1954 Aston Martin DB2/4 2.6-Litre Sports Saloon Registration no. LDK 548 Chassis no. LML/649 Engine no. VB6E/50/1377
'The Aston Martin DB2/4 is an expensive car designed to cater for the connoisseur of sports cars whois not limited by financial considerations.' - Autocar, 2nd October 1953.
With the introduction of the '2+2' DB2/4 in October 1953, Aston Martin extended the DB2's appeal to the hitherto untapped yet increasingly important market comprised of 'sports car enthusiasts with a family'. Modifications to the rear of the chassis plus a reduction in fuel tank capacity from 19 to 17 gallons liberated sufficient space within the existing design for two child-sized occasional rear seats. Alternatively, the rear seat backs could be folded down, thus creating a load-carrying platform that more than doubled the luggage space. The latter could be accessed via the 2/4's opening rear door, a pioneering example of the now commonplace 'hatchback' concept.
'This transformation gives the Aston Martin DB2/4 an unrivalled luggage-carrying capacity in a car which should be capable in favourable circumstances of achieving two miles a minute,' reported The Motor. 'The DB2/4 can truthfully claim to be the fastest car in the world capable of carrying two people with a month's luggage.'
Standard specification included the 2.6-litre 'VB6E' engine in 125bhp Vantage tune but from early in 1954 the 3.0-litre 140bhp 'VB6J' engine was installed, providing 118mph top speed and 60mph in around 11 seconds. This was one of the fastest cars then built in Great Britain - with 100mph achievable in third gear and around 120mph maximum - possessing impeccable handling plus a level of comfort rare in any high-performance car.
First registered in June 1954, this particular DB2/4 was sold new to Mr Grahame S Bourne, a businessman from Rochdale in Lancashire, by Aston Martin agents Tice & Son Ltd. Mr Bourne was a sporting-car enthusiast and 34 years old at the time he purchased his dream of a brand new Aston Martin. He must have been thrilled to drive this elegant sports car at a time when such vehicles were a rare sight on Britain's roads in the 1950's. The car was ordered in Aston Martin Racing Sea Green with a beige Connolly leather interior, which is still in perfect original condition. Mr Bourne owned and meticulously maintained his beloved Aston Martin until 2011 when, at the age of 91 years old, he reluctantly decided to part with it having lost his driving licence. He had driven 107,000 miles in his 57 years of ownership and it is understood that this included participation in many Aston Martin events over the years. It is believed that this is the longest period of time a post-war Feltham-built Aston Martin has been owned from new by one individual. What a wrench it must have been for him to part with it. Sadly, Mr Bourne died in June 2014, a highly individual Aston Martin enthusiast to the end.
FIVA registered, the Aston comes with a Heritage Certificate and V5 registration document, and retains matching chassis, engine and registration numbers. 'LDK 548' was re-commissioned in 2012, which included a top quality repaint and detailed mechanical overhaul. The car has covered only some 2,000 miles since then. The correct painted set of wheels is supplied with it. Highly original and in wonderful condition, this DB2/4 is a tribute to the love and care of its long-term owner and a wonderful example of this British motoring icon.