THE PRESENT RANGE CONTINUED. AN interesting addition to the range of Aston-Martin models was recently announced, and is called the Mark II Le Mans. It has been developed by racing experience from the current Le Mans model, and embodies some important improvements in chassis and coachwork.•

In the first place a slightly heavier chassis frame has been used, strengthened by flanges where the front cross-member comes. Transverse front shock-absorbers are now fitted, and these two alterations have further improved the steering at high speeds. An additional cross-member is fitted behind the engine.

A fully balanced crank-shaft is one of the new features, and gives complete smoothness up to 5,000 r.p.m. Wider timing gears are used, giving more silent running, and a longer Weller spring for the camshaft driving chain also contributes to smoother operation. Oil fumes from the cam-case are now carried below the chassis by a flexible pipe. An Auto-Kleen oil filter replaces the gauze one formerly used, and simplifies upkeep, as the filtering discs are cleaned by simply turning an exterior handle. The two lower ratios in the gear-box have been slightly raised, but the back axle ratio of 4.8 is unchanged. All the

gears have ground straight teeth, and it is found that the silence and ease of gearchanging suffers nothing by comparison with those boxes with constant mesh ratios.

The brake cables are of a new type which remain constant in length howeVer much they are bent, but straight rods are used where there is no axle movement to contend with.

The most noticeable exterior change is the fitting of plated radiator shutters, a practical addition which enhances the appearance of the cars. The scuttle is now flat instead of cowled, while the windscreen has side flaps which may be used as aero screens when the larger screen is folded forward. The hood is carried outside the body and though the car is described as a two-seater the rear compartment is upholstered and can be used to carry one or two people on short journeys. The dash lay-out has been altered, and the new Smith instruments have clear and handsomely engraved dials.

The tool box has been combined with the dashboard under the bonnet, and the floor -boards have been altered to give more easy access to the transmission. The new model costs complete £610, while the Mark. I range continues un

altered. The two-seater of this series, which is mounted on a 9 ft. 6 ins, chassis, is priced at £595, while the full four-seater on the 10 ft. chassis costs k:625.

When we last visited the factory the team cars for Le Mans were being pre, pared. The engine and chassis details are identical with the Mark II model already described, except that the compression has been raised from 7.5 to 9 to utilise the pure benzol which is permitted in the 24 hours Race. The crossmembers were extensively drilled and the cars complete weigh 17k cwt. as compared with 19i cwt. of the standard two-seater.

The 1717 gallon petrol tank is now mounted forward of the rear axle, and the spare wheel is carried horizontally behind it. Consequently the lines of this year’s cars are slightly altered, and the lower part of the narrowing tail is swept out to accommodate the wheel. Bertelli anticipates a maximum speed of approximately 107 m.p.h.

Five Aston-Martins were entered for Le Mans. The official team consisted of Bertelli and Penn-Hughes, Driscoll and Fothringham, and Goodall and Elwes. Vincent and Falkner drove one of last year’s team cars, and Noel and Wheeler entered a standard 1933 car.