Introduced in 1959, the AC Greyhound was the third in a line of cars which had begun six years earlier with the AC Ace, itself a descendant of the Bristol-engined sports car raced successfully by Cliff Davies and designed by Portuguese-born John Tojeiro. That famous car, registered LOY 500, can still be seen racing today. It was fitted with an attractive aluminium body crafted by Gray & Rich Panelcraft of Hammersmith and closely based on Ferrari’s 166 ‘Barchetta’.
At Thames Ditton, sales of AC’s 2-litre saloon were tailing off and the company quickly signed a deal with Tojeiro to produce the car which would be fitted with AC’s own 2-litre, 75bhp engine and the AC Ace was launched to great acclaim at the 1953 Motor Show. Most Aces would, however, be fitted with 2.0- or 2.2-litre Bristol power units and a few with 2.6-litre Ford Zephyr, all these options being in-line sixes.
A hardtop version of the Ace, called the Aceca, was introduced in 1955 to be followed four years later by the Greyhound. With the chassis lengthened by some ten inches, the Greyhound offered the practicality of a 2+2 layout still with aluminium bodywork and the same choice of engines. Overdrive was optional on the aluminium-cased 4-speed gearbox and the Greyhound was fitted with disc brakes at the front and had rack and pinion steering.
Of the 83 Greyhounds made between 1959 and 1963, three were left-hand drive. Development of the AC Ace line took a major upturn in 1963 with the introduction of the V8 powered Cobra but not before John Steed, played by Patrick McNee, was seen driving an AC Greyhound in a series 2 episode of The Avengers.
The photo shows Oliver Nuthall driving an AC Greyhound in the 2010 VSCC Pomeroy Trophy Competition at Silverstone.
Words and photo by Peter McFadyen. See his website: http://petermcfadyen.co.uk