The 1951 Aston Martin DB2 for RRC Walker.
During 1952, Rob Walker asked Henri to make a model of his much-loved 1951 Aston Martin DB2, one of the 1951 Aston Martin Team cars that won Le Mans in 1951. Rob had raced it in saloon car events. The model was to be to 1/8th scale, larger than the usual 1/12th scale that Henri used, as it was to be radio-controlled and used the original 3-cylinder inline engine that was the first engine that Henri built, but in a modified petrol form, to enable smoother power control with radio. Henri designed and built all the radio-control system himself. It steered the car and reversed it. The last I heard of the original car was that it was in the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu, but that was 50 years ago. Does anyone know where it is now? Anybody know where the model is? If you can give me a clue even, please e-mail me.
The Aston was a major undertaking. The monocoque body was made from hand beaten 22swg-aluminium alloy, which had to annealed frequently during the shaping. It was finished in a dazzling black cellulose as the original car. The wheels were Rudge-Whitworth triple-spoked. They were made on jigs and soft-soldered and sprayed white to match the full-sized Aston. They were shod with tyres made in Henri's workshop from home-made moulds which were heated on the indefatigable Tortoise stove. All the materials were as the original including the real ecru Connelly Hide leather seats. Henri's model was shown at the British Racing Drivers Club Exhibition at Green Park Piccadilly in 1962 to much aclaim.
Only one of these photos is the real full-size car, which one do you think?
above: these photos were all taken by Henri with his home-made camera, except the full-size car!?
A cutting from Model Cars February 1963
the above three photos were taken for the Sunday Mirror after refurbishment in the mid-1960s