1954 Aston Martin DB2/4 news, pictures, specifications, and information
Fastback Coupe
Coachwork: Mulliner
Chassis Num: LML/747
Engine Num: VB6J/185
Sold for $165,000 at 2008 Worldwide Auctioneers.
From 1953 through 1955 there were just 41 examples of the hand-built DB2/4 Saloons created. The cars were created at the DB works factory in Farsley, while the aluminum bodywork was tasked to the legendary coachbuilder, Mulliner at Newport Pagnell. Near the close of 1954, David Brown purchased the Tickford Coachwork and eventually moved production to that location.

The DB2/4 was fitted with a new three-liter engine that was capable of a zero-to-sixty time of just 10.5 seconds with top speed in the 118 mph range.

This example was given a $200,000 restoration that was completed in 1994. It has won awards at Pebble Beach, Amelia Island, and other shows. It is painted in Blue Haze with medium blue leather piped in grey.

In 2008, the car was brought to the Hilton Head Sports & Classic Car Auction presented by the Worldwide Auctioneers. It was estimated to sell for $160,000 - $180,000. Those estimates were proven accurate as the lot was sold for a high bid of $165,000 including buyer's premium.
By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2008
Coupe
Coachwork: Bertone
Chassis Num: LML/765
Engine Num: VB6J/213
One-of-a-kind Designed by Bertone's own Franco Scaglione, this unique body has a pronounced wraparound rear window and neatly creased fenders. The interior has a very unusual dash which looks more modern than that of the other Bertone built cars. Originally LML/765 was to be a prototype for a run of cars, but this was scrapped as Aston Martin refused to supply any more chassis. The coupe was delivered new to Henry Pagezy of Paris, France; this is the only Coupe built by Bertone on an Aston Martin DB2/4 chassis.

This is the only coupe built on an Aston Martin chassis supplied to Bertone by Stanley 'Wacky' Arnolt that is known to exist. It was created for a Parisian owner and delivered in 1955. It was later exhibited by Bertone at the Turin Motor Show in 1957. Bertone hoped to build a limited run of this car, but Aston Martin had stopped supplying chassis by the time this car was finished. It has the later 2.9-liter engine.

Source - Blackhawk Collection
Spyder
Coachwork: Bertone
Designer: Franco Scaglione
Chassis Num: LML/505
Engine Num: VB6J/91
Sold for $3,080,000 at 2016 Gooding & Company.
American Stanley 'Wacky' Arnolt commissioned the Italian coachbuilding company Bertone, of which he was a director, to build a Spyder body for the DB2/4 chassis, and he persuaded Aston Martin to let him have some rolling chassis to work with. In all, about eight cars were built by Bertone: two drop-head coups, two fixed head coupes, and four or five spyders. This particular car is the work of Franco Scaglione, the chief designer at Bertone who also developed the body for Alfa Romeo B.A.T. 5 that same year. This car has a 3-litre Vantage engine installed after the bodywork was in place.
Fastback Coupe
Coachwork: Touring
Chassis Num: LML 664
Engine Num: VB6E/50/1371
This 1954 Aston-Martin DB2/4 is one of 199 produced in 1954 and one of only 12 known to exist. It has had only three past owners and was found in the late 2000s in a barn in Falls Church, Virginia. It is currently undergoing a restoration which is estimated to take about two years.

When new, this Right Hand Drive vehicle was painted in sea green with beige trim.
By Daniel Vaughan | Jul 2009
Drophead Coupe
Designer: Graber
Chassis Num: LML 562
Engine Num: VB6E/50/1294
Sold for $715,000 at 2011 Gooding & Company.
Herman Graber started as a coachbuilder in Wichtrach near Bern in Switzerland. During the 1930s Graber became world famous for his beautiful convertible and coupe body design and for his perfect craftsmanship. A total of six Aston Martin chassis received Graber Drophead bodies.

This Drophead Coupe Mark I has chassis number LML 562, and is the one and only DB2/4 chassis bodied by Graber. The car stayed hidden in it's native Switzerland for it's entire life until being brought to the United States in the mid-200s to undergo a total ground-up restoration. It still bears the tag of the original selling dealer, Limmat Garage in Bern, a concern that is still in business today.

