Originally the property of HRH Prince Bertil of Sweden 1952 Aston Martin DB2 Drophead Coupé Chassis no. LML/50/117 Engine no. LB6A/50/40
Aston Martin owner David Brown's 1947 acquisition of Lagonda made the latter's W O Bentley-designed, twin-overhead-camshaft, 2.6-litre six available for a new sports car. Introduced in May 1950, the DB2 owed much to the Claude Hill-designed DB1, using a shortened and modified version of the latter's chassis and identical suspension. Italian-inspired, the timelessly elegant GT bodywork was the creation of Frank Feeley, and with more power (105bhp at 5,000rpm) and less weight, the sleek DB2 comfortably out-performed its predecessor. Writing in 1952, Autosport's John Bolster enthused: 'The DB2 is a very fast sports car of immense stamina, as a long list of racing successes has proved. (The) model is remarkable for its comfort and luxury, and is also about the easiest thing there is to drive, outside of the "automatic transmission" carriages.' Bolster enjoyed the DB2's outstanding performance, particularly that of the 120mph Vantage version, and remarked on the car's inherent safety and versatility: 'Whether one would go shopping, to the theatre, on a long-distance tour, or even race at Le Mans, one could have no more perfect companion than the Aston Martin.' When production ceased in May 1953, a total of 411 DB2s had been made, around 98 of them drophead coupés.
Although supplied new to France via Majestic Autos, this rare DB2 drophead coupé was delivered in right-hand drive configuration, albeit with speedometer in km/h. Its first owner was HRH Prince Bertil of Sweden and the Aston was delivered to his French residence, Villa Mirages in Sainte Maxime in March 1953. At that time Sweden drove on the left, so it is possible that the Prince wanted the steering wheel on the side he was familiar with; on the other hand, there are some who prefer this arrangement for mountain driving in Continental Europe. The accompanying copy of the factory build sheet records the original colour scheme as Jubilee Blue with beige interior trim, black hood and beige wheels, while items of non-standard equipment listed include a quick release radiator cap, horn relay and the latest type 'D' lights. Little more than a year after delivery (in April 1953) the DB2 was back at the Newport Pagnell factory for the installation of a 3.0-litre engine, replacing the original 2.6-litre Vantage specification unit. It is not known when the current engine a 2.6-litre 'LB6A' unit from a contemporary Lagonda was installed. Various other works and modifications are recorded under 'Service Work', the last entry being dated 29th May 1956.
The DB2 is believed to have remained in Prince Bertil's possession for many years before passing into the ownership of the well-known Aston Martin collector Jean Louis Hebert of France. Mr Hebert had the Aston extensively restored during the 1990s and only recently sold it to the current vendor. Presented in generally good-to-very-good condition, the car performed very well on a recent short test drive, its engine starting 'on the button' and responding eagerly to the throttle.
Accompanying documentation consists of the aforementioned copy build sheet; current French Carte Grise; old French Carte Grise in the name of Jean Louis Hebert (dated 2004); and correspondence (1999) between Hebert and John Godley, Assistant Secretary of the Aston Martin Owners Club, confirming chassis 'LML/50/117' was owned by the late Prince Bertil of Sweden.