The International was manufactured between 1929 and 1932, mostly with bodies by Augustus's brother Enrico 'Harry' Bertelli. The International was so named as it could be used for competition Internationally and indeed, Aston-Martin campaigned this model in works racing form in many notable events including Le Mans 24 hours, at Brooklands and the Irish TT to name a few.
A contemporary road test of an International recorded a top speed of 81mph with up to 90mph attainable, depending on the back-axle ratio. The new Aston was soon making its mark on the racetrack, 'Bert' Bertelli and Pat Driscoll winning the Biennial Cup at Le Mans in 1932, one of many competition successes achieved before the International was superseded by the Le Mans and Ulster models. Private owners entered all kinds of competitions, while team drivers included Sammy Davis, Eddie Hall, Cyril Paul and George Eyston.
Short-chassis International 'S50' (the S stands for short) was delivered on 17th July 1930 to a Mr A Golden of London EC4. Mr Golden clearlu enjoyed his purchase, as the factory records record that it returned to the factory in Feltham a year later for an engine rebuild at 18,000 miles.
In 1932 S50 was sold on to W H Ainsley of Huddersfield, who kept it until 1936 when ownership passed to Major G N Sheffield of the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnborough. The accompanying old-style buff logbook (issued 1946) shows Major Sheffield and two subsequent owners: Peter White of Farnborough, Hampshire (1948); and Eric Richard Farmer of Bromley, Kent (from 1952; last date stamp 1955).
S50 remained in Mr Farmer's possession for the next 40 years and was featured in Michael Worthington-Williams' 'Finds and Discoveries' column in 'The Automobile' magazine (February 1992 edition). Mr Farmer had used the car until around 1956, at which time he laid it up in the garage next to his house and began restoration. For some reason the work was never completed and the 'S50' remained partly disassembled for many years.
In 1991 the Aston was purchased from Mr Farmer's daughter by Thomas Lee of Virginia Water, Surrey, who was delighted to find that it had remained virtually complete despite its dismantled state. 'S50' was fully restored during Mr Lee's ownership. Works carried out included a full body restoration using the original frame, which was sound; gearbox re-build and worm and wheel back axle overhaul; comprehensive engine rebuild; and correct nickel plating throughout. The mechanical work was carried out by renowned Aston expert, Bill Elwell-Smith between 1992 and 1995, while other specialists were involved in trimming and other specialist areas. Associated bills on file total some £60,000.
Lee used the International sparingly until 2007 when it was purchased by motoring historian David Venables. In July 2007, 'S50' was a class winner at the Brighton & Hove Motor Club Concours and in 2009 won a major award: the Doris Smith Trophy at the B&HMC Concours. The car competed in the Brighton Speed Trials in 2007 when it recorded the same time over the standing-start quarter mile as achieved by 'The Autocar' when road testing an identical car in 1930. It ran again in the 2009 Speed Trials, taking 2nd place on handicap in the VSCC class.
'S50' was featured on the front cover of 'The Automobile' magazine's February 2011 edition and in an accompanying four-page article (copy included in the history file). The car also comes with two history files containing all receipts and correspondence relating to its restoration, together with many pre-war documents, a VSCC Eligibility Document, and the aforementioned buff logbook.
A remarkably original car with matching numbers, 'S50' is finished in light blue which closely matches the original colour of the earlier S25 currently in our workshop with excellent dark blue hide interior. Full weather equipment in matching dark blue is in excellent condition. Eligible for all VSCC and AMOC events, this extremely well documented, fast and highly desirable Vintage-era Aston Martin is one of the nicest examples of the International, which was undoubtedly one of the outstanding designs of its era.
Ecurie Bertelli have just finished re-commissioning this car and it is now ready for a new chapter in its long and interesting history.
Contact Robert Blakemore or Andy Bell for more details.
HERITAGE AND PASSION
Beautiful Astons are history in motion.
We’re here to keep their legacy alive.
40 years of high quality restoration & servicing has earned us a world-class reputation.
WE’RE THERE FOR YOU
We have some great support packages for your race or rally, so you can focus solely on your drive.
We know these cars like no-one else.
Buy or sell with us for complete peace of mind & competitive commission.
Engine blocks to valve springs, starter motors to bonnet hinges - we’ve got what you need.
LEAVE IT WITH US
Secure storage facilities for long or short term.
We can even arrange collection or delivery.
ATTENTION TO DETAIL
Our purpose-built engine shop creates top-quality engines that are tuned and ready to go.