Mille Miglia eligible 1955 Aston Martin DB2/4 Mk I Registration no. XFC 555 Chassis no. LML/886
'The Aston Martin DB2/4 is an expensive car designed to cater for the connoisseur of sports cars who is not limited by financial considerations.' - Autocar, 2nd October 1953.
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. As well as the extra accommodation, 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 were produced before the arrival of the MkII in October 1955, by which time the 3.0-litre 140bhp 'VB6J' engine had been standardised.
This well preserved DB2/4 was built for the British market and still retains the 'XFC 555' registration present when delivered to Mr M.M. Johnson on the 2nd May 1955 by E. H. Organ & Sons of Oxford. Mr Alan Archer, father of the well-known Aston Martin historian Stephen Archer, owned the car from 1964 to 1970 before being sold to an enthusiast in the US where it remained for 34 years. Returning to Europe in 2004 when purchased by a Mr. Koks of the Netherlands, the car then attracted a further two European keepers, namely Dutch collector Mr. De Jong and a well-known Belgian Aston Martin collector, the late Philippe Blesin. The current vendor, another long-term Aston Martin enthusiast, acquired the car in June 2018 at which point it was repatriated.
This DB2/4's condition and originality is a testament to each of its owners over the last 64 years. The view from the cockpit is complimented by a row of AMOC Concours plaques which grace the dash and original Boyriven wool headlining; many of which were awarded to Mr Archer. 'LML/886' was invited to participate in the "Preservation at its Best" class at the 2018 Salon Privé Concours d'Elegance held at Blenheim Palace, also completing the 140-mile Salon Privé Tour. The untouched red leather has a rich patination that could only be achieved through the passage of time and the dash and roof lining both benefit from the same original charm. 'LML/886' also benefits from a 2008 repaint, maintaining its original colour Moonbeam Grey which was patinated so as to be more in keeping with the rest of the car.
The history file includes a letter from Aston Martin Heritage Trust verifying the car's provenance. Importantly, it retains an original driver's handbook and all of the original and correct tools are still situated between the front seats. The car also retains its original 'Kismet' air pump and 'Lake & Elliot' factory jack as well as the Mk II jack installed as an upgrade by the factory in 1955.
The vendor informs us that the car is a delight to drive, with the W.O. Bentley straight six still pulling well and offering a relaxed 65mph cruise. Said to be in good to excellent condition all round, this DB2/4 is largely untouched save for the paintwork and the renewed carpets. Continuously used and loved throughout its life by owners who clearly placed a significant emphasis on preservation, LML/886 presents a rare opportunity to acquire such a highly original example.