1904 Aster 20HP
Aster, also known as Ateliers de Construction Mecanique l'Aster, was a French manufacturer of automobiles and the leading supplier of engines to other manufacturers from the late 1890s until circa 1910/12. Although primarily known as an engine mass manufacturer the company also produced chassis for coach-works and a complete range of components.
France, of course, led the world in motor car development in the early years of the 20th Century, and Aster was there at the forefront. Commencing motor car manufacture in 1900, the firm displayed a 3½hp quadri-cycle at that year's Paris Salon. Engine sizes were progressively developed and multi-cylinder engines soon followed. In the UK, the West-Aster and Whitlock-Aster were built in small numbers, while quality French manufacturers such as Aries and Gladiator were major Aster customers.
There are few London to Brighton-eligible cars that tick as many of the right boxes as this magnificent 1904 Aster. Four cylinders, mechanically operated valves, four-speed gearbox, five-seat coachwork, and an engine of around 2.7 litres capacity, to which it adds a windscreen, canopy, and roll-down side screens. Each of the engine's four cylinders is separately cast with T-head valve configuration, and fuel is supplied via a Zenith carburettor.