Introduced to the public at the London Motor Show in 1953, around 102 DB 2/4s Drophead Coupes were built by Aston Martin between 1953 and 1955. It has the 2.6 liter VB6E Vantage engine from the earlier DB2 which produced 125 horsepower.
Fastback Coupe
Coachwork: Mulliner
Chassis Num: LML 551
Engine Num: VB6J/120
Sold for $187,000 at 2012 Gooding & Company.
This 1954 Aston Martin DB2/4 Saloon was completed in fall of 1954 and equipped with the updated 2.9-liter VB6J engine, a left-hand drive arrangement, heavy-duty Armstrong shock absorbers, a 3.73:1 rear axle ratio and KLG spark plugs. It was originally finished in black over beige livery which it wears today.

The car was ordered through S.H. Arnolt of Chicago and delivered on September 17th of 1954 to Foreign Car center in Carmel, California. It was owned for a brief period by William Randolph Hearst, Jr. prior to being sold to H.M. Handley. It is believed that Mr. Handley campaigned the car in local race venues along the California coast such as Stockton, Santa Rosa and Santa Barbara.

Stan Davis purchased the car in 1975 and registered it as '54 Aston' on blue and yellow California license plates. It remained in his care for nearly two decades. In 2004, the car was purchased by Mr. Ginsberg who began a sympathetic cosmetic restoration. Upon completion, it was display at the 2007 Niello concours at Serrano in the featured Aston Martin class.

Fred Dulien of Costa Mesa, California purchased the car late in 2007 and entrusted Kevin Kay to perform a comprehensive mechanical restoration. The work was completed between November 2007 and August 2009.

The engine is a 2922cc dual overhead cam six-cylinder unit fitted with Twin SU HV6 carburetors and 140 horsepower. There is a T-5 five-speed gearbox and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes.

In 2012, the car was offered for sale at the Gooding & Company auction held in Scottsdale, AZ. It was estimated to sell for $200,000 - $225,000 and offered without reserve. As bidding came to a close, the car had sold for the sum of $187,000 inclusive of buyer's premium.
By Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2012
Spyder
Coachwork: Bertone
Designer: Franco Scaglione
Chassis Num: LML/505
Engine Num: VB6J/91
Sold for $3,080,000 at 2016 Gooding & Company.
Stanley H. Arnolt, a self-made millionaire, opened a foreign car dealership in Chicago selling MG, Riley, Bentley, Morris, Rolls-Royce, and Aston Martin vehicles. In 1951, he struck a deal with Nuccio Bertone to build 100 examples each of the coupe and cabriolet-bodied MGs that he had seen on the Bertone stand at the Torino Salon. This led to a partnership that would produce many memorable sports car designs of the 1950s, including this Aston Martin DB2/4 Spider.

Arnolt purchased five sequential Aston martin DB2/4 chassis in 1953 and had them sent to Carrozzeria Bertone to be clothed with custom coachwork. The even-numbered chassis were given opulent, luxurious bodies while 503, 505, and 507 were giving sporting designs penned by Franco Scaglione. This example wears one of those designs by Scaglione.

After these three cars were completed, it became clear to Aston Martin that these cars were competition to their traditional product lineup, and refused to sell the Chicago businessman any more chassis. Nonetheless, Mr. Arnolt was able to acquire two other chassis.

Two of the three chassis fitted with this body were designed for competition and were minimally equipped for the purpose. This car, the third example, was given more luxurious appointments and a full windscreen, intricate grille, bumpers, and a full soft top. It was shown at the 1954 New York Auto Show, were it wore an Aston Martin badge in an attempt to compel the company owner, David Brown, into making the Bertone-bodied roadster an Aston Martin production model.

This car's first onwer was Mr. Schwaumbauer of Wichita, Kansas who purchased it directly off the New York show stand in 1954. Two Air Force captains, C.S. Wallen and Charles Barnett, owned the car consecutively from 1958 into the 1970s. Captain Barnett began a restoration that was completed by its next owner, Mr. Jerry Rogers, who purchased the car in 1973. The next caretaker was W.W. Child who later sold it to Annie Abensur in Switzerland. In May of 1996, it was consigned to an auction in Geneva, where it was purchased by Carlos Monteverde. The car, which had been restored to a high standard in Switzerland, was then sold by Mr. Monteverde to its current owner some time prior to 2003.

