Aston Martin Ulster zbudowany został na bazie modelu Mark II, lecz jego podwozie zostało dostosowane do wymagań wyścigowych. To jeden z najbardziej utytułowanych przedwojennych, wyścigowych modeli Astona, a spośród 31 zbudowanych, aż 28 egzemplarzom udało się przetrwać do dziś. Niewątpliwy wpływ na ten stan miała legendarna wytrzymałość samochodu. Okaz wystawiony na aukcji, o numerze nadwozia A5/537/U, do pierwszego właściciela dostarczony został 11 czerwca 1935 roku, by od razu wystartować w 24h Le Mans. Trehorne Thomas i Michael Kenyon zakończyli wyścig z powodzeniem, zajmując 10 miejsce w generalce i 5 w klasie. Kilkukrotnie zmieniając właścicieli, aż do lat 50-tych regularnie startował z sukcesami w wielu wyścigach, rajdach i innych imprezach sportowych, m.in w 24h SPA, Brooklands, Silverstone czy Goodwood. W latach ’90 także nie miał spokojnego życia, uczestnicząc wraz z kolejnym właścicielem w AMOC, VSCCA Lime Rock, Nassau Classic Car czy spotkaniach Monterey Historic Motor Sport Association. Użytkowany zgodnie ze swoim przeznaczeniem na początku XXI wieku uczestniczył w historycznym Mille Miglia, a także w wielu prestiżowych wyścigach na regularność. Wspaniała historia i osiągnięcia w sporcie, ale także wspaniały stan zachowania i oryginalność sprawiły, że Aston wyceniony został na 1,6 – 1,8 miliona euro, czyli około 6,9 – 7,7 mln złotych. Wylicytowany za 2 012 500 euro
ASTON MARTIN ULSTER SPORTS DEUX PLACES 1935
€1,600,000 – 1,800,000
PLN 6,800,000 – 7,700,000
LES GRANDES MARQUES DU MONDE AU GRAND PALAIS
PARIS, THE GRAND PALAIS
1935 Le Mans 24 Hours works entry; 5th in class
1935 Aston Martin Ulster Two-seater Sports
Chassis no. A5/537/U
Engine no. A5/537/U
•Driven by Thomas/Kenyon at Le Mans in 1935
•Extensive in-period competition history
•Well documented ownership
•Extensive modern-era competition history
•Comes with its dedicated copy of ‘Aston Martin Ulster’
•Eligible for Le Mans and the Mille Miglia
‘Based on the MkII chassis, the Ulster was the apotheosis of the pre-war sporting Aston Martin. A replica of the 1934 team cars which had finished 3rd, 6th, and 7th in the Ulster TT race, it was made available to amateur racers for just £750.’ – Michael Bowler, ‘Aston Martin – The Legend’.
Of the 31 Aston Martin Ulsters built, including 10 team cars, 28 survive and the whereabouts of all are well known. No doubt the car’s legendary robustness played a part in this quite exceptional survival rate. The example offered here – chassis number ‘A5/537/U’, registered ‘CML 719’ – was delivered on 11th June 1935 to Gordon Watney Ltd of Brook Street, London W1 for their client, Mr C Trehorne Thomas, who was to drive it in that year’s Le Mans 24 Hours Race. ‘CML 719’ is depicted in the famous photograph of the seven-car line-up of Aston Martins at the ’35 Le Mans, which shows that it had a high radiator when delivered. The low radiator was introduced later in the year (after chassis number ‘555’) and ‘CML 719’ has had one since at least 1950. It is worth noting that the registration number is in sequence with the team cars ‘CML 720’, ‘CML 721’ and ‘CML 722′.
Thomas’s co-driver at Le Mans was Michael Kenyon, and their Ulster carried competitor number ’32’. The pair had a good race, finishing 10th overall and 5th in class, and tying for 7th place in the Rudge Cup with the race-winning 4½-litre Lagonda of Hindmarsh/Fontes. This is Thomas’s only known outing with ‘CML 719’, suggesting that the car was, in fact, on loan to him.
After its successful Le Mans outing, ‘CML 719’ was placed in storage at the Feltham factory. Dated 24th January 1936, the first entry on the service record card states: ‘Batteries charged. Plugs cleaned & car stored from 22.8.35 till 24.1.36’. In February 1936, ‘CML 719’ was advertised for sale in The Autocar by H R Owen of Berkeley Street, London W1 as a ‘1935 Aston Martin Special Racing Le Mans 2-seater, only driven in Le Mans 24 hour race; part exchange, deferred terms’.
It took some time to find a buyer, and in May the description was expanded to include the chassis number, ‘A5/537/U’: ‘specially prepared for the 1935 Le Mans Twenty-Four Hour Race, and only driven in this; since then it has been checked by Messrs. Aston Martin and is passed by them as being in 100 % condition; £485; part exchange, deferred terms’. Later in 1936, the Ulster was purchased by one E C W Stapleton of Margate, Kent, who at some time had the front axle, steering arms, and exhaust chromium plated.
The quintessential Aston Martin owner, Mr Stapleton was soon competing with his newly purchased Ulster, and at the BOC Lewes Speed Trials on 21st August 1936, finished 2nd in the 1,500cc class, 1st in the Novices’ race, and won the Novice’s Cup. Competitor number ‘310’, Stapleton started from London in the January 1937 MCC Exeter Trial, winning a Bronze Medal. He continued competing with the Ulster throughout 1937, taking part in the RAC Hastings Rally (finished), the MCC London to Land’s End Trial (number ‘105’), and the Derby & District Motor Club 12 Hour Sports Car Race at Donington in July. Partnered in the latter event by one Morris-Goodall, Stapleton finished 15th overall and 10th in class. He rounded off the season at the MCC Members’ Day at Brooklands on 25th September 1937, finishing 1st in a two-lap handicap.
