Aston-Martin had enough funds in 1931 to build three new works racing cars for Le Mans as well as for numerous UK racing events. These later “First Series” Works team cars, LM5, 6 and 7, had a much improved cylinder head modified into four separate inlet ports matched to a much better designed inlet manifold. With 1¼" and later 1⅜" carburettors fitted, a considerable power advantage was gained over the standard engine. As an example of the considerable weight saving that was carried out by the works, racing timing gears were straight cut and heavily drilled and only two thirds the width of the production helical gears. Harry Bertelli, who built the coachwork for the works team cars, also played his part. Light-weight ash body frames were built with simple and lighter gauge panels attached.
Team car radiators, (heavy components that protruded well ahead of the front axle) were reduced in height as much as possible, similar to the earlier ‘Sports Model’. This not only reduced the frontal area of the car, but also the weight both from the radiator itself, and by virtue of the smaller volume of water held, no doubt contributing to a slight decrease in understeer. This was the handling characteristic of most vintage cars and particularly so if you had the best part of two gallons of oil in a tank at the very front of the car. Oil tank capacity was increased for the racing cars and stone guards were fitted to protect the tank and its contents.
LM 5, 6, and 7 posted some very good results at Le Mans, Brooklands and in the TT including a 5th overall and 1st in class at Le Mans for Bertelli driving LM6. There were numerous other class wins as well as the inevitable retirements.
The car available through Ecurie Bertelli is built on an original Aston-Martin International chassis, JO 80, using an exact copy of the works radiator which ensures that the coachwork is the correct shape for a works car. With a number of genuine ex-works parts incorporated, JO 80 has been extremely accurately built by Andy Bell over a number of years to the correct 1931 specification. Fitted with a new steel crank and rod Ecurie Bertelli engine and uprated rear axle this car has covered less than 1,500 miles since ‘new’ and always been looked after by Ecurie Bertelli. Absolutely on the button and ready for any event, we would be delighted to support this car at Le Mans Classic in 2018 and can assist in entry to this event.
Contact Robert Blakemore or Andy Bell for full details.
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