Roger McCouat of Somerset, England was tasked with completely restoring the car to its original livery. The completed car was shown at the 2004 Aston Martin Owners Club's Spring Concours at Woburn Abbey, where it won the 'Feltham Aston' class. It was shown at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in 2007 where it earned a class award in the Aston Martin Postwar Custom Coachwork category.

This car is powered by a 2922cc dual overhead cam six-cylinder engine fitted with two SU side-draft carburetors and offering 140 horsepower. There is a four-speed manual gearbox and four-wheel Alfin Drum brakes.
By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2016
The Aston Martin DB2 was debuted to the public at the New York Motor Show. This was not the vehicles first appearance. It had been race at the grueling 24 Hours of LeMans where one of the drivers, Pierre Marechal, had been involved in a fatal accident. The DB2 was designed by Frank Freeley and configured as a two-seater touring vehicle. It was Aston Martin's first real production vehicle. The name was derived from the initials of the company's founder, David Brown. The production designs were very similar to the vehicles raced at LeMans, offering LeMans performance and touring comfort. Power was supplied by a twin-cam, W.O. Bentley designed Lagonda six-cylinder engine capable of producing 115 horsepower. With the 'Vantage' option that became available in 1951, the output increased to 125 horsepower, thanks in part to SU HV6 carburetors and high compression pistons.
During the DB2's lifespan lasting from 1950 through 1953, 441 examples were produced.

In 1953 Aston Martin introduced the DB2/4 MK1. This version was available in 2+2 Saloon Coupe configuration or as a Drophead Coupe. The Saloon version had featured a hatchback rear window, an uncommon design at the time. There were only 73 Dropheads created guarantying their exclusivity in modern times.

The DB2/4 had been modified both mechanically and aesthetically from its predecessor. The front received updates that gave it a 'cleaner' design. The 2.6 Liter Vantage engine was placed under the hood and provided power for the rear wheels. Due to the extra weight of the DB2/4 MK1, a more powerful 3.0 liter engine capable of producing 140 horsepower was used in 1954.

During the DB2/4 MK1 lifespan lasting from 1953 through 1955, 565 examples were produced.

In 1955 Aston Martin introduced the successor to the MK1, the MK2. There was little to distinguish the MK2. It had the same mechanics as its predecessor and only minor exterior modifications. The main differences were a square rear wing and the addition of the notchback-hardtop that was added to the body-style configurations. There were only thirty of these created. Nearing the end of the MK2, the power was increased to 165 horsepower from the six-cylinder engine. It was capable of racing from zero to sixty in 11.1 seconds and capturing a top speed of 120 miles-per-hour.

During the DB2/4 MK2 lifespan lasting from 1955 through 1957, 199 examples were created.

In 1957 Aston Martin introduced the MK III. It was available as a coupe or convertible, both were two-door and capable of seating four individuals. This was the final installment of the DB2 family. It received several mechanical updates including Girling disc brakes, hydraulic clutch, automatic and overdrive transmission options. This marked the first time that Aston Martin offered disc brakes as standard equipment on a vehicle. Al-Fin drum brakes were used in the rear. Aesthetically, it was similar to its predecessors but had received modifications to the front, including the DB3S grille. The modifications were enough to make the MKIII the most beautiful of all the DB2 models.

Under the hood sat a six-cylinder engine producing 162 horsepower. The zero-to-sixty time was now rated at 9.3 seconds with the top speed at 120 miles-per-hour. In standard form with the optional dual exhausts, horsepower was raised to 178 horsepower. By adding Webers, high compression pistons and an oil cooler, the horsepower rating skyrocketed to an astonishing 220. These improvements were courtesy of the knowledge Aston Martin had ascertained on the racing track.

