1953 Aston Martin DB2/4
J. O’Hana, Casablanca, Morocco (acquired new in 1953)
Alan Lampert, San Francisco, California (acquired from the above in the late 1970s)
Brian Hoyt, Hayward, California (acquired from the above in 1993)
Current Owner (acquired from the above in 2002)
Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, Pebble Beach, California, August 1994 (Best in Class)
Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, Pebble Beach, California, August 2005
Of the 562 Aston Martin DB2/4 examples built between 1953 and 1955, this unique car is arguably the most elegant and desirable. Built in Torino, and designed by Giovanni Savonuzzi, this is the only Allemano-bodied Coupe.
This DB2/4’s history began with J. O’Hana of Casablanca, Morocco, buying a chassis from his friend, Aston Martin owner David Brown. It was shipped to Serafino Allemano in Torino, clothed in a rakish aluminum body, then delivered to Morocco for Mr. O’Hana to drive on the street – and also to race.
Designer Savonuzzi penned the Cisitalia Spider Nuvolari and 202 Aerodynamica in 1948, then moved to Allemano. After a short stay, he joined Ghia and created the spectacular “Supersonic” bodies fitted to Alfa Romeo, Fiat, and Jaguar chassis.
Savonuzzi’s Allemano Coupe foreshadowed the airy greenhouse and aggressive angles of the classic DB4 and DB4 GT – but five years earlier. Only 12 DB2/4s were bodied in Italy: six Coupes and three Spiders by Bertone, two Coupes by Vignale, and the unique Allemano Coupe offered here.
Mr. O’Hana was not satisfied with the performance of his car, so Mr. Brown’s mechanics upgraded the Coupe with three Weber side-draft carburetors. The brakes and suspension were also improved, and the extra 40 bhp – up to 180 – turned the DB2/4 into a potent sports car.
After an accident, Mr. O’Hana’s employees persuaded him to let them rebuild the car, adding bumpers and a back seat, and it was driven until the late 1970s, when it was purchased by American Alan Lampert. Mr. Lampert commissioned a ground-up restoration before selling the car to his restorer, Brian Hoyt of Perfect Reflections of Hayward, California. Hoyt completed the restoration, then showed the Coupe at the 1994 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, where it won the Italian Coachwork Class – an extraordinary achievement for a British car.
This DB2/4 Coupe is in spectacular condition, with fine details including sculpted alloy coachwork with Allemano Torino badge, and definitive Aston Martin grille with Marchal driving lights. The competition-inspired dashboard is wrinkle-finished with engine-turned trim, the chrome wire wheels are by Borrani, and the car is accompanied by documentation, tools, jack, and spare wheel.
Aston Martin historian Roger Stowers declared some years ago that this car “must be the best example of foreign coachwork on any Aston Martin.” That is very high praise indeed, and indicative of a very special motorcar.