1954 Aston Martin DB2
Year of manufacture1954
Number of seats2
In current family ownership since 1972
1954 Aston Martin DB2/4 'Mark I' 3.0-Litre Sports Saloon
Coachwork by Mulliners of Birmingham
Registration no. POH 292
Chassis no. LML/731
Engine no. VB6J/161
Testing the new DB2/4 in 1954, Autocar acknowledged that the Aston Martin had, 'been well known for very many years as a sports car of fine quality and high performance,' while characterising the Newport Pagnell manufacturer's latest offering as, 'an expensive car designed to cater for the connoisseur of sportscars who is not limited by financial considerations.'
Introduced in October 1953, the DB2/4 widened the already considerable appeal of the DB2 by the simple expedient of installing two occasional rear seats, the latter being facilitated by extensive revisions to the car's rear end. The DB2 had been the first fruit of Aston Martin owner David Brown's 1947 acquisition of Lagonda, which made the latter's W O Bentley-designed, twin-overhead-camshaft, 2.6-litre six available for a new sports car. Introduced in May 1950, the DB2 owed much to the Claude Hill-designed DB1, using a shortened and modified version of the latter's chassis and identical suspension. Italian-inspired, the timelessly elegant GT bodywork was the creation of Frank Feeley, and with more power (105bhp at 5,000rpm) and less weight, the sleek DB2 comfortably out-performed its predecessor.
As well as the extra accommodation afforded by the DB2/4, there was also room for more luggage, the latter being accessed via a hatchback rear door. A raised roofline, one-piece windscreen, larger bumpers and other detail styling changes further differentiated the new '2+2' from its predecessor. Otherwise, the DB2/4 remained mechanically much the same as the DB2, though the Vantage (125bhp) engine became the standard specification. A total of 565 DB2/4s was produced before the arrival of the MkII in October 1955, by which time the 3.0-litre 'VB6J' engine had been standardised.
This DB2/4 was first owned by George Brame of Southend-on-Sea, Essex and appears to have had only two private owners, other than the Brames, prior to its acquisition in September 1972 by the current vendor's father, who bought it to replace his ex-Peter Collins DB2, sold in the 1960s. 'POH 292' was registered in his wife's name. The accompanying copy guarantee form lists the original colour scheme as Imperial Crimson with beige interior trim. A considerable amount of service work is documented in the history file including a re-spray (Metcalfe & Sons, November 1963) and a new rear axle (Aston Martin, April 1964) while in 1965 the engine was overhauled and the car fitted with new manifolds, rear axle (again) and piston rings, all by Aston Martin. In February 1967 the suspension was overhauled by Ward's Garage, Nottingham while in March 1969 the car was re-sprayed again, on this occasion by Reeve Coachbuilders, Chesterfield. In December '69 the engine was overhauled by Ian Moss Astons in Buckinghamshire.
While in the vendor's father's ownership the DB2/4 shared its garage with a DB5, DB6 and DBS, and was kept serviced and on the road but not used very much. In the early 1990s the Aston was re-sprayed and re-trimmed and some minor engine work was carried out. 'POH 292' continued to be used, albeit sparingly, until 1998, since when it has been kept in dry storage. The engine has not been started since 2004 and no attempt has been made to turn it over. Offered for restoration and sold strictly as viewed, the car comes with its original buff logbook, factory workshop manual and parts book, old/current V5/V5C registration documents, a quantity of expired MoT certificates and a ring binder containing a large quantity of bills, photographs, magazine articles, etc. It should be noted that the V5C incorrectly records both the chassis and engine number.