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LOT 339

1937 Aston Martin 2.0-Litre 15/98 Tourer Registration no. DAF 659 Chassis no. D7/766/LT Engine no. D7/766/LT

Estimate: £120,000 - £150,000
Lot 339
1937 Aston Martin 2.0-Litre 15/98 Tourer
Registration no. DAF 659 Chassis no. D7/766/LT Engine no. D7/766/LT

1937 Aston Martin 2.0-Litre 15/98 Tourer
Registration no. DAF 659
Chassis no. D7/766/LT
Engine no. D7/766/LT

*One of only 24 four-seat tourers
*Well documented ownership
*Excellent restored condition
*Benefiting from recent works by Ecurie Bertelli


Introduced for 1937, the Aston Martin 15/98 maintained the policy of developing a more refined and luxurious product which had begun with the preceding Mark II. A new 2-litre version of Aston's overhead-camshaft, four-cylinder engine - first seen in the 1936 Speed Model - powered the 15/98 which, with 98bhp available, could touch 85mph. Short and long-chassis models were built, both featuring a Moss synchromesh gearbox, Girling rod-operated brakes and Luvax hydraulic rear dampers. Early examples were bodied by E Bertelli, subsequent chassis by Abbey or Abbott. Aston Martin's well-documented trials and tribulations of this period kept production disappointingly low - a mere 176 2-litre cars of all types were completed between 1936 and 1939 - and today the 15/98 is both rare and highly sought after.

The example offered here, chassis number 'D7/766/LT', is one of only 24 four-seat 15/98 tourers made. The car was supplied new on 17th April 1937 via Lancelot Prideaux-Brune's Winter Garden Garage in London's Pancras Street to Mrs Cicely Ethel Wilkinson of St Minver, Cornwall. A former Aston Martin board member and founding committee member of the Aston Martin Owners Club, Prideaux-Brune owned an estate in Padstow, Cornwall and may well have known his lady customer socially. The intrepid Mrs Wilkinson, who had not only learnt to fly during the Great War but also drove ambulances on the Western Front, kept 'DAF 659' until May 1938. It is known to have belonged subsequently to John Glaisyer, Frank Scrase, David Brister, Duncan Andrew and A W F Simmonds before coming into the ownership of the Hollinshead family, who kept the Aston in barn storage for some 37 years.

The immediately preceding (eighth) owner acquired the car at a UK auction in 2003, whereupon it was despatched to Simon Hawkes Restoration of Easton-in-Gordano, Avon for a thorough 'ground upwards' restoration. Using parts supplied by marque specialist Ecurie Bertelli, the engine was comprehensively overhauled, incorporating an up-rated EN40 billet steel crankshaft, Arrow con-rods and 1½" SU carburettors together with a new camshaft, valves, big-end bearing shells, timing chain, Omega high-compression pistons plus reconditioned water and oil pumps, etc. A modification made in the 1960s, the Jaguar four-speed manual gearbox was retained but with the addition of a competition overdrive switch and a new clutch. Orson Equipment supplied new front, rear hubs and drive shafts, while Ecurie Bertelli renewed the kingpins and provided five new 17" wire wheels. The interior was re-trimmed by J Krych, Adrian Sidwell overhauled the instruments and S&T Plating were responsible for refurbishing the brightwork. The restoration took some three years to complete at a cost of around £83,000 and is documented by a video on memory stick (included). Since completion, 'DAF 659' has undertaken numerous enjoyable runs to destinations including Brittany, Normandy and Goodwood for the Revival meeting.

The Aston was subsequently offered for sale following the sad passing of its owner and was acquired by the current vendor in December 2013. Since acquisition it has been back to Ecurie Bertelli for additional works to the engine and brakes, which were completed in February 2015 at a cost of £8,247 (bill on file). Described by the private vendor as in generally excellent condition, the car is offered with an extensive history file containing the original old-style logbook (a rare find), copy build records, numerous restoration/maintenance invoices and a V5C registration document.

This is an exceptional opportunity to acquire a very rare example of this prestigious and highly desirable marque that would make an important addition to any serious Aston Martin collection.

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  • 25 June 2015, 10:00 - 17:30 BST
  • 26 June 2015, 09:00 - 17:30 BST

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