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15/98 Abbey Sports 2/4 Seater
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  Aston Martin 15/98 Abbey Sports 2/4 Seater

  Article Image gallery (10) G9/871/SO Specifications  
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Country of origin:Great Britain
Produced from:1937 - 1938
Numbers built:50
Introduced at:1937 Earls Court Motor Show
Price new:£575
Designed by:Abbey Coachworks
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:March 12, 2014
Download: All images
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Click here to download printer friendly versionDuring the first half of the 1930s, Aston Martin built some of the very best 1.5 litre engined sports cars, which performed remarkably well both on road and track. Nevertheless calls for a larger engined model grew stronger as the Aston Martin was also the most expensive 1.5 litre car on sale and with its high strung engine was not easy or comfortable to drive. These issues were addressed with the 15/98 or 2 Litre introduced late in 1936.

In competition trim, with dry sump lubrification, the new two-litre had originally been intended to debut at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1936. The race was, however, cancelled due to labour unrests. Later in the year, the more docile road going version of the engine was introduced, complete with a wet sump. It featured a single overhead camshaft and was equipped with twin SU carburettors. In this guise, the two-litre was good for 98 bhp; the type name was a reference to the car's fiscal and actual horsepower figure.

Mated to a Moss four-speed gearbox, the new engine was mounted in a conventional ladder frame chassis, designed by Claude Hill. Suspension was by leaf springs on all four corners and mechanical drum brakes were used, instead of the altogether more advanced hydraulic drums fitted to the competition car. The chassis was available in two lengths, depending on the type of body specified by the customer. The choice included open tourers but also a four-door saloon, originally built by A.C. Bertelli but after he left, the services from the likes of Abbey and Abbott were also enlisted.

Launched at the Olympia Motor Show late in 1936, the new 15/98 or 2 Litre was very well received with the press praising its comfort and the added flexibility of the larger, more torquier engine. The well honed machine was still frightfully expensive and when production was interrupted by the War late in 1939, only 171 examples had been built. Fortunately quite a few of these have survived.

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  Article Image gallery (10) G9/871/SO Specifications