Year of Manufacture: 1927
Chassis No: 1
Engine size: 1487 CC
Colour: Red and Maroon
Drive side: Right-Hand Drive
At Hampshire Classics we have 43 years’ experience of taking care of beautiful cars and, as a specialist storage facility, we look after a number of incredible vehicles. Occasionally, we are asked to sell some of these cars and we are proud to offer this historically significant Aston Martin LM1 for sale on behalf of the owners.
LM1 was the first competition car produced by Aston Martin Motors. Raced at Le Mans in 1928 by Augustus ‘Bert’ Bertelli himself as well as land speed record holder George Eyston.
The car performed well at Le Mans and Aston Martin was awarded the Ridge Whitworth award of 1,000 Francs for the fastest 1 1/2 litre car in the first 20 laps.
Legendary racing driver Sammy Davis bought the car in 1929 and had it adapted to become his feted everyday car.
Significantly, LM1 was the first Aston Martin to sport the Egyptian-inspired falcon winged insignia which was designed by Davis himself and later adopted by the company. He sold the car in 1939 – a decision he always regretted – and it ended up in Canada, before returning to the UK in the late 1980s. It has been owned by the same family since 1989 but not seen at events or competitions since 1994 when owner Howard Bevan tragically died racing his Bugatti Type 35B in France. His family have kept the car professionally stored and maintained by Hampshire Classics Ltd since but do not use the car as often as they would like as they have young families.
The current owners have researched and prepared a vast document history for the car, together with a number of photographs.
Bamford & Martin Ltd was taken over and rebranded in 1926 as Aston Martin by design maestro Augustus ‘Bert’ Bertelli who was determined to showcase the company’s racing credentials internationally and so entered two lightweight cars with 1.5L dry sump engines, LM1 and LM2, at Le Mans in 1928. The race started well for the Aston Martins though Bertelli’s involvement lasted just five hours. After this promising debut at Le Mans, Bertelli went on to produce more cars in the LM series and Aston Martin went on to compete successfully at the event for decades to come.
LM1 was sold to famous racing driver and journalist Sammy Davis, who had Bertelli fit a new engine and adapt it for use as his everyday car. Among its eccentric additions was a toilet flush handle for a gear lever, the steering wheel from his legendary Le Mans-winning Bentley No. 7, pedals specially adapted after Davis broke his leg, plus an exceptionally long handbrake lever. Bert apparently thought green was unlucky so chose red and maroon for Davis and continued to service and tweak the car at Feltham Works from 1929 to 1939, even rebodying the car as a 2/4 seater in 1933 with a 2-litre engine. Sammy Davis adored his car and he successfully tackled the three big time trial events of the time with the car – Lands End, Exeter and Edinburgh. He won the triple award in 1929, including a Gold at Land End and premier awards at the other two.
As war broke out Davis reluctantly sold LM1 to a Sub Lt P.S. Wilson of the Royal Naval Engineering College at Devenport who, in turn, sold it to Mr J Raper from Menai Bridge in Anglesey. In 1946, Hubert Pickup and his brother Norman purchased the car and when he began working for Avro Canada, Hubert had the car shipped over. In 1953, the car was bought by Tigermoth pilot Colin Clark in Toronto. Grand plans were never realised and so LM1 sat untouched in his garage for nearly 30 years. In 1982, it became the ultimate barn find project for Dr Robert Follows from Vancouver who was able to negotiate a swap for a newer Aston Martin and set about returning the original Aston Martin team car to its former glory.
The car found its way back to the UK in the late 1980s and was later purchased by Bentley Drivers Club treasurer, Howard Bevan, who drove it across the UK and Europe to various meets and events. Tragically, Howard died racing his Bugatti Type 35B in October 1994. His sons David and James now own and drive the car to this day.