Old days of Aston Martin

The first Aston Martin was built in 1913 by London Singer dealers Robert Bamford and Lionel Martin. It was comprised of a Coventry Simplex engine and an Isotta Fraschini chassis. They were later joined by Count Louis Zborowski, who provided finical backing and was an avid racer.
Aston Martin Ltd. entered a car in the 1922 International 1500 Trophy on the Isle of Man. A short time later, Zborowski and Clive Gallop raced in the French Grand Prix in Stasborourg. A month later Kensington-Moir was racing in the Junior Car Club 200 race at Brooklands, leading the pack until forced to retire due to a magneto failure.

Gallop continued to race with Aston Martin, being entered in the Spanish Grand Prix, while Zborowski had left to race with the American firm Miller. Zborowski would finish the season with a 2nd at Penya Rin Grand Prix at Villafranca and a third in the Spanish Voiturette GP.

The Aston Martins did well in the hands of amateur racers, racing in various classes including the Voiturette races. Under the patronage of Augustus Bertelli, the legacy of Aston Martin continued to grow in motorsports throughout the years. Motorsports was expensive, and by 1925 the company had entered into receivership, a trend common to the company throughout its lifetime.
Most of their success in sales and motorsports would come after the Second World War under the guidance of David Brown.

Count Louis Zborowski
Count Louis Zborowski was a automobile engineer and racing car driver during the early era of motorsports. He followed in his fathers footsteps of racing, but sadly he followed his legacy too closely. His father, Count William Eliot Morris Zborowski had died in the La Turbine hillclimb at Nice. Louis's life would end in similar fashion while racing.

Louis's racing career included numerous types of vehicles and marques. He race Aston Martin vehicles at Brooklands and in the 1923 French Grand Prix. He used a Bugatti at the 1923 Indianapolis 500, and the 'American Miller 122' designed by Harry Arminius Miller in the 1923 Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

In 1924 he raced with the Mercedes team, driving his famous Chitty Bang Bang cars, of which four were created. These cars were powered by large and powerful aircraft engines that had displacement sizes over 15 liters. The first car built had a 23-liter engine and the second a 18.8-liter unit. The final car had a V12 Liberty aero engine that was 27-liters and produced 450 horsepower. It was driven to a land speed record at 171.02 mph.

In 1924, Zborowski was driving a Mercedes in the Italian Grand Prize when he crashed and was killed.

1922 French Grand Prix
The 1922 French Grand Prix was dominated by Felice Nazzaro driving a Fiat vehicle. This Grand Prix was the first GP to feature a mass start. Aston Martin entered two Grand Prix Team Cars, chassis TT1 and TT2. They had been intended for competition in the Isle of Man TT but were not ready in time. The cars were powered by an engine with twin camshafts and 16 valves. The engines have since been replaced with the Benson Twin Cam engine designed by the Hon. John Benson.

1922 Aston Martin Voiturette Grean Pea

The oldest existing Aston Martin is the prototype A3, but this is the earliest racing Aston Martin. Driven by Count Louis Zborowski, it was one of two cars entered in the French Grand Prix at Strasbourg in 1923. Afterward, Aston Martin sold the car, chassis 1913, TT1, and her new owner, Mrs. Marion Nagnew, christened her 'Green Pea' and campaigned her all over Europe.

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