Aston Martin was one of the first car manufacturers to use the Le Mans designation in its production car model names, courtesy of its class win and fifth place overall in the 1931 race. The second series of 1.5-litre cars was introduced in February 1932 with the Le Mans model being launched at the London Motor Show of that year. Whilst looking very similar to its predecessor, this car was quite different internally with an all-new 102-inch chassis, a racing-style dry sump, overhead camshaft four-cylinder engine, and a Laycock transmission that was now mounted to the engine. The engine itself sported a cubic capacity of 1495 and could produce 70bhp at 5000rpm. The gearbox was a four-speed close ratio unit.
Infamously, Aston Martin was rather unsuccessful financially during the late twenties and early thirties, in part due to its intense concentration on racing at the cost of road car production. This trend is apparent in the production versions of its competition cars and the Aston Martin Le Mans retained a greater essence of the works cars than would be normal in period, something that can be attributed for the most part to its striking looks created by the low radiator and short chassis, as well as the use of cycle wings. Arguably, this obsession with racing led to the creation of some of the greatest production sports cars of the pre-war period, a trend that this model encapsulates. The Le Mans model’s racing DNA is further evident in the sparse interior, which principally focuses on two large-diameter speedo and revolution counters that sit on the dashboard directly below each cowl to great effect. A relatively lightweight body meant for a nimble sports car, which proved very successful in the hands of a variety of gentlemen drivers at regional sports events.
This right-hand drive example is one of only 106 cars built by the Aston Martin factory in 1933. Registered as AYV 802 in period (a number that it still holds today), F3/274/S has a documented and successful racing history from the 1930s to the 1950s. During this time the car competed at the iconic Brooklands track in the UK, amongst other prestigious race circuits. In its more recent history, the car was shown at the 13th Annual Pebble Beach Concours in the early 1960s.
This fine Aston Martin offers a continuous history, with one family owning F3/274/S for many decades. An extremely original example, with ultra rare FIVA category A2 classification, F3/274/S boasts matching number components and an extensive history file that includes many original documents. It is offered for sale following a recent and extensive service by a noted Aston Martin specialist.