1954 Aston Martin DB2
We're incredibly pleased and honoured to offer for sale this most enchanting of the much-sought Aston Martin DB2/4 having first learnt of its existence and met its owner some three years ago. Further reading uncovered the most fascinating story of a road-going Aston Martin DB2/4 fresh from the showroom in 1954 with barely a modification to be seen before its then privateer owner, Frank Defty, lined up against the stiffest of competition.
‘UPC 893' car was featured in the Summer 2013 issue of ‘Vantage' magazine, an extract from which written by the vendor & Richard Meaden is offered here;
"I was aware that enthusiasts of the early Feltham DB models knew that a DB2/4 had raced at the inaugural meeting at the Aintree race circuit, but that it had been ‘lost' and nobody knew of its whereabouts. That first Aintree meeting was unique in that the circuit was raced anti-clockwise. Amongst the photographs of my car was UPC 893 in torrential rain at what looked like Aintree, and travelling in an anti-clockwise direction..."
"How he got an entry for the Aintree meeting I will never know! Can you imagine entering a standard DB2/4 against the might of three Ecurie Ecosse Le Mans Jaguars, HWM Jaguar and Maserati, plus an assortment of Aston DB3 and DB3S's, Frazer Nash, Cooper Bristol and a Lotus driven by a certain Colin Chapman? It's extraordinary. To make matters worse, the weather was appalling and the drivers had to do a Le Mans start. Defty would have found himself dashing across the tarmac with Carroll Shelby, Roy Salvadori, the Marquis de Portago and Tony Brooks amongst others. What they must have thought is anyone's guess, but hats off to him. He finished last of course, but at least he didn't crash. Unlike Chapman!"
Seemingly unperturbed by poor weather and a competitive field, it seems the defiant Defty and his trusty showroom-fresh, mere one-month old DB2/4 - sporting just a set of hot plugs and heavy-duty shock absorbers by way of ‘competition tuning' - had entered the 2,000 miles of RAC International Rally which comprised closed stages, hill climb courses and track action to complete. Shortly after, now undoubtedly hooked, Defty and UPC 893 were seen on track at Goodwood, Oulton Park and Snetterton.
Defty sold the car in early 1955 having racked up some 17,000miles in just seven months of ownership. We pick up more of the history of this car in 1960 under the stewardship of Mr John Wall, who used the car for a period before storing until 1974. At this time the car was acquired by Mr Harry Gadsby reputedly for just £950.00 needing recommissioning. It remained with Gadsby for four years before being damaged in a garage fire which caused damage to the bonnet and roof from falling debris. Now damaged, the car was purchased by restorer Alan Ball who set about repairing the car and restoring what was required. These remedial works were completed to a high standard and the car repainted in the striking British Racing Green colour as it still wears today. ‘UPC 893' was subjected to just mild use upon completion before again being entered into long-term storage for what would be a further 20 years...
It is a reflection of the underlying condition of the car that, upon discovery and purchase in 2007 by our vendor, all that was required in its recommissioning was to remove, clean and seal fuel tank, blow-out fuel line and clean fuel pump and carburettors. The front wheel bearings were renewed and brake shoes checked. All oil was drained from the sump, gearbox, rear axle, front suspension and steering spindle, the engine flushed, oil-filter changed and all refilled with oil as appropriate. Finally, new points, condenser and rotor arm plus shot-blasted and repainted wheels, new tyres and fresh fuel ahead of the car's first drive on the 25th November 2007, good as new!...
This Aston Martin looks sensational; unmolested, completely authentic and proudly bearing the patina of a car that's driven. We share the owners' enthusiasm for the car to the tee and likewise support the belief that the best way of keeping a car running sweetly is regular use and basic maintenance. Whilst in storage through the winter the car is often cranked over on the handle, which itself still resides within the clasps which are built to accommodate it in the engine bay.
Journalist, Richard Meaden, in an article from Vantage magazine, Summer 2013, summarises "I can wholeheartedly attest to UPC 893's magical charisma, and to [the owner's] enthusiasm for the car and its unique story. Of course, it's no DBR1, but if you're a sucker for the romance of a man who bought a new Aston Martin in 1954, decided to take it racing and rubbed shoulders with the greats then this DB2/4 is just about as good as it gets..."