Monterey | Lot 150
1935 Aston Martin Ulster Competition Sports
$2,172,500 USD | Sold
| Monterey, California
18 August 2017
- Extensive competition history, including Le Mans, RAC Tourist Trophy, and Mille Miglia
- Meticulously maintained by Aston Martin specialists Ecurie Bertelli
- Unbroken ownership history; 30 years with pre-war Aston expert Derrick Edwards
- Highly competitive and eligible for numerous historic events
- Invited to the Goodwood Revival this September
Often referred to as the “most raced car in England,” chassis B5/549/U – more commonly known by its registration number CMC 614 – is so well known that Matchbox chose this car to represent its 1/32 Airfix kit. With an unbroken history since 1935, CMC 614 is, quite simply and without a doubt, one of the most original and well-researched pre-war Aston Martins.
For the 1934 season, Aston Martin presented the Ulster, a Works racing car with a Mk II chassis and lightweight two-seater body. Equipped with a 1,496-cc dry-sump four-cylinder engine, the new model was capable of reaching 100 mph.
Though several Works Ulsters are numbered “LM” (though many were never raced), the build sheet for CMC 614 does note that it is an “Ex. Works Car . . . built for E.R. Hall.” Speculation about its earliest ownership leads to the conclusion that Hall never paid for CMC 614. Though it does not have the “LM” prefix, there is ample evidence that it was owned by Works for its first season. Certainly the car was Works supported for the 1935 season, which started with the grueling Mille Miglia. Unfortunately, Eddie Hall and his mechanic Marsden did not perform well, and an early oil leak meant that the Ulster had to retire at Siena. After being repaired by the factory, amateur drivers Maurice Falkner and Tommy Clarke took 8th overall and 4th in class at Le Mans – the second best performing Aston Martin out of the seven entered.
In the Targa Abruzzo, CMC 614 was meant to be driven by Eddie Hall and Count Johnny Lurani. However, CMC 614 was shipped to Pescara when Hall suddenly decamped and refused to drive, citing an uncomfortable hotel! Lurani scrambled to find a co-driver, finally filled by his friend Gildo Strazza. They took the Ulster to a 1st in class finish. Many have suggested that if the car was indeed owned by Hall, he may have passed the car back to Aston Martin after the poor performance at Mille Miglia, which would account for its successive entries alongside the Works cars.
With a final performance at the RAC Tourist Trophy, CMC 614 was ultimately sold in 1936 to H. H. Porter Hargreaves, who raced it with little success, despite having added a supercharger. The necessary bulge required by the supercharger is the only visible change to the car in its 80-year lifespan. Passing to R. F. MacNab Meredith in 1950, the Ulster returned to the track with a roar and earned several podium results at club events.
Perhaps the most well-known and longest owner of CMC 614 is Derrick Edwards – pre-war Aston Martin expert, amateur sports car driver, and founder of Morntane Engineering (now Ecurie Bertelli) with Ulster owner Nick Mason. Already an owner of pre-war Aston Martins, Derrick had cultivated quite the reputation for maintaining such vehicles. With the Ulster as his personal racer, Derrick toured the world over, picking up trophy after trophy. Alongside his business partner Judy Hogg, Edwards dominated the club racing scene in CMC 614. He once estimated he’d won 650 awards in 40 years of racing. Despite Edwards’ robust racing schedule, he was meticulous about maintenance, and the Ulster gained a reputation for reliability. Part of this is due to the excellent design of the Ulster; Edwards once described this model as the best-handling pre-war Aston Martin. As the man who was largely responsible for the survival of those 300 remaining, it would not do to take his word lightly.
After Edwards’ death, CMC 614 passed to Ecurie Bertelli owner Fred Blakemore, who refitted all of the original components that had been meticulously stored by Derrick during his years of racing. Only one panel has been replaced – and the original remains with Ecurie Bertelli even now. The sheer originality of CMC 614 is astonishing for a car that has been raced so extensively and competitively for so long.
Now ready for a new guardian, CMC 614 is presented in its 1935 Le Mans glory. To race this Ulster is to race in the seat of some of the greatest Aston Martin amateur drivers ever known. Astoundingly reliable, meticulously cared for, and stunningly beautiful, it shows not one year of its true age.
Eligible for countless historic races, including Le Mans Classic, Monaco Historic GP, Goodwood Revival, and the Mille Miglia Storica, not to mention all the club races one may want, this is the perfect Aston Martin for any serious competitor looking to make their mark.