The Aston Martin Owners Club
The red Ulster is a painting of LM20
which won Le Mans in 1934.
It was owned by the artist Alan Puckett who restored it.
Have a look at his web site. Any of his work is exquisite.
He swapped LM20 for a New DB2/4 Mk1
Unfortunately Alan Puckett's Website has disappeared. I did speak to Alan a few years ago when I was putting the Aston pages together for the Restored-Classics.com web site.
Aston Martin LM20
as restored by Henry and Peter Dale 1954 Melbourne
R Murton - Neil
at the wheel of the Aston Martin, winner of the Rudge Whitworth Cup, 1935
First British car to finish at Le Mans
From Motor Sport August 1937
TWICE TIMES TWENTY-FOUR
A test of the Aston Martin, first British car to finish at Le Mans
What does twice times twenty four make? There is no catch. It makes fourty eight. But when that forty eight means fourty eight hours of strenuous racing, the sum of two contests at Le Mans, one expects it to make some considerable inroads upon the life of a car. One is not always correct, for some cars seem to keep on going forever. They are real soldiers. Veterans who can last out a battle better than many of the other young recruits.
The Ulster model Aston Martin which was kindly placed at the disposal of Motor Sports by Speed Models, Ltd the sports car specialists of 6a Pembridge Mews, London,W II, is a veteran, however in the light of its performance in 1935, as one of the "official" works cars it was driven at Le Mans by the two Charle's, Martin and Brackenbury, and, having covered 1804.4 miles, ran out a winner of the Rudge Whitworth Cup with a figure of merit, on the handicap formula,
In 1935 there was no race at Le Mans, owing to industrial troubles, but in 1937 the Aston Martin, which in the mean while had been in use as an ordinary road car, returned to the fray. Now it had changed hands, and had become the property of the Hon. J.M.Skeffington. It was entered in the race Jointly by Skeffington and R.C.Merton Neale, director of Speed Models Ltd, and thus lost its qualification for the Bicentennial Rudge - Whitworth Cup, in which contest it is the entrants previous qualification, and not the car's which counts.
This left the car with two objects, first to compete in the race for the longest distance - a stiff task, as it is only 1.5 litre engine capacity - and secondly to qualify for the 1938 Bicentennial cup. Both these aims were nobly fulfilled In the Grand Prix d'endurance, for the longest distance the 1.5 litre Aston Martin competing against the fast foreigners with engines more than double the size, not to mention a number of larger British cars, actually finished fifth.
It covered 1790 miles, against the winning Bugatti's 2041 miles, and was the first British car to finish. The Aston Martins average speed was 71.6 mph it wan the 1500 cc class easily, and was faster than any of the 2 litre cars which finished.
Naturally this fine feat also ensured a qualification for the next Biennial Cup, while in the annual contest on the formula basis, the car was placed third. The performance was particularly creditable for whereas in 1935 Martin and Brakenbury, both drivers of great experience, covered a slightly greater mileage, the recent race was Skeffington's first effort at the wheel, and it is no discredit to him to record that his laps were necessarily slower than the experienced Murton - Neale.
The low bright red car looked so wickedly impressive when I first saw it that I insisted upon Murton - Neale driving it out of the melee of London traffic, a precaution which subsequently was proved quite needless. It still bore proudly its Le Mans numbers, and Murton Neale told me it was the exact condition in which it had finished the race.
"preparing for the race" he said "we fitted new pistons, valves and springs, and assembled everything very carefully, 'Chick' Fowler, Sir Malcolm Campbell's old mechanic, did most of the tuning, but practically all the running in that was possible was the run down to the coast and then across to France.
"In the race itself the car was steadily running itself in till we eventually we were getting 5,500 rpm in top , or perhaps a maximum of 5,600 if we wanted it. That would be about 111mph"
"Did you have much in hand" I asked as we negotiated the traffic.
"Lots" he said "If we had used all our speed we might have picked up several places. One can always say that after the race though!"
He was at the wheel, he told me , when the multiple crash occurred, and was held up for a few moments while the debris was removed. We were both silent for a short time, thinking of the tragic consequences for poor Pat Fairfield.
We were making for the Brooklands track of course, and at last on the Kingston by pass could open up a little. Watching the rev counter mount, and admiring the steady cornering. I asked what was the car's best lap at le mans was.
"About 83 mph " returned the driver. This was certainly shifting for an unblown car.
Warwick Farm June 1963