1952 Aston Martin DB2 Drophead Coupé Registration no. VJB 377 Chassis no. LML/50/203 Engine no. VB6B/50/1080
'The DB2 is a very fast sportscar of immense stamina, as a long list of racing successes has proved. (The) model is remarkable for its comfort and luxury, and is also about the easiest thing there is to drive, outside of the "automatic transmission" carriages.' The foregoing paean of praise was written by Autosport's inimitable road-tester, John Bolster, who concluded his appraisal: 'Whether one would go shopping, to the theatre, on a long-distance tour, or even race at Le Mans, one could have no more perfect companion than the Aston Martin.' When production ceased in May 1953, a total of 411 DB2s had been made, around 98 of them drophead coupés.
This rare, original DB2 drophead coupé has been in single ownership for over 30 years and has matching chassis and engine numbers. Chassis number '203' was built in 1952 and sold new in 1953 to a Jean de Lantsheere in Belgium, which explains the shape of the rear numberplate surround. The car is recorded as being returned to the factory in 1958 for an engine rebuild, including new valve guides, and a new clutch. In 1959 the gearbox, steering column gear change mechanism and steering box all received attention and the car was rewired. The odometer reading was recorded as 83,177 kilometres. It is not known when the car was shipped to the USA or when the central gear change was fitted. In the late 1970s, just prior to its ownership by Anthony Moody then Representative of the AMOC for the Mid-West USA, the Aston was repainted in its 'original' light blue and the engine subjected to a complete rebuild by the Aston specialist Charlie Turner, then Chairman of AMOC America. This included a top-end overhaul, new pistons and liners, new timing chains and a bottom-end rebuild with all new bearings. The mileage total was recorded as 13,556, so the speedometer must have been changed at some time.
In 1980 the current vendor purchased the car from Anthony Moody in the USA and brought it back to the UK. A previous owner was given as a Mr J Keeble of Ipswich, when it was registered 'EPU 672B', a Chelmsford number. In 1981/2 the engine was stripped again and new liners and high-compression pistons fitted, resulting in a major improvement in performance. The gearbox was not correct and was replaced with one of the correct type. This work was undertaken by well-respected specialists in Feltham-built Aston Martins, Four Ashes Garage of Stratford-on-Avon. All the subsequent major work on the car up to the present time has been entrusted to Four Ashes.
In 1983 the DB underwent major engine-out bodywork refurbishment and the chassis was repainted. The seats were re-upholstered in new beige leather and the body refinished in its present livery of Aston Martin Sierra Blue. Reregistered 'VJB 377', the car won the Denman Trophy at the AMOC Concours for the best Feltham car in 1987. During the 1980s and '90s the Aston was entered in a number of sprints and hill climbs and participated in several Euroclassic rallies to France and Germany, acquitting itself well. In 2001 a new hood was fitted by Gary Wright of Milton Keynes.
Last year the car was returned to Four Ashes Garage for general overhaul of the engine, including refurbished inlet manifold, new exhaust manifold, rebuilt fuel pump and rebuilt distributor, together with an overhaul of the brakes and a complete rewire. We are advised that 'VJB 377' is now running as well as, if not better, than ever before. The car is offered with sundry restoration invoices, current MoT/tax and V5 registration document.