Many Aston Martins have names, and those that do not, jolly well should have! This particular example of a Bamford and Martin car, chassis number 1915 was called Razor Blade and it's easy to see why with its slim single seater body, only 47 cm across at it's widest point. It has been claimed that the Razor Blade is indeed the narrowest racing car in the world. Initially the cockpit was enclosed by an aerodynamic lid and was known as 'The Oyster' but it was a bit claustrophobic and it was not possible to fit most drivers as they were too tall, so the lid was ditched along with the name.
The engine fitted to Razor Blade was a spare 16 valve 1.5 litre twin cam as used in the 1922 French GP cars producing around 55 bhp. The specially made chassis was somewhat unusual as it was inswept at the rear and a narrow 3ft. track so this ‘crab looking’ car was notoriously difficult to handle. The smooth and sleek aluminium coachwork was made by the De Havilland aircraft company as B&M were an engineering company not able to make car bodies.
It was the intention of Lionel Martin to make Razor Blade the first light car to exceed 100 mph in an hour but unfortunately, an AC piped Razor Blade to the post. This did not deter Martin and the car became a successful Brooklands racer. In the hands of Major Frank Halford, a De Havilland engineer, Razor Blade achieved victory in it’s first race in August 1923 at the BARC Meeting, lapping at over 98 mph. Later in the year, Razor Blade achieved records in both the standing start mile (74.12 mph driven by Kensington-Moir) and kilometer (66.54 mph driven by Frank Halford).
There is reason to believe that the BRDC badge, that was designed by S.C.H. “Sammy” Davis, features the image of Razor Blade. S.C.H. Davis was in time, one of the Bentley Boys, motorsport editor of ‘The Autocar’, works AM driver and also a little later designed the Aston Martin wings badge.
Quite appropriate that this car which has so much Brooklands history is now on permanent display at the Brooklands Museum in the Jackson shed and although it lives in a museum, Razor Blade is still occasionally used in Vintage Motorsport. Many of the photographs on this page were taken in the run up to the Aston Martin Centenary Celebrations when the car was parked up in Perks Field with the exclusive London street of Kensington Palace Gardens in the background. Although built as race car and not displaying registration plates in my photographs, Razor Blade is actually British road registered and carries the plate XO9958.