Car #36, possibly BEX 246
   
   


   
   and the Mull`s in their Aces, although not at Sebring
   
   
« Last Edit: April 25, 2018, 00:50:08 by nikbj68 »

MkIV Lux

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1958 Sebring ? / Neat Old Photo
« Reply #20 on: June 21, 2012, 17:53:02 »
the last photo shows the two Aces at Virginia International Raceway in August 1957

tim isles

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1958 Sebring ? / Neat Old Photo
« Reply #21 on: June 22, 2012, 10:41:05 »
Sebring 1958.  It gets a bit more complicated here. I have down that 5 Aces were entered, and that one of them was a class winner. Only four Aces actually took part (the 5th was a reserve entry), and all four finished, coming 15th, 16th, 19th and 22nd O/A. All five entries were attributed to AC Cars Ltd, and I’ve since learnt that the factory would pay for the entries as a means of promoting the marque.
   
   Car #37, chassis BEX 229, was bought new by Dr Richard Milo. The car left the AC factory in December 1956, and whilst Dr Milo does not appear in the results for the1957 SCCA season he, and his wife, took part in a number of races during the 1957 season. For the Sebring race the co-drivers were George McClure and Duncan Furlong (the last mentioned had some experiences racing  Aces, having owned from new and raced AEX 93, before exchanging it for BEX 171 which he raced in SCCA events in 1957 and 1958.) At Sebring BEX 229 finished in 19th place O/A and was awarded 1st in class in the GT 2.0 class. This appears strange because all other Aces entered in the race (and as in 1956 and 1957) were entered in the 2.0 Sports class. BEX 229 was competing in this GT 2.0 class with, among others, TR3s fitted with hardtops. However, photographs show the car running in open form, admittedly with the standard windscreen in place rather than a cut down racing screen. There is an aside to this tale in that Dr Milo also owned AE 205, the 1957 Le Mans Ace fitted with a Bristol engine and a modified nose, which was the car he originally entered. There was an accident with the trailer on the way to Sebring, damaging the car, and BEX 229 was substituted as the entry. That said as a modified works racer I would have thought that AE 205 had even less chance of being accepted into the GT class, so I remain unclear why BEX 229 car ran in the 2.0 GT class. Hopefully someone can clarify this? Regarding these cars, BEX 229 is still used in competition today, and AE 205 remains in the USA too.
   
   Car # 38, believed to probably be chassis number BEX 258, was driven into 22nd place and 6th in class by Bill Love, Ray Jackson-Moore and George Crowder. According to the factory records BEX 258 was delivered new to Bill Love and heavily raced by him, but Ray Jackson-Moore worked as an agent for AC cars and so there remains a possibility that a different car could have been used. If it was BEX 258 then the car’s whereabouts are known and it is currently under restoration in England. With regard to the other car in photograph that started this thread, #38T, research continues, help welcome.
   
   Car #39, chassis number unknown, was driven into 16th place and 4th in class by Fred Fuller, Art Tweedale and Tony Briggs. I know nothing of this team or the car. Can anyone add anything?
   
   Car #72, chassis number BEX 297, was the best placed Ace, driven into 15th place and 3rd in (the 2.0 Sports) class by Luke Steer, Mike Norris, and Bob Harris. Interestingly Hap Dressel and Bill Woodbury were also listed, but never drove. The car belonged to Luke Steer – he bought it new – and campaigned it successfully in the 1957 and 1958 SCCA seasons. Tony Bancroft’s register still has Luke Steer as the owner. A decent photograph of this car would be most welcome.
   
   Car #73 was the final entry but it was a reserve and did not race. I note that this car, like # 37, was also entered in the GT 2.0 class. The team consisted of Lloyd Casner who owned BEX 310, Bill Jordan, who owned BEX 264, and Frank Campbell, who owned BEX 263. All three came from Chicago and raced in some SCCA events in 1957 and 1958. Just which car was used would appear to be a difficult call. Of the three cars, only BEX 264 has a recent known owner, and the car is now in Belgium. Again, does anyone have any pictures of the car, whichever one it was, in the pits?
   
