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Lot 161: Aston Martin 1 Litre Short Chassis Sports by Bertelli


Here we have a rare piece of British automotive history on offer, the Aston Martin 1 litre short chassis Bertelli. This remarkable car is one of only around 8 produced. Despite Bamford and Martin Ltd being in dire financial straits, their efforts with their early Aston Martins were not ignored by the car world. In 1926, a new company, Aston-Martin Motors Ltd. was formed; an association between the Charnwood family who had supported Lionel Martin, and Renwick and Bertelli Ltd. (owned by William Renwick and Augustus Cesare Bertelli). Renwick and Bertelli had only just designed their own car (charmingly called the Buzzbox) in order to test and perfect a 1 4 cylinder engine they planned to make and sell to other motor manufacturers. By buying into Aston Martin, the marque had acquired a new high quality, powerful engine. At this stage, in engineering terms, there was no connection between the Bamford and Martin cars and the Bertelli cars. Aston Martin moved to a factory in Victoria Road in Feltham, Middlesex in late 1926 and by the 1927 Motor Show at Olympia, a new range of cars was first shown. An adjacent bodyshop in Victoria Road was also opened by A.C. Bertelli's brother, Enrico (known as E. Bertelli Ltd) and this is where a vast majority of Aston Martins received their coachbuilt bodies for the next ten years. At the 1927 Show, Aston Martin unveiled three completely new models, the most sporty of which was a pretty 3-seater sports model (S-type) on a shorter, lower chassis. The cars sold very slowly and Aston Martin was close to being bankrupt until a new model, the International, was shown at the 1929 Motor Show and sales finally began to take off. This car was designed by Augustus Bertelli, who was both technical director and designer for Aston martin from 1926  1937, producing what have since been known as 'Bertelli' cars. This car features Aston's 1 litre 4 cylinder, over-head cam engine, with twin SU carburettors, fitted to a pre-select gearbox, as per the request of the previous owner, though the original 'International' gearbox also comes with the car. The car has had a complete mechanical rebuild, including a brand new engine block, with new pistons, new Le Mans racing head, with new cam shafts, valve springs etc, and . also fitted with new big SU carburettors, along with new brakes, wheels, tires. All work has been carried out within the past 5 years. A good indicator of the quality of the rebuild is that all of the original engine parts replaced come with the car so that it remains a fantastic original mechanical survivor but with new components as well!! This is really the best of both worlds to a collector who wishes compete originality along with the ability to use a historic car in the way it was intended. The 1495cc engine in its earliest form was able to deliver about 56 bhp, sufficient to power the sports model to about 80 mph. The 1.5 litre Bertelli cars have been classified by the AMOC in three separate series to aid understanding of their development. The first series cars are distinguished from later cars by their separate gearbox and worm drive rear axle. This wonderful car has been in Switzerland for a number of years, and has been documented as having successfully competed in numerous rallies and sprints, including the 1930 JCC half day trial, winning first in class.

Lot Details
Coys, Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire, OX20 1PX
Lot Number161
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Condition rating
Registration numberUU 7533
Chassis numberST18
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors