Portola Hotel & Spa
18 - 19 August 2017
Lot 132

1937 Aston Martin 15/98 Short-Chassis Drophead Coupe by E.D. Abbott


$275,000 - $375,000 USD | Not Sold

United States | Monterey, California



Chassis No.
  • One of only 25 examples bodied by E.D. Abbott; few remain
  • Offered from 24 years of continuous ownership by a cultured Aston Martin enthusiast
  • Comprehensive, award-winning restoration by Aston Martin specialists Steel Wings

It was only natural that following the sporting success of the Ulster and the Le Mans, Aston Martin would look to broaden its customer base into the niche for the “gentleman’s express.” However, it would not do to stray too far from the company’s competition roots and glory. With the 1936 introduction of the 15/98 Short-Chassis, Aston Martin achieved a perfect harmony.

Part of its success came from the attention to detail: for the first time, Aston Martin focused on the comfort of the passengers. On this car, chassis number A9/825/SC, the spring mounting pin is forward; combine this with the shortened chassis, and the ride is not only comfortable, but there is no loss of the easy handling of a sporting tourer. All 25 of the drophead coupes built were bodied by E.D. Abbott of Farnham, in a style then known as a “Doctor’s Coupe.” Beautifully designed, the DHC, as exemplified by chassis A9/825/SC, shows the characteristic fixed windscreen and a touch of luxury with real roll-up windows and a fixed convertible top that folds onto the rear panel, which opens to showcase a fully upholstered “dicky” seat.

The factory build sheet is highly detailed, recording two road tests, the first at 53 miles and the second at 509 miles. The car was most likely maintained by the factory through 1950, and no fewer than seven owners are duly recorded; this is one of the very few vehicles with a known history during the war years and beyond. By the time of its passing to the current owner in 1993, a past Chairman of the Aston Martin Owners Club (North America), the vehicle was acquired with a concours-quality renovation in mind. Renowned Aston Martin specialists, Steel Wings of Ivyland, Pennsylvania, undertook a documented, no-expense-spared restoration over a five-year period, which included an engine rebuild utilizing a new block supplied by Ecurie Bertelli (the original unit is included in the sale, FOB Florida). It was first shown at the 1998 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, where it was impressively awarded with 2nd in Class.

With an excellent ownership lineage and a surfeit of history, this rare Aston Martin offers comfort and reliability in an attractive, and user-friendly form. A pre-war sports tourer of a type not readily found, having enjoyed a regular program of maintenance and detailing, A9/825/SC remains in show condition and is most certainly one of, if not the very best example of the few drophead coupes known to exist today.