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Aston Martin Second Series

The ‘Le Mans’ (continued).

2. Two-Four Seater

Using the new more pointed ‘low’ radiator with 2/4 seater sports bodywork with parcel shelf to the rear. The familiar humped scuttle first seen on the 2/4 seater ‘International Le Mans’, was retained along with an external ’slab’ fuel tank with the spare wheel mounted on a bracket on the tank. The exhaust system exited the bonnet side from two cast iron manifolds into two downpipes, with chromed flexible covers, which entered a ‘Brooklands’ style box from two stubs on its top, with the tail pipe going to the rear of the car beneath the chassis. The radiator had an integral mesh stone guard as do the two Lucas headlamps. The windscreen hinged from the base and folded flat. The closed hood frame, folded back into the rear of the body, and disappeared from view when folded down; so determining the relatively narrow width of the windscreen. Jaeger 6" speedometer and rev. counter were fitted with ‘Hobson Telegauge’ fuel gauge, water temperature and oil pressure gauges. The ignition and two fuel pumps were controlled from a centrally mounted Lucas PLC type rotary switch with ignition key. Two pull out dash lamps were fitted and a choke control. Front seats were fitted onto sloping floorboards from the top of the first channel cross member to the bottom of the second cross member, the driver and passenger therefore sitting within the chassis not on it, giving a very low seating position. Seats were adjustable with pneumatic upholstery.

Specification.

Chassis. Second series chassis, 11’ 6" in length. Two aluminium side plates with pressed steel plate between them. Two pressed steel cross members and four tubular cross members.

Engine.
Bore 69.3 mm, stroke 99 mm, 1493 cc.
Compression ratio: 7.5:1, using second series cylinder head.
Power: approximately 70 bhp at 4750 rpm.
Torque: approximately 65 lbft.
Twin 1⅛" SU sidedraught. E4 needle in .090" jet.
Magneto ignition.
Two ‘Autopulse’ pumps mounted on the rear of the chassis.

Transmission. Aston Martin designed 4 speed crash gearbox with constant mesh mainshaft and layshaft and dog clutch 4th speed with straight cut gears. Aluminium casing, mounted in unit with the engine on an aluminium bellhousing. Clutch is Borg and Beck dry plate with six spring cover plate. The final drive was by shaft drive to an ENV differential. Ratios: 14.026:1, 8.74:1, 5.91:1, 4.66:1

Steering. ‘Marles’, worm and floating peg with hemispherical bearings.

Wheels and Tyres. ‘Rudge Whitworth’ 52 mm 18" well base wire wheels with sixty spokes and 2¾" rims fitted with 5.25 tyres. A few early cars had 21" wheels as per ‘International’ with 450 tyres.

Suspension. Semi-elliptic leaf springs front and rear with ‘Hartford’ friction dampers.

Brakes. 14" diameter aluminium drums with shrunk in steel liners and cam operated 1½" aluminium shoes mounted on two pivots. Brakes actuated by fully enclosed ‘Bowden’ cables via two cross shafts in spherical bearings linked by short pushrod. Handbrake works on all four brakes.

Dimensions.
Wheelbase: 8’6".
Track: 4’ 4".
Length: 12’ 8".
Width: 5’ 5".
Height: 4’ 5" (hood raised).
Weight: 19 cwt.
Fuel tank capacity: 18½ gallons.
Price ‘Le Mans’ 2/4 Seater £595

Coachwork. The fashion for sports car bodywork in the early to mid 1930’s, (to a large extent set by MG with the ‘Midget’ series of cars), was for 2 seaters but with room for luggage behind the seats. This meant that the body tub was relatively square with a ‘slab’ type fuel tank behind it with spare wheel mounted on it. The Two-Four seater ‘Le Mans’ was exactly to this pattern, rather like a grown up MG ‘Midget’J-type body even to the humped scuttle. With the helmet type wings, louvred bonnet and chromed exhaust pipe it became an iconic style and typified 1930’s sports car design. Relatively light, and because of the underslung chassis also relatively low, it looked very attractive with almost perfect proportions. With the parcel shelf behind the seats it was also very practical. No doubt a few cars had this area upholstered, possibly for small children, but for any more than small children it did not work as a four seater, because the parcel shelf was directly over the rear axle and an adult sitting on it would have his or her head well above the height of the windscreen which would be very uncomfortable for any length of time.

