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042 Aston Martin 2 litre Speed (Red Dragon Sports Racing 2 seater) (1936) FGY 409

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posted by Robert Knight alias robertknight16 on Friday 25th of June 2021 05:58:29 PM

Aston Martin 2 litre Speed (1936-38) Engine 1949cc S4 OC Production 13 Chassis no. H6/711/U Registration Number FGY 409 (Road Registered 1938 London) ASTON MARTIN SET www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157623759800132... Rumours had begun to circulate early in 1936 of a new larger-engined Aston Martin to replace the marque's successful 1½-litre designs. Discreet official confirmation came when two entries were made in the 2-litre class of the Le Mans 24-hour race. Aston Martin's production of the 2-Litre 'Speed Model' competition variant would total just 23, making it more rare and exclusive than its 'Ulster' predecessor, production of which ran to 31. The 4-cylinder engine was enlarged to 1,949cc with the ports reversed in expectation of minimizing detonation as experienced on the 1½-litre unit. The patented Renwick & Bertelli wedge-shaped combustion chambers were retained, while 18mm spark plugs appeared on the exhaust side of the cylinder head instead of the inlet side. Scintilla magneto ignition was used, and dry-sump lubrication retained. This is the ex Richard (Dick) Seaman, Eddie Hertzberger, Dudley Folland, John Wyer, Colonel Ronnie Hoare, Jack Fairman car. Two new Speed Model Team Cars were readied for 1936 Le Mans a race cancelled due to French industrial action. Chassis design followed that of the familiar Mark II model's, down-swept beneath the rear axle and upswept over the front. It was wider, and more rigidly cross-braced, although matching the wheelbase of the Ulster. Following the cancellation of Le Mans, Aston Martin withdrew indefinitely from active competition. The two prototype 2-litre cars were to be sold, but interest was high resulting in two further machines were laid down, with pure two-seater bodies. Two entries were then made in the 1936 RAC Tourist Trophy race at Ards in Northern Ireland, one a sudo works effort the other a less serious effort from Alan Phillips and his wife the former Doreen Evans. So this car headed to the 13.6 mile Ards circuit to be driven by the 23 year old Dick Seaman who had already been offered a works Mercedes seat for the following season.At Ards in 1936, driving 'H6/711/U' the car lost oil pressure in practice. probably to a wrongly fitted dry-sump suction pipe, and the engine bearings ran. By working through the night, chief mechanic Joe Bestente and his crew re-assembled the engine in time for the race, but it could not be run in. Seaman was faced with the dilema of taking on the works BMWs before wrecking his own engine....or nurse the new Aston Martin throughout, hoping for misfortune to befall the German cars. Seaman embarked on the first choice, leading his class by a distance and leading overall on handicap twice breaking the 2 litre class record before at twelve laps the bearings gave up the struggle and Seaman retired. Aston Martin withdrew from racing after the race, a new engine was installed and the car sold to E. Hertzberger of Rotterdam, the new engine being stamped with the same number as the original to avoid customs doctumentation complications. Eddie Hertzberger, a wealthy Rotterdam clothier was a keen sportsman excelling in boxing, sailing and skiing, he modified the car with a more modern style radiator cowl and streamlined wings and had the car painted in Dutch racing orange, he raced the car in the 1937 Mille Miglia he led the 2 litre class until halted by a broken valve spring, which was changed by his riding mechanic with the loss of an hour clawing his way back to finish a fine second in class. Then to Le Mans running as high as 6th overall but their race was ended by a dropped valve. He raced the Aston again in the 1938 Mille Miglia and then to Montlhéry were they won the 2 litre class of the 1938 Coupe de Paris. It returned to England in 1939, spending the war years in Glasgow, it then had two years on the roadin the hands of owner Jim Elwes Dudley Folland bought 'FGY409' in the summer of 1947, and in 1948 bought Peter Monkhouse's share in Monaco Motors at Watford whoes managing director was John Wyer, of postwar Aston Martin works team and eventual Gulf-JW multiple Le Mans and World Championship-winning fame. together they entered the first postwar 24-Hour race, to be run at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium with the proviso by Aston Martin owner Gordon Sutherland that the car should be treated as a works entry with the firm's full backing, their trip to Spa was eventful with delays at Dunkirk following war-damaged lock gates jamming for four hours, and more seriously the special 28 gallon fuel tank being split being split on the pave road surface which was repaired by a tin smith and a replacement clutch after the first practice. In the race things went well so much so that by the early morning the only serious competitor in class was the Aston Martin works team entry. But at that last pit stop required an extra 20 litre churn of fuel, shortly after the car crashed near Eau Rouge caused by fuel leaking from the split (repaired) petrol tank. After this disappointment, the Folland Aston Martin reappeared in the Paris 12-Hours at Montlhéry, in which Folland and Connell finished third overall, beaten only by Luigi Chinetti's latest Ferrari V12 Their Aston Martin averaged 68.3mph for the 12-Hours, and Folland's final two laps were the car's fastest of the race. Dudley Folland was entranced by the performance of the Chinetti Ferrari, and ordered one from the factory. Into 1949 it would become the first Ferrari to appear in the UK – and Dudley Folland would campaign it briefly as a stable-mate to the Aston Martin. Both would be emblazoned with his Welsh dragon symbol, after which the rebodied Aston Martin would become known as 'Red Dragon'. In 1949 t was campaigned for the second time in the Le Mans 24-Hour race and again in the Spa 24-Hours, but the car was begining to fell its age. Wyer sought to lighten the car the lightweight body currently fitted, most probably in preparation for the 1950 season, appearing simular to the the cycle-winged Spider Corsa-bodied Folland Ferrari, but the owner then decided to retire from racing Geoff Bishop rebuilt the car around 1988-89 and work was also carried out by Ecurie Bertelli and the car has since raced extensively in Historic racing including the Le Mans Classic, Monaco Historique, Mille Miglia Retrospective it was also invited to the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours Following a minor racing accident at Brands Hatch in 2013 the opportunity was taken to refurbish the car cosmetically, and fully rebuild the engine at cost of circa £35,000, since when the car has remained fresh, being little used. It was offered for auction sale by Bonhams at their 2016 Goodwood Revival sale (10 months before my picture) with an auction guide price of £ 1,600,000 - 2,000,000 (€ 1,900,000 - 2,300,000 euros) Thanks for a stunning 61,265,133 views Diolch am olygfa anhygoel, 61,265,133 hoblogaeth y Lloegr honno dros y Mynyddoedd Shot 30-07-2017 exiting the 2017 Silverstone Classic REF 129-042



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  • Published 10.18.21
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