My recent item about a Bamford & Martin Aston Martin brought encouraging news of these cars. Andy Bell of Ecurie Bertelli Limited, Olney, which specialises in vintage AMs, reminds me that in its workshop are three of these lovely cars, two with their original bodies, namely a tourer, chassis 1949, an archetypal barn find, and the 200-Mile Race car which Humphrey Cook crashed in the 1925 race.
The third is the long-chassis ex-Delves-Broughton car, No1920, which Ecurie Bertelli has restored to sports model specification. Andy points out that these three cars have differing radiator shapes, so “they really were built one at a time”. There is also the remains of another B&M Aston which includes the radiator (all that is left) of the Swiss car which we illustrated in The Brooklands Gazette.
For himself, Andy is near to completing a three-year rebuild of the only racing Aston Martin single-seater (the 1923 ‘Razor Blade’ was intended for record-breaking), which was tested at Brooklands by Gordon Sutherland and Charles Brackenbury, but soon sold on, fitted with a two-seater body and a DB1 engine; it reappeared as the Garside Special. Andy has the original engine, which was used in the AM Dick Seaman drove in the 1936 Ulster TT, and is restoring this rare AM to its original form and hopes to race it, for the first time, as a single-seater.
Finally, the Bentley Motor Museum near Lewes, East Sussex, has a boat-tailed three-seater long-chassis B&M AM, No1941, once owned by James Cheyne, of ‘Razor Blade’ and Halford Special memory. The Home Guard used MPG503 as a war-time tractor, but it was rescued by a student in 1960, then later found by the present owner in a scrapyard. He bought it for £75 and put it back to original order, using it regularly until 1980.
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