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Started in 1976 by Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason, Ecurie Bertelli specialises in pre-Second World War Aston Martins. Offering parts manufacture, restoration, servicing and race and rally support, it gets busier every year.
‘Partly it’s down to people going out and enjoying their cars more,’ explains MD Robert Blakemore. ‘And we’re taking a larger share of the available market. No one can do what we do – to the extent that the official Aston Martin company comes to us with pre-war issues.’
Pre-war Astons are one of the few cars still going up in value as prices level out following the boom of 2012. Firstly, they’re impossible to fake as records were kept of every single one built, and Ecurie Bertelli knows where each of them is today. Furthermore, the supply is so small – there are only around 450 in existence – that their value is guaranteed to hold. Blakemore himself owns one of only seven 1935 drop-head coupes built.
An added bonus is invitations to participate in all the prestigious events, from the Goodwood Revival to the Mille Miglia, which Blakemore recently drove: ‘You get to ride with the Italian presidential guard on motorbikes and break every traffic law. And they give you panini and espresso in every town you stop in. Everyone’s so pleased to see you.’