Silverstone Classic Sale 2018

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1954 Aston Martin DB2/4

Lot No.: TBA

Registration: WPA 595
Chassis Number: LML849
Engine Number: LB6A/50/464
Number of cylinders: 6
CC: 2580cc
Year of Manufacture: 1954
RHD/LHD: Right Hand Drive
Estimate (£): 90,000 - 110,000
(+buyer's premium of 15% including VAT @ 20%)
  • Restored over 20 years by a devoted Aston Martin enthusiast using expert services where required
  • Stunning bare-metal respray in Rolls Royce Peacock Blue with Dark Blue Leather interior
  • Accompanied by a history file stacked with invoices from specialists using genuine Aston Martin parts
  • Although this example presents and performs extremely well, some final finishing touches would complete this project and certainly add value

The Aston Martin DB2/4 was launched from Feltham in October 1953 and was offered as a sporting 2+2 hatchback or an open Drophead Coupé. Although similar to the DB2 it replaced, changes included a smaller fuel tank, rear suspension upgrade, wraparound windscreen, larger bumpers, and repositioned headlights. A number of special bodied cars were also produced by Italian coachbuilders Carrozzeria Allemano, Bertone, and Vignale who were commissioned at special request by private clients. David Brown had purchased the Lagonda company a few years earlier, primarily to obtain the W.O.Bentley designed, double overhead camshaft straight six, which he wanted as a replacement for the ageing Claude Hill four-cylinder unit. He knew success in motorsport would benefit sales, and used the 2.6-litre, six-cylinder unit to power the works DB2s which were campaigned at Le Mans and across Europe throughout the early 1950s.

The DB2/4 engine (VB6J) was initially tuned to 125bhp, propelling the car to 120mph and 0-60mph in 11.2 seconds.  However, in the summer of 1954, the capacity was increased from 2,580cc to 2,992cc, which raised power to 140bhp at 5,000rpm and reduced the 0-60mph time to 10 seconds dead. The Autocar described the DB2/4 in October 1953 as: "an expensive car designed to cater for the connoisseur of sports cars who is not limited by financial considerations.... a car of rare quality, unusual performance, exceptional roadworthiness and unrivalled versatility." - a description that, I suspect, Aston Martin would be proud to have applied to any of their current models.

A copy of the original purchase invoice shows that chassis number LML/849 had been delivered to J.F Holman, Holman Bros LTD on 27.11.54, body colour Sea Green with a beige leather interior. Purchased as a restoration project by our vendor in 1990, the car looked solid but had, sadly, been fitted with an American V8, so the first step, in what turned out to be a 20-year restoration, was to source a correct 2.6-litre VB6J power unit. This was duly accomplished, the old V8 quickly extracted, the engine bay fully prepared, and once the new engine  (LB6A/50/464) had been fully rebuilt it was carefully installed in WPA 595. The Aston was completely stripped down to bare components and reassembled using genuine Aston Martin parts where possible and lots of photographs in the history file document the entire process. Where necessary, specialists were used to carry out work such as the engine and drive train rebuild, steering box refurbishment, interior retrim in Dark Blue leather, and a complete body repaint In Rolls-Royce Peacock Blue, all backed up by detailed invoices.  The restoration was a gradual process over twenty years as finances permitted, however, our vendor is no longer in the best of health and there are one or two minor jobs to finish so the time has come to part with his beloved Aston.

On test this handsome DB2/4 fired into life with one press of the starter button, the eager sounding 6-cylinder feels keen and ready to perform, and overall the car feels tight and fresh as you would expect from a ground-up rebuild. This example offers an opportunity to enjoy the car as is, or add some final finishing touches and potentially add value.  Timeless classic lines, sporting performance, even by today's standards, and predictable sure-footed handling mean that these post-war Astons continue to be desirable. With DB4s and 5s out of reach financially, the 2/4 has the same 'Aston' feel, smell, and cachet at a fraction of the price.

Contact us for further details and follow this link to see a short video clip; https://youtu.be/LIu4alLH4sI