1952 Aston Martin DB2

A.C. Bertelli was an Anglo-Italian racing driver, designer, mechanic, and businessman. He works as a consultant for companies such as Armstrong Siddeley, Coventry Simplex and Rover. While working at Armstrong Siddeley he had met William Renwick, an engineer who had inherited a large amount of money. The two formed a company called Renwick & Bertelli Ltd in Birmingham in 1924 and produced a car called the R&B. It was powered by a four-cylinder 1.5-liter overhead camshaft engine installed in an Enfield-Alldays chassis. The car performed well and came to the attention of the Hon. John Benson whose mother Lady Charnwood had recently bought Bamford and Martin. In 1926, Bertelli and Renwick both joined the board of what became Aston Martin Motors Ltd., with the R&B providing the basis for a new range of cars.

The Aston Martin Company went through a succession of owners and in 1928 was acquired by Sidney Whitehouse who also bought Renwick & Bertelli and merged the companies. Bertelli remained with Aston Martin until 1938.

By the late 1930s, the company had turned its attention from producing racing and sports cars, to building road-going cars. The Atom prototype was built in 1939 and had a steel spaceframe chassis designed by Claude Hill and clothed in four door sedan bodywork. The car impressed gearbox manufacturer David Brown and convinced him to buy Aston Martin. The push-rod engine in the Atom was inadequate, so David Brown bought Lagonda, specifically for the W.O. Bentley designed twin-cam six-cylinder engine. Soon, a small series of two-liter sports cars based on the Atom design had been built. Although commonly referred to as the DB1, they were officially called the 2_liter Sports.

After World War II and at the New York Auto Show in April of 1950, Aston Martin introduced the six-cylinder DB2. The Lagonda straight-6 with dual SU carburetors produced just over 100 horsepower. It was placed within a shortened version of the tube-frame chassis designed by Hill for the 2-Litre Sports, with a fastback coupe body designed by Frank Freeley.

Three pre-production examples had been previewed even earlier, as they raced at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1949. One of those three became the development car for the production DB2. It had the Lagonda straight-6, while the other two were powered by four-cylinder 2-liter engines. The six-cylinder car, driven by Leslie Johnson, retired after six laps due to overheating caused by a broke water pump. One of the 2-liter cars was in 4th place when it crashed two hours short of the finish, fatally injuring driver Pierre Maréchal. The remaining car, driven by Arthur Jones and Nick Haines, finished 7th overall.

The following month, the six-cylinder car raced at the Spa 24-Hour race where Leslie Johnson and Charles Brackenbury finished 3rd. Nick Haines and Lance Macklin drove one of the 2-liter cars to a 5th place finish.

For the 1950 season, all three of these cars were fitted with the larger Lagonda engine. George Abecassis and Lance Macklin finished 5th at the 1950 LeMans race. Brackenbury and Reg Parnell finished in 6th, which won Aston Martin 1st and 2nd in the 3-litre class. A DB2 driven by Briggs Cunningham finished 2nd in class at the inaugural Sebring race meeting in December of 1950.

At the 1951 LeMans, Macklin and Eric Thompson finished 3rd overall, with Abecassis and Brian Shawe-Taylor 5th.

Production of the DB2 would continue until April of 1953 with 411 examples being built. At least 102 examples were Drophead Coupes. The first 49 examples had a different grille and larger large rectangular cooling vents in the front wings than the subsequent cars. The later cars had a one-piece grille with horizontal chrome slats while the early cars had a chrome-framed front grille in three separate parts.

Originally, the only bodystyle available was a fixed-head coupe. It had a spare wheel located at the rear in a small compartment, and luggage space was located behind the front seats. In the front was a single-piece hood that was hinged at the front. The Drophead Coupe became available near the close of 1950.

The Vantage engine upgrade was introduced in April of 1950, and it came with larger SU carburetors and higher compression ratio, boosting power to 125 bhp. Briggs Cunningham received the first DB2 Vantage, LML 50/21.


by Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2019

Related Reading : Aston Martin DB2 History

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 Martins first real production vehicle. The name....
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Related Reading : Aston Martin DB2 History

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.....
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1952 Vehicle Profiles

1952 Aston Martin DB2 vehicle information

FastBack Coupe

The Aston Martin DB2 is a sports car that was sold by Aston Martin from May 1950 through to April 1953. The DB2 was the successor to the 2-Litre Sports model that uses an advanced dual overhead cam 2.6-liter straight-6 cylinder engine in place of the....[continue reading]

1952 Aston Martin DB2 vehicle information

FastBack Coupe

Chassis Num: LML 50-193

This 1952 Aston Martin DB2 Coupe was offered for sale at the 2007 RM Auctions held in Amelia Island, Florida. It was offered without reserve and estimated to sell between $40,000 - $60,000. It is powered by a 2922cc double overhead cam six-cylinder e....[continue reading]

1952 Aston Martin DB2 vehicle information

Chassis Num: LML/50/95

This example was entered into the Aston Martin Owners Club Concours d'Elegance at Waddesdon in 2001. The car won its class by a very large margin. As a result it was promoted to the AMOC winners' class, the 'Elite Class'. Purchased in 1985 by R.S. Mc....[continue reading]

1952 Aston Martin DB2 vehicle information

FastBack Coupe

Chassis Num: LML/50/102
Engine Num: VB6B/50/553

This largely original DB2 was the design before the DB2/4 and was raced in Malaysia for decades before is was sold in the U.S.....[continue reading]

FastBack Coupe
 
FastBack Coupe
Chassis #: LML 50-193 
Chassis #: LML/50/95 
FastBack Coupe
Chassis #: LML/50/102 

Recent Vehicle Additions

Performance and Specification Comparison

Price Comparison

$255-$5,955
1952 DB2
$6,055-$17,350
1952 Aston Martin DB2 Price Range: $5,955 - $6,055

Model Year Production

#1#2#3Aston Martin
1957Ford (1,676,449)Chevrolet (1,505,910)Plymouth (726,009)
1956Chevrolet (1,567,117)Ford (1,408,478)Meteor (1,408,478)
1955Chevrolet (1,704,667)Ford (1,451,157)Buick (738,814)
1954Ford (1,165,942)Chevrolet (1,143,561)Plymouth (463,148)24
1953Chevrolet (1,346,475)Ford (1,247,542)Plymouth (650,451)62
1952Chevrolet (818,142)Ford (671,733)Plymouth (396,000)
1951Chevrolet (1,229,986)Ford (1,013,381)Plymouth (611,000)
1950Chevrolet (1,498,590)Ford (1,208,912)Plymouth (610,954)
1949Ford (1,118,308)Chevrolet (1,010,013)Plymouth (520,385)
1948Chevrolet (696,449)Ford (430,198)Plymouth (412,540)
1947Chevrolet (671,546)Ford (429,674)Plymouth (382,290)

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