1933 ASTON MARTIN LE MANS SHORT CHASSIS TWO-SEATER SPORTS
Registration No. ALM 697
Engine No. E3/268
Chassis No. E3/268/S
Black with black leather interior.
Engine: four-cylinder, single overhead camshaft, 1495cc, 70bhp at 5000rpm; Gearbox: four-speed close ratio; Suspension: beam axles with half elliptic leaf springs front and rear; Brakes: mechanically operated drum all round. Dunlop racing tyres. Right hand drive.
The first Aston Martin took to the road in 1920 and production began to get under way in 1926 under the direction of Augustus Bertelli. His great passion was motor racing, particularly the long-distance variety and he was fortunate enough to attract a succession of wealthy backers. The cars his factory at Feltham produced were beautifully made, compact 1500cc sports models built very largely regardless of cost. Undeniably pugnacious welterweights, they still contrived to be wonderfully rewarding fast road cars and were formidable contenders in their class in many of the classic races of the time. In 1932 Bertelli won the Rudge Cup at Le Mans with a car he had manufactured. A couple of years later the factory won the Team Prize in the TT and there was a most creditable third place at Le Mans in 1935. Meanwhile, in Autumn 1932 the Le Mans model, a production version of the sport-racers, was introduced at the London Motor Show. Available in long or short wheelbase form, it featured such exotic details as a racing-style dry sump and overhead camshaft engine.
The first owner of this short chassis Le Mans was R.C. 'Bobby' Morgan, who drove the famous Aston Martin 'Green Pea' in the 1923 GP of Boulogne and raced at Brooklands. The car subsequently had four owners in the UK before being sold in the early 1980's to a Portuguese collector. It is currently fitted with light Ulster-type front wings but the originals will be supplied. Weather equipment includes a hood and full tonneau cover and there is a set of spare tyres.
The vendor has used the Le Mans quite regularly and when we drove it, the car went very well indeed, with correct oil pressure and water temperature (the rev counter and speedometer are slightly sporadic).
Though not in concours condition it is very presentable and shows a lovely patina of time. It is offered with a V5 and MoT to September.