   A few photographs will follow.

nikbj68

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1958 Sebring ? / Neat Old Photo
« Reply #22 on: June 22, 2012, 15:06:57 »
Again, for & on behalf of Tim, black & white pics courtesy of Tony Bancroft`s archive:
   
   #37, BEX229:
   
   

   
   This photo of #37 looks like it was taken from a TV/video clip!
   

   
   
   
   BEX 258 stranded:
   

   
   and running with the pack!
   

   
   Unknown Ace #39 in the pits:
   

« Last Edit: April 25, 2018, 00:52:44 by nikbj68 »

tim isles

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« Reply #23 on: June 23, 2012, 08:12:23 »
Sebring 1959.  The year that an Ace-Bristol won its class at Le Mans. Four cars/teams were entered, again all by AC cars Ltd, but one team did not appear. The American Aces were equally successful, placing 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the GT 2.0 class - which for this year all four teams were now entered, so it seems a rule change had taken place. The event was though marked by a tragedy in one of the teams.
   
   Car # 23 was a factory-prepared lightweight Ace-Bristol, chassis number BE 1055, specially ordered by Lonnie Rix for this Sebring event. His co-drivers were listed as Ed Rahal and George Avent.  I point readers towards Rinsey Mills’ superb book ‘AC Six-Cylinder Sports Cars’ for a full account, but the car was destroyed in an accident just prior to the race in which one of the pit crew, Gilbert Johnson, lost his life. The team had a ‘T’ car available. This was Lonnie Rix’s much campaigned Ace-Bristol BEX 257, which had in theory been sold to make way for BE 1055. It was known that Gilbert Johnson would have wished the team to compete, so # 23T was hastily prepared and driven to 24th place and third in the GT 2.0 class. It must have been a very difficult race. BE 1055 was scrapped and the whereabouts of BEX 257 is unknown at the moment.
   
   Car # 24 belonged to Arch Means, an experienced driver who placed 3rd and 4th respectively in the SCCA E Production series in 1958 and 1959. His co-drivers were Charles Kurtz and Ross Wees, both successful SCCA drivers too. The car placed 22nd in the race, which put it 2nd in the GT 2.0 class. The chassis number is unknown to me.
   
   Car # 25, driven by Bobby Burns, Ray Jackson-Moore and James Cook. The experienced Jackson-Moore has been mentioned before but I have no knowledge of Burns or Cook. Whatever, the team proved a successful combination for they brought the car home in 14th place O/A and first in the GT 2.0 class. There is a good photograph of the car (which was light blue in colour with a white interior) in Rinsey Mills’ book, but again, the chassis number is unknown to me.
   
   Car # 81. This was the Bill Love car, assumed again to be his own car BEX 258, entered for a second year, but it did not appear. His co-driver was to be Skip Conklin. When researching past events it is easy to put 2 and 2 together and make 5, but Tony Bancroft recently made me aware of some facts that might be connected.  The first was a report in ‘Motor Racing’, a newspaper published in Calver (Culver?) City, California, stating that Gordon Crowder (one of Bill Love’s co-drivers in the 1958 Sebring event), had been involved in a very serious accident with an Ace in November 1958 at Leguna Seca when the car rolled over.
   
   Tony also showed me an article from ‘Autosport’, April 1959, picturing Bill Love at Daytona Speedway sitting in a light coloured Ace with the racing #s ‘81’ clearly visible. So it appears that the car was prepared for the Sebring race and made the trip from his home in California to Florida. Wind forward at least 50 years and restoration has recently started on this car, which has been unused for at least 30 plus years. It is painted a very pale yellow, and has clearly been rolled over in an accident as the main cockpit hoop is bent and has been crudely welded where it had broken. If it was the Love car involved in the November accident then perhaps it was not repaired in time? And perhaps if the car was re-painted then this would be the time after major repairs had been carried out, which might account for why it is pale yellow. But of course there may be no connection, or perhaps the team were placed on the reserve list and did not get a place? The out of sequence racing number suggests they may just have applied late.
   
