It’s little known and very rare but its claim to sharing DNA with the mighty Cobra is pretty clear. A sister car to the one you see here was lent to AC Cars so it had something to put on its stand at the Earls Court Motor Show in 1953. The Tojeiro prototype was fitted with an AC engine, painted blue and hey presto the AC Ace was born – and with it one of the world’s sports car icons once Carroll Shelby got his hands on it.
Race car builder Tojeiro had been commissioned to build a sports car using the ex-BMW Bristol 2.0-litre six-cylinder engine. Tojeiro, more chassis engineer than designer, gave the chassis to Panelcraft for a barchetta-style body modelled on that of the Ferrari 166 MM. A couple more prototypes were built, one of them – the car you see here – with MG power.
As the Tojeiro-MG Barchetta the car was quick to display its inherent chassis ability on the track, being successful in UK racing up to 1955 when, now giving its best to newer models from Lotus and Cooper, it was sold. It was advertised in Motorsport for £850 with the endorsement that it had “finished in every event entered this year.”