3. ‘Le Mans Special 4 seater’.

The long chassis four seater version of the ‘Le Mans’ was known as the ‘Le Mans Special 4 Seater’. With the same low frontal appearance including the same high specification radiator and headlamps with fitted stone guards of the short chassis ‘Le Mans’, (in fact identical back to the firewall), the ‘ Special 4 Seater’ was a very attractive car. The low body, with two doors but without the humped scuttle, sloped down towards the rear. It could comfortably seat 4 adults, the rear seats fitting ahead of the rear axle by virtue of the lengthened chassis, with the rear passenger’s feet fitting in wells directly beneath the front seats, which are mounted on top of the chassis. It was a genuine sporting family car, with a high specification throughout. The clever opening boot incorporated a parcel shelf which folded down over the fuel tank to provide a flat platform. A separate compartment allowed for the storage of the four side curtains. The spare wheel was mounted on the sloping boot.

Specification.

Chassis. Second series, 12’ 6" in length. Two aluminium side plates with pressed steel plate between them, as per short chassis Le Mans.

Engine.
Bore 69.3 mm, stroke 99 mm, 1493 cc.
Compression ratio: 7.5:1 using the second series cylinder head as per the short chassis ‘Le Mans’.
Power: approximately 70 bhp.
Torque: approximately 65 lbft.
Twin SU 1⅛" SU side draught. E4 needle in .090" jet.
Magneto ignition.
Two ‘Autopulse’ pumps mounted on the rear of the chassis

Transmission. Aston Martin designed 4 speed crash gearbox with constant mesh main shaft and layshaft and dog clutch fourth speed with straight cut gears. Aluminium casing mounted in unit with the engine on an aluminium bellhousing. Borg and Beck dry plate clutch with six spring cover plate. The final drive was by shaft to an ENV differential. Ratios: 14.026:1, 8.74:1, 5.98:1, 5.75:1. A few ‘Special 4 Seaters’ were fitted with the ‘Laycock’ gearbox as per the New International and 12/50.

Steering. ‘Marles’ worm and floating peg with hemispherical bearings.

Wheels and Tyres. ‘Rudge Whitworth’ 52 mm 18" well base wire wheels with sixty spokes and 2¾" rims fitted with 5.25 tyres.

Suspension. Half semi-elliptic leaf springs front and rear, with ‘Hartford’ friction dampers.

Brakes. 14" diameter aluminium drums with shrunk in steel liners and cam operated 1 ½" aluminium shoes, mounted on two pivots. Brakes are actuated by fully enclosed ’Bowden’ cables via two cross shafts in spherical bearings linked by short pushrod. Handbrake works all four brakes.

Dimensions.
Wheelbase: 4’ 4".
Length: 14’ 5".
Width: 5’ 5".
Height: 4’ 7" (hood raised).
Weight: 20 cwt.
Price. £625

Coachwork. Using the low short chassis wet case radiator, the relatively low four seater two door bodywork has a flat scuttle, the tub sloping down at the rear with opening boot onto which is fixed the spare wheel. The hood folds down onto brackets mounted on the side of the body tub. The fold flat windscreen is wider than the short chassis ‘Le Mans’ with wind deflectors mounted at each side which double up as aero screens when the screen is folded flat. Wings are helmet type. The dash is well appointed with Jaeger instruments throughout, the speedometer and rev. counter being 3" with ‘reeded’ rims and silver faces. The exhaust system is as per the short chassis ‘Le Mans’ as are the headlamps and radiator stone guard.

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