Reg Number: JML 478
Chassis Number: K8772LT
Engine Number: K8772LT
Body Colour: Black
Trim Colour: Red
MOT ExpiryDate: Sep 2012
ENTERED FROM THE LITCHFIELD COLLECTION
"Use has not been made of the bigger engine now fitted necessarily to give a higher maximum speed than the famous 1.5 Litre provided. The figure is about the same. Instead, the unit has been rendered softer, quieter and more flexible, whilst acceleration and general suitability for everyday purposes have increased out of all knowledge. These, it will be agreed, are points of real appeal, even to the more hardened enthusiast, when in any case, there still go with them the stability and accuracy of handling for which Aston has always been noted" (Autocar Road Test, July 23rd 1937).
Introduced at the 1936 Olympia Motor Show, the Aston Martin 2-Litre 15/98 reflected an increasing bias among the buying public towards comfort and sophistication. Notably more refined than its predecessors, the newcomer sat on a 9ft 8in wheelbase (though, later 2/4-seater and Speed Model variants utilised 8ft 3in and 8ft 6in wheelbases). Initially available with a choice of four-seater Saloon or four-seater Tourer coachwork, its rigid cross-braced chassis frame featured all-round leaf-sprung suspension, Andre-Hartford shock absorbers and four-wheel drum brakes. An impressive unit that would later earn the marque victory in the 1938 Tourist Trophy and 1946 Belgian Grand Prix, the model's 1950cc SOHC four-cylinder engine was credited with developing 98hp (the `15' in its 15/98 designation being a RAC HP rating). Fitted with a positive throw four-speed manual gearbox, the Feltham machine was reputedly capable of over 85mph. Handbuilt, the 2-Litre encountered various teething troubles which saw Aston Martin slash its sales expectations. Priced at £595 and £575 respectively, total production of the 15/98 in four-seater Saloon and Tourer guise is thought to have amounted to just 74 cars. Bodied by E. Bertelli Ltd in the next door factory to Aston Martin, the long wheelbase `soft top' sported a raked radiator shell, sloping tail (complete with rear-mounted spare wheel), elegant `disappearing' hood, cut-away doors and flowing wings. Yet for all its aesthetic appeal, just 24 15/98 Four-Seater Tourers were reputedly made.
Forming part of the Litchfield Collection since February 2007, this particular example - chassis number K8/772/LT - is understood to have been built in March 1937 but not road registered by Middlesex County Council until November 1938; one unproven theory for the twenty-month delay is that it saw service as a Works demonstrator. Reportedly treated to a factory service in 1952 at which time its odometer showed an unwarranted 44,263 miles, the four-seater Tourer dropped out of circulation the following decade. Partially dismantled, the 15/98 was found languishing in a private Exeter garage during 1996 where it had lain since suffering piston ring failure many years previously. As part of an extensive restoration carried out by its previous keeper during the late 1990s, `JML 478' is said to have benefited from an engine overhaul, repaint, re-trim, new `double duck' hood, sundry re-chroming and refurbished brakes etc. Riding on red-painted wire wheels, it pleasingly retains such period features as a windscreen pillar-mounted spotlight, `jackall' system and Marchal headlights. Starting readily upon inspection, accompanying MOT certificates suggest that `JML 478' has covered less than 100 miles during the past four years (the current unwarranted odometer reading stands at 62,782 miles). A stylish Post Vintage Thoroughbred, this very rare Aston Martin 2-Litre 15/98 Four-Seater Tourer was offered for sale with a reproduction manual, sundry paperwork and the aforementioned MOT certificates.