   So, lots of questions again – pictures, identities of the Means and Burns cars, location of the Lonnie Rix ‘T’ car?
   
   This site gives, among much else, details of the Lonnie Rix team at Sebring:
   
   http://forums.autosport.com/lofiversion/index.php/t96517.html

nikbj68

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1958 Sebring ? / Neat Old Photo
« Reply #24 on: June 23, 2012, 11:51:57 »
#23 'T' car BEX257:
   

   
   #81, Bill Love:
   

« Last Edit: April 25, 2018, 00:54:09 by nikbj68 »

tim isles

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« Reply #25 on: June 24, 2012, 09:35:06 »
Sebring 1960. Four cars entered, of which three finished. All were entered under the ‘AC Cars’ banner in the GT 2.0 class. No repeat of a class win this year, but Aces did place 2nd and 3rd in the GT 2.0 class. (Bristol power did though win this class, in the form of an Arnolt-Bristol, which placed 14th O/A.) I know even less about the cars or their crews so any info welcome. From the pictures I have seen it appears all cars ran the standard windscreen – perhaps this was now a requirement for the GT 2.0 class?
   
   Car #34, chassis number BEX 1147, owned from new and driven by Bob Grossman, together with Mike Rothschild. They brought the car home in 21st O/A and 2nd in the GT 2.0 class. Bob Grossman went on to compete in the 1961 SCCA season (he placed 12th O/A) with this car, which is now in France.
   
   Car # 35, chassis number unknown, driven by Bob Mazzi and Frank Schroeder.  The car DNF due to what was described as rear wheel damage. Metallic blue with dark upholstery. Bob Mazzi placed 22nd O/A in his Ace in the 1960 SCCA D Production series
   
   Car # 36, chassis number unknown, fared much better and placed 20th O/A and 2nd in class. Drivers were listed as Bud Hulsey and Harry Washburn, the latter another SCCA driver. The car was red.
   
   Car #77, chassis number unknown, was brought home in 28th place driven by Tony O’Sullivan, Peter Procter (although listed as ‘GB’ I do not believe this was the Peter Procter of Le Mans et al fame), and Jef Stevens. Interestingly Jack Fernandez was a listed driver but never drove – I wonder what the connection was? Car was red with possibly red or beige interior.
   
   Sebring 1961. Three cars entered, all under the ‘AC Cars Ltd’ banner. GT 2.0 class, full windscreens etc. Only two cars started and both failed to finish. Again I know little other than what is recorded in the race results.
   
   Car # 35, driven by Leo May and James Johnson was a DNF due to a heavy accident – I don’t know the circumstances. Chassis number unknown; it was a metallic blue car with beige interior. Pictures show the car as having rolled, with the factory fitted roll over bar deformed just as one would expect the un-braced item to.
   
   Car # 36, driven by Frank Laughton and Robert Bowers. The car DNF but I don’t know why. Chassis number was BEX 426; a red car with grey upholstery. I note Tony O’Sullivan was ‘listed but did not drive’ - he drove car #77 in the 1960 event (which was also red.)
   
   Car # 84 is listed as Did Not Show, which probably means it was a reserve. Drivers were down as Bob Hathaway and Fred Spross. I have no information on this car at all. Bob Hathaway was active in SCCA, placing 16th O/A in the 1960 season in his Ace.
   
   Sebring 1962. Reflecting the fact that the Aces’ heyday was fading and the Cobra era was to follow, there was just one entry, Richard Kingham, who was not apparently sponsored by AC Cars.  His co-driver is listed as Bob Kingham. The car was a DNF, with ‘rear axle’ listed as the cause. The chassis number was BEX 1005, and the last known owner is still recorded as Dick Kingham, who owned the car from new. So it sounds as if it has still to be discovered.
   
   A general comment on these last three Sebring events is that it seems a number of the drivers down to compete who do not appear to have been on the SCCA ‘radar’, which one might have expected them to be, given the importance of the race? No doubt they gained their experience in another series. Do these names ring a bell with anyone?
   
