Car producer :
1,5 litre MKII SWB Sports by Bertelli
Between 1926 and 1937 Bertelli was both technical director and designer of all new Aston Martins, since known as "Bertelli cars". Bertelli was an experienced automobile engineer, having designed cars for Enfield & Allday, and an engine of his design - an overhead-camshaft four-cylinder of 1,492cc - powered the new 11.9hp Aston, known also as the '12/50' or '1½-Litre'. They included the 1½-litre "T-type", "International", "Le Mans", "MKII" and its racing derivative, the "Ulster", and the 2-litre 15/98 and its racing derivative, the "Speed Model". Most were open two-seater sports cars bodied by Bert Bertelli's brother Enrico (Harry), with a small number of long-chassis four-seater tourers, drop heads and saloons also produced.
Based on the 1½-liter road car, the duo featured dry-sump lubrication a feature that would stand them in good stead in long distance sports car events and this was carried over to the International sports model, newly introduced for 1929. Built in two wheelbase lengths, the International was manufactured between 1929 and 1932, mostly with bodies by Augustus's brother Enrico 'Harry' Bertelli.
The 'Le Mans' label was first applied to the competition version of the (1st Series) International following Aston's class win and 5th place overall in the 1931 Le Mans race.
The second series of 1½ Litre cars were introduced in February 1932, although aesthetically it appeared to be just an update, there was a lot more to it under the skin. Most notably the cars featured an all new chassis, a Laycock transmission now mounted to the engine and the worm drive was sensibly revised by replacing it with an ENV spiral bevel drive. As before an International, dubbed 'New International', and the more sporting Le Mans was offered.
For 1932 they offered two types on the same chassis: a sports tourer, the New International, and the Le Mans sports racer, a copy of the victorious Le Mans cars. The Le Mans proved more popular and over 100 were built over the next few years compared with around a dozen of the New International. The latter was powered by a 1,495cc four-cylinder, single-overhead-cam, dry sump engine breathing through two SU carburettors.
The Aston Martin MKII, introduced in 1934 and produced only until December 1935, remains among the finest of the famed “Bertelli cars.” Short (8' 7") and long (10') wheelbase versions were built, the latter available with stylish four-seater sports saloon coachwork by Enrico Bertelli. Priced at £700, it was the most expensive model in the range. The MKII featured a reinforced ladder-frame chassis, improved front-axle control and large-diameter Alfin drum brakes. Powerful and smooth, the MKII engine produced 73 bhp in standard form, allowing for an 85 mph top speed. Only 166 MKIIs are believed to have been produced at Feltham, including 20 Ulster racing cars.
The early 1930s was a period of economic recession and with sales of expensive quality cars falling off, some serious rethinking had to be done at Feltham. The prudent decision was taken to redesign the International chassis using proprietary components to reduce cost. A Laycock gearbox was adopted, mounted in unit with the engine, while the worm rear axle, which had never been completely satisfactory, was replaced by an ENV spiral bevel. There was a redesigned chassis frame and many other modifications resulting in what was virtually a new car, although it carried the same coachwork and was sold as the 'New International'. The original line-up of what would become known as the '2nd Series' did not last long, the New International and two-seater Le Mans disappearing from the range before the end of 1932. That year's Motor Show had ushered in the more familiar Le Mans 2/4-seater, which was also available on the long chassis as the Le Mans Special four-seater.
Introduced in 1934, the replacement Mark II model sported a new, stronger chassis and a revised engine with counter-balanced crankshaft. Short (8' 7") and long (10') wheelbase versions were built, the latter available with stylish four-seater sports saloon coachwork by Enrico Bertelli.
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