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 Aston Martin 15/98 photo

1939 Aston Martin 15/98

Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford, who had been selling Singer automobiles in partnership, founded Aston Martin in 1913. Martin had a passion for racing, so the pair drew on his success at the Aston Clinton Hill Climb in Buckinghamshire for the new company name. By the mid-1930s, Aston Martin had become one of the most admired British sporting makes, as it was now under the design and technical direction of Augusts 'Bert' Bertelli, who started with the company in 1926. The cars were hand-built, quick, well-engineered, and agile. Their signature 1.5-liter endurance sports racer was continually improved over the years. It took the team prize in the 1934 Tourist Trophy race in Ulster and finished in an impressive 3rd place at the 1935 24 Hours of Le Mans. As a production car, the car - now called the Ulster - was capable of 100 mph.

The Ulster production was very sporty, but it was produced in limited numbers. So the company decided to develop a more versatile offering for the company's next generation of cars. Bertelli began by giving the car a new chassis. The engine was enlarged to two liters, as its longer stroke could provide plenty of torque offering a more relaxed motoring experience. The four-cylinder, single overhead-camshaft wet-sump engine developed nearly 100 horsepower and was mated to a four-speed Moss synchromesh gearbox. At all four corners were Girling rod mechanical drum brakes. The new car was marketed as the Two Litre range.

The car was originally targeted for debut at Le Mans in 1936, so a competition version - known as the Speed Model - of the Two Litre chassis was developed. Before the Le Mans race could take place, a labor strike in France occurred, resulting in the cancellation of the race. Nevertheless, production continued, with an initial focus on touring configurations, such as a closed saloon, a drophead coupe by coachbuilder Abbott, and a 2/4 seat open tourer, with road-going versions dubbed 15/98.

A short-chassis version of the 15/98 was soon introduced, wearing Open Sports coachwork by Abbey Coachworks, of Willesden, London. One feature of the sports models were the removable wind wings, and the windscreen could fold flat. This bodystyle was introduced at the Earl's Court Motor Show in 1937 and around 50 examples were built in this form, out of the approximately 171 Two Litre cars produced in total by Aston Martin during the pre-war era.


by Daniel Vaughan | Aug 2020

1939 Vehicle Profiles

1939 Aston Martin 15/98 vehicle information

Sports Tourer
Coachwork: Abbey Coachworks

Chassis Num: G9/871/SO
Engine Num: B8/866/S

The 2-liter Aston Martin designated as 15/98 was one of the last cars to use this outdated nomenclature. The numbers refer to the old fashioned Royal Automobile Club horsepower rating of 15 as well its actual rating of 98 bhp. Launched in 1936, the e....[continue reading]

Sports Tourer by Abbey Coachworks
Chassis #: G9/871/SO 


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Performance and Specification Comparison

Model Year Production

#1#2#3Aston Martin
1942Chevrolet (254,885)Ford (160,432)Plymouth (152,427)
1941Chevrolet (1,008,976)Ford (691,455)Plymouth (522,080)
1940Chevrolet (764,616)Ford (541,896)Plymouth (430,208)
1939Chevrolet (577,278)Ford (487,031)Plymouth (423,850)
1938Chevrolet (465,158)Ford (410,263)Plymouth (285,704)
1937Ford (942,005)Chevrolet (815,375)Plymouth (566,128)
1936Ford (930,778)Chevrolet (918,278)Plymouth (520,025)
1935Ford (820,253)Chevrolet (548,215)Plymouth (350,884)
1934Ford (563,921)Chevrolet (551,191)Plymouth (321,171)

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