∙Exceptional condition throughout ∙Numerous restoration receipts ∙37 year ownership ∙Matching numbers car ∙Stunning styling & performance
With the need to widen the appeal of the already successful DB2, the DB2/4 incorporated two occasional rear folding seats and a larger luggage area, thus creating a grand tourer - so the gentlemen’s sports car had grown into a four-seater saloon. Produced from 1953-1957 and launched at the Earls Court Motor Show, the MkII also featured a wraparound windscreen, larger bumpers, repositioned headlights, smaller tail fins, bubble-type tail lights and added chrome.
Three body styles were produced - the saloon, drop head coupe and 34 Tickford fixed-head Coupes and marketed by Aston Martin - “for speed and comfort in long-distance touring”.
David Brown went on to purchase coach builders Tickford in 1954 and moved the production of the MkII from Mulliner to Tickford. All Aston Martin’s operations eventually moved there with the introduction of the DB4.
Aston Martin’s racing DB1R and later DB3S along with works cars prepared for the 1955 Monte Carlo Rally and the Mille Miglia, certainly helped with the appeal and sporting pedigree of the DB2/4. Royalty, celebrities and even land speed legend Donald Campbell owned one and it became known as the first ‘two mile a minute’ car.
Although not confirmed, it is believed that the first owner of this beautiful Aston Martin was Billy Cotton the popular band leader, radio and television personality. One of only 144 built at the Feltham factory, the early history trail is currently sketchy but there are a few owners listed from 1959 on the original Licence registration document (see photos).
Purchased by the vendor’s previous partner in 1984, and then acquired by the vendor’s wife in1993, this DB2/4 was in need of refurbishment, and so during the 1990’s a mechanical, and in particular, a body overhaul was carried out by Classic Coach-builders of Sittingbourne, Kent. To keep the car's authenticity, as many original parts and body panels were retained and restored as required. The current vendor and family have subsequently enjoyed driving the car and indeed owned other Aston Martins and Lagondas.
By 2020 it was felt that further improvements were necessary and Aston Martin specialists Prestige Restoration, of Chersey, were entrusted to carry out a comprehensive list of mechanical and cosmetic enhancements. Details of which are noted below.
The vendor tells us that not much paperwork came with this Aston Martin, however, having owned it since 1984, it does come with a folder full of receipts and information from specialist parts and service suppliers, the V5 and an early licence document.
There is no current MOT or MOT history available at the moment and the current exempt vehicle tax runs until May 2022. This fine example still bears its original registration number which will stay with the car.
The simple but elegant interior is in good order and the owner tells us that it was the subject of a re-trim 18 months ago which included new door cards and carpets. The classic wood rimmed steering wheel and burr walnut dashboard look ‘just right’ and the colour co-ordinated dash trim and leather upholstery have a great patina with no visible rips or tears other than a couple of small areas on the top corner of the driver's seat (see photo). Interestingly, the seats are not the usual smaller bucket seats, but are wider and the door armrests are an addition - possibly derived from Lagonda?.
The rear luggage space is in good condition and the fold down rear seats make a really sizeable additional load space. The roof lining is excellent and the tool set still resides in the centre armrest just behind the period correct looking gear lever.
The owner also informs us that the Gauges have recently been re-calibrated and a new wiring loom was installed in 2020 which should make for reliable electrics. The internal door handles and window winders operate well although the quarter light rubbers are awaiting a trim so that they close easily.
This beautiful four-seater saloon is regarded as one of the ultimate classic Grand Tourers. The smooth flowing contours of the DB2/4 are simply stunning. This example has obviously been lovingly cared for by the current family and although, by their own admission, it is not quite concours, it is regarded as a drivers car to be enjoyed.
The aluminium body is extremely straight with no obvious dings and the shut lines all look good. Considering that the body was repainted in the late 1990’s (with some more recent attention to the sills, for example), it still looks great with no visible scratches. The chrome is very presentable with just a few blemishes here and there, and the glass and replacement rubbers are good. The period-correct Lucas lights are all in good working order.
Upon first inspection, the chassis and floor looks very clean, well painted and undersealed and lastly the painted knock-off wire wheels appear to be in good condition and the motorsport derived Brockley tyres have plenty of tread on them.
Having been treated to an overhaul just last year, this original and correct Bentley/Lagonda 3 litre straight six, dual overhead cam engine is eager to fire into life. It was a very fast car in the 1950’s with 140bhp on tap and a top speed of around 118mph.
This engine certainly sounds gorgeous and has only covered approximately 200 miles since the recent improvements carried out by Prestige Restoration. These include the following:
New valve seals
S.U. carburettor refurb kits
Electronic ignition conversion
New coil and HT leads
New fuel sender and fuel tank clean
New rear suspension swing arms and springs
New brakes and hoses
New steering rack
The engine bay is exceptionally clean and includes a recently purchased original jack, spare spark plugs and unusually, the original grease gun. The owner assures us that the four-speed gearbox is smooth and the Alfin brake drums operate effectively too.
Having been in the same family ownership for the last 37 years, this thoroughly British Cultural icon has been lovingly cared for and is ‘ready to go!’. The matching numbers and sympathetic restoration work carried out over the years should appeal to any Aston Martin enthusiast.
In the words of the current owner - the combination of stunning 50’s styling, sporting heritage, GT capability and the unique Aston Martin sound, makes this a great DB2/4 that “just needs to be used”.
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