- One of just 81 short chassis Internationals
- Matching engine and chassis numbers
- Eligible for numerous events
From its inception in 1913, Aston Martin's early offerings quickly led to a reputation for performance and sporting ability. However, following the departure of Robert Bamford in 1920, Lionel Martin's concentration on motor sport naturally affected the business of manufacturing cars for sale to the public and, in 1925, with its finances in a precarious position, the company experienced the first of many changes of ownership. In 1924, control passed to the Charnwood family. In 1926, Bert Bertelli came on board and the company moved into new premises in Feltham. Bertelli oversaw the development of a team of Works cars to compete in racing events which were based on the 1.5-litre OHC road cars. These had dry-sump lubrication, which was carried over to the short chassis International sports model, which debuted in 1929. With coachwork designed by Bert Bertelli's brother Harry, just 81 examples were constructed before production ended in 1932.
Chassis S50 was built in early 1930 and was first registered to Mr R A Godden of London that July. Mr Godden certainly enjoyed using the car as it returned to the Works in 1931 for an engine overhaul having covered some 18,000 miles. The next keeper, a WH Ainsley of Huddersfield, acquired the car in 1932 before selling it four years later to A Major G N Sheffield who spent the war years at the Royal Aircraft Establishment in Farnborough. In 1948 he sold the car to a colleague, Peter White, and by 1952 it was in the ownership of Aston aficionado, Eric Farmer, who also owned one of the 1922 GP cars. S50 remained in his possession for the next forty years being dismantled by him with a view to commencing a rebuild which he was sadly unable to continue due to illness. His friend, Denis Jenkinson, was called upon to loosely reassemble the car and it was subsequently sold to a Mr Thomas Lee of Virginia Water. Mr Lee had renowned Aston expert, Bill Elwell-Smith carry out a full restoration which was completed in 1995 and was reputed to have cost some £60,000 before the car came into the possession of David Venables. He used it on the road and in various events (understood to have been the first time it experienced any form of competition), including two outings at the Brighton Speed Trials in 2007 and 2009 where it took 2nd place in the VSCC class. In February 2011, the car featured on the front cover of The Automobile being the subject of a detailed article and road test.
Finished in Carver Blue with dark blue leather interior, the car boasts matching numbers and remains in remarkably original and unmolested condition. Weather gear comprises of a double-duck tonneau, hood and hood cover.
Accompanied by a good history file containing details of previous owners back to 1930, restoration receipts and correspondence, as well as many pre-war items including a copy factory work sheet, 2007 VSCC Eligibility Document and buff continuation logbook, GH 4093 must surely represent an excellent opportunity for the discerning collector to acquire an extremely desirable example of a truly iconic pre-War Aston Martin.