As Featured in ‘The Birds’: Aston Martin DB2/4 Drophead Coupé

It’s quite extraordinary how cars pop up in movies on a sometimes random basis. Who would have thought an almost 10-year-old Aston would appear in a Hitchcock film? One did, in the 1963 thriller ‘The Birds’...

According to marque historians, it’s possible that two cars were used, although Club records show LML/944 as being the one most closely associated with it. Hollywood connections apart, the fact is that a convertible DB2/4 (a later version of the car you see here), a ‘European import’, is just the sort of car to be driven by socialite Melanie Daniels (played by Tippi Hedren) in the quiet Californian seaside location depicted in the film.

The Drophead Coupé version of the DB2 was introduced in late 1950. Only a few months before, an attractive coupé was shown at that April’s New York Motor Show. With a modern chassis by Claude Hill, Frank Feeley’s timeless styling and Willie Watson’s (originally Lagonda) 2.6-litre straight six, the new Aston Martin - only the second-ever ‘DB car’ - was a winner.

As Featured in ‘The Birds’: Aston Martin DB2/4 Drophead Coupé

It was also very expensive - £1,915 incl. taxes in 1950 for the ‘Saloon’ and £2,043 for the DHC in the UK. But with a series of successes on the track (the famous ‘VMF’ and ‘UMC’ team cars), and typical understated British bearing, the DB2 series of Astons which started with the DB2 itself and finished with the DB Mk III represented ‘the Feltham years’ of Aston Martin at its finest.

 

As Featured in ‘The Birds’: Aston Martin DB2/4 Drophead Coupé
As Featured in ‘The Birds’: Aston Martin DB2/4 Drophead CoupéAs Featured in ‘The Birds’: Aston Martin DB2/4 Drophead Coupé

The DB2/4 was a later version of the DB2, with a revised rear chassis and smaller fuel tank. The two-door original, with its small ‘letter box’ boot, had been re-engineered to make it into one of the world’s first hatchbacks, offering greater rear headroom, two vestigial rear seats and the convenience of a mainly glass tailgate.

 

 

As Featured in ‘The Birds’: Aston Martin DB2/4 Drophead Coupé
As Featured in ‘The Birds’: Aston Martin DB2/4 Drophead CoupéAs Featured in ‘The Birds’: Aston Martin DB2/4 Drophead Coupé

It was a popular and practical solution, helping create the ‘shooting brake’ image of the English gentleman in tweeds turning up at his peg, and then taking a brace of Purdeys from the rear luggage shelf of his Aston with ease.

 

The convertible, DHC version, on the other hand, simply said, “Sun, seaside and Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat.”

As Featured in ‘The Birds’: Aston Martin DB2/4 Drophead Coupé

This car is a DB2 Convertible from 1950 in the final stages of restoration by marque specialist Post-Vintage Engineers, and can be finished to your exact specification.

 

Related Links

The car seen here can currently be found in the Classic Driver Marketplace

 

 

Photos: Post Vintage Engineers Limited