   A separate quest for information comes from Tony Bancroft who some years ago was in touch with long time ACOC member and Ace owner Randall Baselt. In the 1990s Randall compiled a register of racing Aces and was extremely well informed. He was a California resident. If anyone knows of contact details for Randall I would welcome them – please just email me directly rather than using the Forum.
   
   So there we are. A very prestigious race for Aces, but with the exception of the Lonnie Rix entry in 1959, AC history has very little on record regarding the exploits of these teams and their cars, the identities of which are in many cases unknown.  I would assume there are many more photographs out there somewhere, and lots of tales to be told, for clearly racing at Sebring was quite an adventure. If this very short thread brings no instant response hopefully it will have achieved an increased awareness as to the dearth of information available. If it serves to encourage people to keep an eye out for old photos, a programme etc, or even secures some first-hand accounts from those that participated in some capacity or attended the meetings as a spectator, then it will have been of some use. Please keep looking!
« Last Edit: January 06, 2018, 12:28:04 by tim isles »

nikbj68

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1958 Sebring ? / Neat Old Photo
« Reply #26 on: June 25, 2012, 11:37:55 »
More photos on behalf of Tim (his text accompanying them), with source credits:
   
   1st one is Sebring '58, the mystery Fuller/Tweedale/Briggs car # 39. Tim noticed from the colour shot we placed of this car that it looks like a 'long boot', which narrows its identity down a bit:
   

   
   Next one is also Sebring '58, showing car # 37, BEX 229, (Milo/McClure/Furlong) together with car # 72, BEX 297, (Steer/Norris/Harris):
   

   
   3rd is Sebring 1960, the Hulsey/Washburn car #36. Photo courtesy John E Kelley:
   

   
   4th is Sebring 1960, the Mazzi/Shroeder car #35. Photo courtesy of Dave Nicholas:
   

   
   5th is Sebring 1961, the damaged May/Johnson car # 35. The photo is attributed to Scott Christie:
   

   
   6th is Sebring 1962, showing the Kingham car BEX 1005 # 40. This photo is also on the RSC website courtesy of Martin Spetz:
   

« Last Edit: April 25, 2018, 00:57:06 by nikbj68 »

nikbj68

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« Reply #27 on: June 27, 2012, 17:06:37 »
From Keith:
   Not at Sebring, but this is Evelyn Mull and family (grow-your-own pitcrew?!):
   
« Last Edit: April 25, 2018, 01:00:22 by nikbj68 »

nikbj68

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« Reply #28 on: June 28, 2012, 09:13:13 »
OK, another handful from the Keith Kollection, again, not from Sebring, but relevant!
   
   Here`s Evelyn Mull in BEX154:
   

   
   Lonnie Rix in BEX257, with Bill Dunno in car 57:
   

   
   Lonnie Rix again in BEX257:
   

   
   ...and finally for the moment, Bill Love driving BEX258 in 1957:
   

« Last Edit: April 25, 2018, 01:02:10 by nikbj68 »

nikbj68

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1958 Sebring ? / Neat Old Photo
« Reply #29 on: July 06, 2012, 00:42:26 »
Oh dear, BEX 258 didn`t get much love after Bill Love!
   
   
   
   

   
   
Quote
Taken from Barn Finds.com: "This Ace was SCCA raced  by Bill Love in the fifties and sixties. The last owner purchased it back in 1974 and it has sat in Texas since then. It looks like somewhere along the line one of the owners attempted to start a restoration by stripping off the paint. The car was originally red with a black interior, but you cant tell by looking at it. The sale includes the car’s original California pink slip. There are no photos of the engine, but Gullwing claims that the engine is correct and that it does turn over. It is missing a few pieces, but it looks complete enough to warrant a full restoration.
   
It is off Gullwing`s books now, so hopefully is in restoration as we speak!
« Last Edit: April 25, 2018, 01:07:02 by nikbj68 »