Iconic Aston Martin Ulster ‘Works demonstrator’ Offered For Sale

An amazing 1935 Aston Martin Ulster ‘Works demonstrator’ is being offered from the Estate of David L. Van Schaick at a forthcoming auction August 14 2020.

The exceptional Aston was built on February 5, 1935, and can be seen at the Feltham Works alongside the Works Tourist Trophy Entries, LM 21 and LM 20. In its TT guise, the car boasted the iconic Two Seater bodywork with which the Ulster model is so well identified, and the mere existence of this image might lead one to think that it may have been slated as a reserve car for that event planned in September 1935.

This is not fully known but the car was definitely the Works Demonstrator for the model was registered for the road to Aston Martin on July 30th, with the distinctive British plate CMF 934, a Middlesex number. Like the Works Cars, it was painted red.

Aston Martin Ulster
1935 Aston Martin Ulster – Coachwork by Bertelli

Aston Martin Ulster

CMF 934‘ became the subject of an extensive road test in The Light Car Magazine by the end of 1935, stretching its legs at the famed Brooklands racetrack, with a complimentary sub-heading stating ‘Replica of TT Car Shows Great Paces. Road Holding and Cornering Par Excellence‘.

The featured article was extremely complimentary about the car and includes such soundbites as ‘There is, as everyone knows, a perfectly good law which limits the pace at which a corner of the given radius may be turned, no matter what the vehicle. Without plunging into the whys and wherefores, it need only be said that this one suffers itself to be cornered at speeds which one had wrongly supposed to be well on the mortuary side of the limit’! and describes it as the ‘driver’s own guardian angel‘.

Aston Martin Ulster
Aston Martin Ulster

There are good brakes and there are good brakes… When the Ulster’s brakes go on 160 sq. ins of Ferodo come into play. The result is wholly exhilarating’; ‘In a dozen little details of equipment there is evidence of the distinction between an ordinary sports car and a road racing machine built almost regardless of cost: aero screens which detach and form side panels for the main screen when occasion demands; the “telephone exchange” switch panel – eight little switches in a row; the quick action bonnet-strap fixings…’; and ‘to one who has ridden in it, there comes a new understanding of the marque’s repeated successes in long-distance road events‘.

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Whilst the journo who wrote the article clearly loved the car, a less able freelance journalist subsequently crashed B5/551/U less than 3 months later, at which point the damaged Aston was returned to the Works.

The car resided there until a Scotsman, Alex Riddell Innes noticed it there and decided to write to later owner Richard Scates in 1958, recalling:

“I was thoroughly nosey and very interested in the crashed model and asked Astons what future it had and they said they were going to rebuild it. As a 2/4 seater body was a more practical proposition to me I then asked if they would be prepared to rebuild it with this body and if so I would be interested in purchasing the car. It was then and there agreed this would be done and I, later on, became the owner of CMF 934 rebuilt with the 2/4 seater body on painted black instead of scarlet, which I thought would be less conspicuous”

Aston Martin Ulster

A few owners later, then for the next 3 decades, the Ulster was under custodianship of Mr Van Schaick. The car was absolutely cherished and campaigned in all manner of events from AMOC activities to the Colorado Grand, and VSCCA Races around the country.

Mr Schaick passed away in 2016, which led to this car and his other Aston Martin, a DB6 Shooting Brake arriving for sale. As a Works Demonstrator which was originally equipped with two-seater coachwork, this ‘changing of the guard’ might provoke the opportunity to restore it to this original guise.

The iconic 1935 Aston Martin Ulster has an estimate of $1,200,000-1,400,000 with interested parties encouraged to visit this link.

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