In January 1938, Stapleton and ‘CML 719’ (number ‘316’) won another Bronze Medal in the MCC Exeter Trial but were forced to retire from the MCC Edinburgh Trial in June. The only British entry, the Ulster retired early from the 24-Hour Sports Car Grand Prix at Spa Francorchamps in July, Stapleton’s co-driver at that event being one T M Gay. In September, Stapleton and the Ulster were back at Brooklands for the MCC’s meeting, winning a Premier Award in the One-Hour Speed Trial, finishing 1st in the two-lap handicap, and setting the fastest flying lap in class at 80.98mph (130.32km/h). Stapleton was less active the following year, entering but failing to start the MCC’s Land’s End Trial and being un-placed at the JCC Members Day at Brooklands, these being his only known outings with the Ulster.
Almost certainly laid up for the war years, ‘CML 719′ was mechanically overhauled in 1948 and may well have been the Ulster advertised for sale in The Autocar during September and October of that year. Friary Motors’ advertisement stated that the car had been ‘recently completely reconditioned… body re-sprayed, chromium plated front axle; offered at £645, including spare differential assemblies, wheels and tyres’. It is believed that the lower radiator was fitted at this time.
In 1949, Stapleton sold ‘CML 719’, its next recorded owner, from 1949 or 1950, being Commander G M Hallett, RN of Camberley, Surrey. Entered by Cmdr Hallett in the AMOC Rally at Chateau Impney on 14th May 1950, the Ulster finished 1st in the Driving Tests. Later that same year, in December, the car was treated to a major overhaul; the engine was rebuilt with new-type con-rods, new camshaft, special lipped cylinder liners, timing chain, and rocker cover, while in addition a new hood and tonneau cover were fitted, and the seats repaired, etc.
In 1951, ‘CML 719’ was bought by Peter Stewart of East Ewell, Surrey, and prepared for that year’s Bol d’Or where it would form part of a three-car team of Ulsters together with ‘L4/525/U’ and ‘B5/555/U’. Despite two unscheduled pit stops to fix a detached dashboard, which had caused the starter cable to short out, Stewart brought his Ulster home in 7th place overall and 4th in class. On 27th October 1951, he took part in the first meeting held at the new Snetterton circuit in Norfolk (number ‘9’).
Following another engine rebuild, ‘CML 719’ passed to Peter Stewart’s brother, A B ‘Bow’ Stewart, in 1952. For the next three years, Bow Stewart and the Ulster were regular competitors at AMOC and other events, racing at Snetterton, Silverstone, and Goodwood. Noteworthy results include 2nd place in the five-lap handicap race for 1½-litre Aston Martins at Snetterton on 24th April 1954 (number ’77’), and a 1st Class Award in the Half-Hour Regularity Trial at the St John Horsfall Meeting, Silverstone on 24th July ’54 (number ’92’). The following day at the AMOC Thame Concours, ‘CML 719′ was judged the most sporting entry (number ’21’). In 1953, Bow Stewart had written that on test the engine was giving up to 78bhp, that the ‘correct’ compression ratio was 9.7:1 and that he had his ‘up to 10.5:1 without trouble (and without any advantage)’. In August 1954 the engine was once again dismantled and overhauled.
Sold by Bow Stewart in 1956, the Ulster was next owned by one T R T Van Sickle of Winchester, Hampshire, who competed with it in a Regularity Trial and the Elwell Smith and St John Horsfall Trophy races at the AMOC St John Horsfall Meeting, Silverstone on 13th July 1957 (number ‘174’). Still in Mr Van Sickle’s possession in 1959, ‘CML 719’ was owned briefly in 1967 by Peter J Satchell of Buntingford, Hertfordshire but had been sold by November 1968.
In November 1972, the Aston was owned by one N N Robson of Palm Beach, Florida, who kept it until at least November 1974. Advertised in Hemmings Motor News in 1975, ‘CML 719’ was bought by Richard Gross of Newtown Square, Pennsylvania. Between 1975 and 1986, Richard Gross competed in track and concours events run by AMOC USA, the Southern Vintage Racing Association, and the VSCCA, frequently achieving podium places – often 1st – in class.
In May 1996, the Ulster was purchased from Mr Gross by Robert J Burt of Princeton, New Jersey, who raced it at AMOC, VSCCA Lime Rock, Nassau Classic Car, and Monterey Historic Motor Sport Association meetings. ‘CML 719′ was the overall winner at the Louis Vuitton concours at Parliament Square, Nassau in 1997; qualified at Pebble Beach in 1997; and won the Gordon Glenn Trophy in 1996, ’97, and ’98, awarded by AMOC to members participating in overseas events.
Sold to the current owner in 2003, the Ulster has since then participated in the Historic Mille Miglia (2004, 2005, and 2006) and entered the most of the many prestigious regularity races, meetings, and concours events in Italy and throughout the rest of Europe.
The car comes with an indoor cover and a racing exhaust system, while accompanying documentation consists of FIA, FIVA UK, and FIVA Italy papers, and an ASI Identity Certificate. Also included in the sale is its AMOC-produced, individually chassis-numbered Owners’ Edition of ‘Aston Martin Ulster’, leather bound and featuring an aluminium plate on the cover etched with the car’s photograph. Only 31 copies of the Owners’ Edition were printed. Representing a once-in-lifetime opportunity to acquire a well-documented example of Aston Martin’s finest sports car of the pre-war era, ‘CML 719’ is eligible for all the most important historic motor sports events including Le Mans and the Mille Miglia.