2,580cc DOHC Inline 6-Cylinder Engine
2 SU Carburetors
105bhp at 5,000rpm
4-Speed Manual Transmission
Front Independent Suspension – Live Rear Axle
4-Wheel Drum Brakes
*Rare, factory left hand drive Coupe
*Original USA delivery
*Offered with copy of the factory build sheet
*Great thoroughbred sports car from a golden era of motoring
THE ASTON MARTIN DB2/4
"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, October 2, 1953.
With the introduction of the '2+2' DB2/4 in October 1953, Aston Martin extended the DB2's appeal to the hitherto untapped yet increasingly important market comprised of 'sports car enthusiasts with a family'. Modifications to the rear of the chassis plus a reduction in fuel tank capacity from 19 to 17 gallons liberated sufficient space within the existing design for two child-sized occasional rear seats. Alternatively, the rear seat backs could be folded down, thus creating a load-carrying platform that more than doubled the luggage space. The latter could be accessed via the 2/4's opening rear door, a pioneering example of the now commonplace 'hatchback' concept.
"This transformation gives the Aston Martin DB2/4 an unrivalled luggage-carrying capacity in a car which should be capable in favorable circumstances of achieving two miles a minute," reported The Motor. "The DB2/4 can truthfully claim to be the fastest car in the world capable of carrying two people with a month's luggage."
Standard specification included the 2.6-liter 'VB6E' engine in 125bhp Vantage tune but from early in 1954 the 3.0-liter 140bhp 'VB6J' engine was installed, providing 118mph top speed and 60mph in around 11 seconds. This was one of the fastest cars then built in Great Britain - with 100mph achievable in third gear and around 120mph maximum - possessing impeccable handling plus a level of comfort rare in any high-performance car. In 1955 the factory entered three DB2/4s in that year's Monte Carlo Rally, securing the Team Prize; but for a navigational error, one would have won outright.
THE MOTORCAR OFFERED
LML 728 carries with it a copy of the original factory build record and from that we know that it was originally destined for these shores, in fact, not so far from this location even, being ordered new by E.D. Parsons of Trenton, New Jersey, through local agents Inskip. Mr. Parsons took delivery of the car on July 21, 1954 and from this same document it is confirmed that originally it would have been equipped with the more desirable 3 liter unit, which had just been introduced as standard, sporting twin SU carbs, married to a rear axle with 3.73 ratio. Being for this market, but still relatively rare for its day the British sports car was built in left-hand drive configuration. Its Mulliners coachwork was painted a striking 'Imperial Crimson' and the interior trimmed in Beige Connoly hides, with matched carpets. The interior is specified with extras including an arm rest to each door and a 'built-up tool kit'. A separate build record notes that it also had a removal luggage rack, perhaps suggesting that it would be used for long distance touring, since generally luggage capacity of these is quite commodious.
The length of Mr. Parsons tenure isn't known at the time of writing, but we do know that by the time the 1971 AMOC Register was issued, it remained in the USA, but was now with a G.J. Townsend. Its more recent history can be followed from copies of documents on file, which show it to have been in Aachen in Germany in September 2006, passing through Movendi GMBh of Dusseldorf to the current owner in October 2007.
By then, it had clearly undergone at least one refurbishment to put it in the more stylish light silver green paint scheme we find today, and the trim now in black leather. Perhaps from its mid-1970s or 80s time in the States it appears to carry aftermarket air conditioning and electric windows, as well as later wing mirrors. At some time in its career, the 3-liter unit has been replaced by a slightly earlier DB2 engine, number VB6B/50/1205.
Unused in the last 15 years of its current ownership, a thorough check over would be recommended before the car is returned to the road. Its aesthetic condition is both dusty and in need of thorough detailing, but also in general terms we feel that its prior refurbishment is certainly showing its age, and attention should be paid to the door and hood alignments. These cars remain popular tour cars, which this more driver quality example might lend itself to well.