During the DB MK III lifespan lasting from 1957 through 1959, 551 examples were produced.
By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2006
The first Aston Martin was built in 1913 by London Singer dealers Robert Bamford and Lionel Martin. It was comprised of a Coventry Simplex engine and an Isotta Fraschini chassis. They were later joined by Count Louis Zborowski, who provided finical backing and was an avid racer. Under the patronage of Augustus Bertelli, the legacy of Aston Martin continued to grow in motorsports throughout the years. Motorsports was expensive, and by 1925 the company had entered into receivership, a trend common to the company throughout its lifetime.

In 1926 the Aston Martin Motors Ltd. was incorporated with A.C. (Bert) Bertelli as one of the new directors. With the help of Bertelli, the company weathered the run years and the various financial backers. To many, Bertelli is the father of Aston Martin and some of the greatest pre-War era cars were created under his guidance. Their Ulster and 1.5-liter cars enjoyed much success including at the 24 Hours of LeMans.

A.C. Bertelli left Aston Martin in 1937, soon after the arrival of the new 2-liter car. This car was a shift in the way the company did business, as it was less sporty and marketed more towards civilized driving. In 1939 the company introduced a prototype designed by Claude Hill dubbed the Atom. It was comprised of a steel spaceframe chassis and given a four door sedan body. When gearbox manufacturer David Brown was given the opportunity to drive the Atom in 1947, he decided to buy the company.

The Atom was a slightly odd looking vehicle but possessed many modern features which would become the starting-point for many new models in the years to come. Aston Martins push-rod engines, however, were deemed inadequate by Mr. Brown. Rather than creating a new engine design he simply purchased Lagonda and the rights to produce the W.O. Bentley designed twin-cam six-cylinder engine. This engine would become the basis for Aston Martin engines in the years to come, and would give the company many podium finishes.

While negotiations were still in process with Lagonda, a small number of two-liter Aston Martins were created based on the Atom design. At the time, they were called 2-Liter Sports; in modern times they are commonly referred to as the DB1.

A six-cylinder Aston Martin racer made its racing debut at the first 24 Hours of LeMans in the post-War era. The production version was show in April of 1950 at the New York Auto Show. It was called the DB2 and powered by a 2.6-liter Lagonda six clothed in a two-door coupe body designed by Frank Freely. The design was well received by the public and it appeared as though financial stability would soon become part of the company's lineage. The small factory struggled to keep pace with the demand for the new coupe as more interest was created by the Works DB2s as they scored several important victories including first and second in class at LeMans in 1950.

The first fifty cars created had large grilles which were later removed. In 1951, the Vantage model was introduced which was an upgraded version of the DB2. The DB3 became the company's racing entrant while the DB2 was their road going model.

The two-seater DB2's first major update came in 1953 when it was given two rear seats and a name change to DB2/4. This, as was the DB2, was available in either fixed or drop head configuration. Several chassis were delivered to custom coachbuilders to be fitted with unique creations orchestrated by customers desires and demands. Among them were the 'Wacky' Arnolt commissioned Bertone Spiders which were very attractive and equally as popular.

Though meant for the road, the DB2/4 models were used by privateers in many various sporting events with much success. This inspired the Works to prepare three examples for the Rallye Monte Carlo in 1955. Their efforts were rewarded with a first in class and a Team Prize.

Another major revision occurred in 1956 with the introduction of the DB2/4 MKII featuring a three-liter version of the six-cylinder engine producing 140 horsepower. An even more powerful version was available, featuring a high-lift camshaft, larger valves, and 165 horsepower. Coachbuilders were still given the opportunity to create their versions of the car. The most memorable was a Touring created Spyder shown at the 1956 Earls Court show in London. Three additional orders were placed but never materialized. Nevertheless, this would be the start of a relationship between the British based Aston Martin Company and the Touring Coachbuilding firm, resulting in spectacular creations throughout the years.

The fourth and final update to the DB2/4 was the MKIII, also known as the DB MK III, introduced in 1957. The basic design of the prior DB cars was retained, as it had proven to be very popular and versatile. The most noticeable change was to the front which received a revised frontal region. The big changes occurred elsewhere, with the vehicles mechanical components, including the standard 162 horsepower engine and front disc brakes. Both of these changes greatly improved the vehicles performance and handling capabilities.

In 1958 the DB2 Series was replaced by the DB4 which were powered by a 3.7-liter version of the six-cylinder engine.
By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2007
 
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