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Derby Evening Telegraph, August 10 1964


Formula 1 motor racing may have its appeal, particularly with British cars and drivers dominating the scene, but to many the classic vintage sports car is an unbeatable form of motoring for the enthusiast.

Experts claim that the Aston Martins of the early part of the 1930s are top in this field, so it was with great pleasure that I accepted an invitation from Mr Rupert Griffiths, of Yew Tree Cottage, Shirley, to have a trip in his superb 1933 long chassis Le Mans Aston Martin.


With the setting of his picturesque thatched cottage as a backcloth, Mr Griffiths showed me his car which cost him £150 two years ago. After spending £400 on restoration the machine is now in pristine condition.

With the external exhaust burbling away merrily we had an enjoyable trip through the lanes around Shirley. Nobody would pretend that this was Rolls-Royce comfort but the the throaty roar emitted when changing gear, and the view of the long green bonnet and cycle-type wings, amply made up for any slight hardness in the suspension department!

The Aston, which is thought to have been a team car has dry sump lubrication, with a 20 pint capacity and a 14 gallon petrol tank.

It had a top speed of around 100 m.p.h. with each model of this type produced by the firm being guaranteed to lap Brooklands at 85 m.p.h. Petrol consumption is around 22 m.p.g.

With his friend Dr. Gordon Taylor, of Rectory Lane Breadsall, Mr. Griffiths took the Aston to the Aston-Martin Horsfall Trophy meeting at Silverstone this year, the car having been selected to represent the class by the A.M.O.C.

I found the road holding of the car to be first class and was sorry when the journey ended. It is good to know that such a fine car is in the hands of so careful an owner.


Mr Griffiths is also the owner of a rare well-kept 1948 Daimler tourer. He is managing director of Monastic Woodcraft Ltd., Nottingham Road, Derby and the Aston Martin is occasionally seen parked outside Derbyshire Cricket Club ground.

Tim Parnell tells me that the team have three cars in next Sunday's Mediterranean Grand prix at Enna to be driven by Chris Amon, Mike Hailwood and Peter Revson. From Enna they travel up to Austria for the Austrian G.P. on August 23rd — a round of the world championship series.

Suspension troubles on the penultimate lap caused Chris Amon to miss a probable fourth place in the last round — the German G.P. at Nurburgring.

Two events next Sunday will have local participation. These are a B.R.S.C.C. race meeting on Mallory Park short circuit and the Vintage Sports Car Club's hill climb at Prescott.

Thanks to John Young for lending me the original article. I visited many pubs in the Aston with Rupert's son, Nigel. My father was a friend of the Parnell's and it was probably the same year I went to the GB GP with them because somewhere there's a photograph I took of Chris Amon.

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