By Maz Woolley
All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author unless otherwise stated.
Oxford Diecast has now released the long awaited AC Aceca in 1:43 scale at the same time as Norev are also selling one which I believe is based upon a model that has already appeared in the Atlas Sports Cars Collection. The Oxford model is based upon the AC Aceca prototype which can be seen in mid metallic blue and in the black with a green sheen colour called vineyard green shown below.
AC created the Ace in 1954 based on a design by Cliff Davis for his Tojeiro sports-racer which owed much to the Ferrari 166 Barchetta. The hardback version ,the Aceca, arrived in 1955. and in 1956 the more-powerful Bristol six-cylinder engine became available. With this the Ace/Aceca could touch 120mph. ‘VPL 441‘, the Aceca prototype, appeared on the AC stand at the 1954 Earls Court Motor Show, and following that became the works demonstrator. The car appeared in several motoring magazines of the period, and was the subject of an Autocar roadtest published on 4th March 1955. It is said to have been sold to World Land Speed Record holder Sir Donald Campbell, who became one of the first AC owners to have his car factory-converted to Aceca Bristol specification soon after.
I am very glad to be able to say that Oxford Diecast are back on form with this car. The only ‘fault’ I can find is that the tyres have a tendency to sit back from the rims which takes only moments to fix. The casting is fine and thin making the printed screen surrounds front and back an excellent fit. It is also a lovely replica of the Aceca shape which is similar to the contemporary Aston Martin DB2 Mark 3 also modelled by Oxford.
Although the rear lights are red paint applied to silver printing they actually look very convincing. And as can be seen above the Oxford ‘wire wheels’ fitted into a black wheel are rather more convincing than some printed on a clear disk background. The side windows are printed straight on the flush fitting glazing.
At the front the grille is neatly moulded and black washed. Nice head lights are complemented by printed sidelights which look more acceptable on the model seen at a normal distance. Oxford’s number plates are improving with the letter size and shape looking a good match to the plate size.
The AC badge when magnified shows that it has been neatly printed if lacking the blue colour it shows on photographs at Goodwood.
The side view of the model shows how well it has caught the profile and stance of the car. Inside is a mix of red ‘leather’ seats, door cards and other fittings and brown wood coloured glove box and wheel rims. The dashboard is body coloured with printed instruments. The gear stick is brown shafted with a silver end to represent the gear knob.
As can be seen above the lines if the rear are well captured. Though not easily seen here the oening lines round the rear door are inscribed well and catch the light nicely without being over scale.
One feature I particularly like are the ‘bullet’ shaped mirrors fitted to the car doors which are period correct. However VPL441 does not seem to have one on the passenger door in photographs on the web unlike the Oxford Model. Another difference to the web pictures is the fitting of a front bumper. All the web photographs of this car show it with only over riders. However the car has been around since 1954 so may have been fitted with bumpers at some point.
Another excellent model from Oxford at a reasonable price here in the UK and one that I look forward to seeing in 1:76 scale too at a later date.
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