Auctions and Brokerage
Coachwork by Bertelli
Miss M.C. Smith, Yorkshire, United Kingdom (acquired in May 1934)R.G. DeQuincey, Oxford, United Kingdom (acquired from the above in March 1936)Mr. Bennet (acquired from the above circa 1939)J. Godfrey, Lincolnshire, United Kingdom (acquired from the above in October 1953)Whitney H. Gordon, Lafayette, Indiana (acquired from the above in 1956)Jim Silvey, Indianapolis, Indiana (acquired in 1964)Ken Hutchinson, Barrington, Illinois (acquired in 1975)Edmund Lunkin, Cincinnati, Ohio (acquired from the above in 1982)Christopher Salyer and Family, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (acquired from the above in 1988)Current Owner (acquired from the above)
1974 Grand Classic Car Club Annual Show, Indianapolis, Indiana1990 Classic Car Club of America Grand Classic Concours (First Place)1990 Lime Rock Concours, Salisbury, Connecticut (First Place)1989 Aston Martin Owners Club, Monterey Festival, Carmel Valley Rally (First Place)1991 Sportscar Vintage Racing Association, Topeka, Kansas, Exhibition Sprint (First Place)
This 1934 Aston Martin Mk II enjoys legendary lineage. Lionel Martin, a wealthy English sportsman, borrowed from the renowned Aston Hill Climb event to create Aston Martin with engineer Robert Bamford in 1914. The two had great motor sports success, which was excellent for publicity but left little time to manufacture customer cars. By 1925, approximately 50 cars had been produced and the company declared bankruptcy.
The company was rescued and reestablished as Aston Martin Motors Ltd. by automotive engineer Augustus Bertelli and several investors. Mr. Bertelli designed an all-new Aston Martin, powered by a 1 1/2-litre engine. It debuted at the 1927 London Motor Show.
In 1929, Aston Martin introduced the International model, powered by the same Bertelli 1 1/2-litre engine, but featuring a much lower chassis based on two Works Team cars that raced at Le Mans. Mr. Bertelli strongly believed that competition improved the breed, and the following years brought considerable racing and road car success.
The Great Depression had a detrimental effect on the demand for high-end cars. Aston Martin set about designing new cars with an eye toward cutting costs while also improving the brand. The Mk II, introduced in 1934, ushered in a new, considerably stronger reinforced ladder type chassis and powerful Alfin drum brakes. A redesigned 73 bhp 1 1/2-litre engine provided smooth power through a counterbalanced crankshaft and revised timing gears. Between 1934 and 1935, Aston Martin built 166 Mk IIs, which were available in a long or short chassis and four attractive Bertelli bodies.
The dazzling Mk II on offer was delivered new in May 1934 to Miss M.C. Smith of Keighley, Yorkshire, UK. It was acquired by R.G. DeQuincey of Oxford, UK, in March 1936. After being held by several owners in the UK, it was purchased and imported into the US in 1956 by Whitney H. Gordon, a professor at Purdue University in Indiana. After being enjoyed by additional owners, it was purchased by Christopher Salyer in 1988 and remained with his family in Oklahoma for more than 25 years.
Recently serviced, this wonderful example is one of only 61 short chassis 2/4 seaters produced and stands among the finest of the acclaimed Bertelli cars. Resplendent in red with black interior and featuring wet-weather equipment, it benefits from an older restoration that still presents beautifully today. The individual fortunate enough to take this motorcar home will benefit from a well-documented ownership history dating back to its original owner, including invoices and correspondence. This Aston Martin has proven to be at home on the show field, on rallies, and at the race track, and presents an outstanding opportunity for the astute collector to acquire a rare and beautiful prewar Bertelli design.