Mille Miglia eligible 1955 Aston Martin DB2/4 3.0-Litre Sports Saloon Coachwork by Mulliners of Birmingham Chassis no. LML/948
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. Equipped with latter, the DB2/4 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. Production of the first-series DB2/4 (latterly known as the 'Mark I') lasted from October 1953 to October 1955 with chassis numbers running from 'LML/501' 'to 'LML/1065', a total of 565 cars.
According to the Aston Martin guarantee form (copy on file), this DB2/4 was delivered on 14th May 1955 via Brooklands of Bond Street to its first owner, Captain de la Hay of Stratton Place, Cirencester. The original colour scheme was silver grey over drag yellow, with yellow-piped blue Connolly leather interior, a rather flamboyant colour combination for the time. Specified equipment included Alfin drum brakes, a twin exhaust system, and a chromium-plated gear lever and waistline strip. The original UK registration was 'PYR 350'.
The guarantee form also records that, in addition to repairs and services, a replacement engine was supplied on 29th May 1959, while the second owner is listed as one H S Short of Sunderland. A further owner was a Mr Royston Craven, who kept the Aston from 1962 to 1966 (see correspondence and scanned copies of photographs on file).
One Geoffrey Stevens of Wellingborough owned the Aston from at least 1973 onwards, and while in his custody maintenance seems to have been undertaken by Aston Martin specialists GTC Engineering of Rushden, Northamptonshire (see various invoices on file). In 1990, the car was re-trimmed by Tove Trimming of Towcester at a cost of some £5,433.75. Ownership next changed in 1994, passing to James Stevens, presumably Geoffrey's son.
In 2006, 'LML/948' was the sold at auction in the UK and purchased by an Austrian gentleman, who commissioned classic car specialists Fojtik of Vienna to carry out a comprehensive engine rebuild and other refurbishment (see invoices for work and parts on file). The Austrian owner kept the Aston until 2013 when it was sold via a London-based dealer in to its current owner in Italy, who has used the car sparingly but regularly.
The car's last Italian revisione (the Italian equivalent of the MoT test) was passed on 20th September 2018 and is valid in Italy for two years. The car is offered with an exceptionally comprehensive history file containing aforementioned copy guarantee form, assorted correspondence, sundry invoices, old MoT certificates and tax discs, and an (expired) FIVA Identity Card from 2009. The car is currently registered in Italy and will be supplied with Italian registration documents.