One of just two surviving three-seater models, this Aston Martin International, with the chassis number S26, has an illustrious history.
It was initially owned by Augustus Cesare Bertelli, one of the most pivotal figures in British motoring history. Before Bertelli began working for the company, Aston Martin was known best for its race cars, but faced numerous financial difficulties. Bertelli, who had recently developed a new engine with Bill Renwick, was looking for the opportunity to partner with an automobile manufacturer when he discovered that Aston Martin was set to fail. In 1925, the company went bankrupt, and the factory closed a year later, but Bertelli, along with Renwick and a number of other investors, stepped in to take over the company and in doing so, provided himself with a platform to develop an entirely new kind of car.
Between 1926 and 1937, Bertelli was both technical director and designer for Aston Martin, and while he still continued to design cars for competition, he also shifted production to road cars, firmly positioning Aston Martin as a name synonymous with luxury. The Internationals – and subsequent models – certainly proved this.
The first Aston Martin Internationals were introduced at the 1929 London Motor Show, and were based on the 1928 team cars raced at Le Mans. The cars were intended as a sportier alternative to the current Aston Martins on the market, featuring an underslung chassis and a dry-sump version of the 1.5 litre engine.
Mort Morris-Goodall, founder of the Aston Martin Owners Club and father of famed anthropologist Dame Jane Goodall, acquired this particular car in the early 1930s, having begun his racing career just a few years earlier in an Aston Martin. He won numerous events in the car, including the Junior Car Club High-Speed Trial at Brooklands in 1931, and earned first place in the Pitwork Test at the 1931 B & HMC Members Day. He was a prolific competitor, and drove at Le Mans on ten separate occasions.
Following its many years of competition, this Aston Martin International has been in its current ownership for 31 years and is now a beloved road car.
David Bond, director of Footman James, said: “We are thrilled to be sponsoring the Footman James Concours d’Elegance at the Chateau Impney Hill Climb. Last year’s Concours d’Elegance was such a great success and based upon this year’s first entry, we are confident that 2016 will be even more impressive”.