8 September 2014

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Lot 148

1954 Aston Martin DB2/4

  • Chassis no. LML/664
  • Engine no. VB6E/50/1325

Sold for £123,200

125 bhp, 2,580 cc DOHC inline six-cylinder engine with dual SU carburettors, four-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with trailing links, coil springs, and lever dampers, live rear axle with coil springs, and four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 2,515 mm

  • Uniquely exposed and spectacularly polished aluminium body
  • Restored by a marque expert
  • Extensive record of receipts
  • British Motor Industry Heritage Trust Certificate and factory build sheet included

Aston Martin’s DB2/4 was offered from 1953 to 1959 in three series. It was a true “Gentleman’s Express” and was described in The Motor as being “the fastest automobile in the world capable of carrying two people with a month’s luggage”. Its W.O. Bentley-designed, twin-cam, 2.6-litre six, which was carried over from the DB2 in Vantage form, gave this elegant 2+2 hatchback a 0–60 time of 11 seconds and near 120 mph capability, whilst its fortunate occupants relaxed in the finest-quality leather and wool interior.

The BMIHT Certificate states that this DB2/4 was completed on 2 February 1954, and it was originally sold to a Scottish customer. Whilst its early history is unknown, its build sheet documents an early factory engine replacement. According to Anthony Forshaw, it is believed that its current engine is that period replacement unit. Aston Service Dorset has issued an amended build sheet and new chassis plate to cement the connection. The Aston was discovered in Virginia by the current owner in 2008, who then promptly delivered it to Francis Warwick, of Lea Francis Automotive Archaeologist in West Palm Beach, Florida, a specialist in British marques, for restoration.

The car was disassembled, and its alloy body was repaired where necessary. Any panels showing signs of oxidation were replaced with new metal, with the work being performed by a collector-class craftsman who was an expert in English wheels. The underside was cleaned and undercoated, and the consignor states that the electrical system was redone, including the installation of a correct new wiring harness, a fuse block, NOS trafficators, and a rebuilt wiper motor. All instruments were rebuilt, and a new speedometer cable was installed. The fuel tank and lines were flushed, and a new fuel pump was installed. The drum brakes and carburetion were properly rebuilt, the radiator was re-cored, and a new period-correct exhaust system was fitted. The transmission was serviced, and the engine was gone through, with the technician reporting excellent compression on all cylinders. The suspension was serviced, the engine bay was repainted a textured black, the firewall was insulated, and the heater box was stripped and powder-coated. And finally, the shimmering body was hand polished.

Inside, all new Olive leather, matching cut-pile wool carpeting, and a beige wool headliner and side panels were cut, sewn, and installed. The interior wood was replaced with new burl mahogany pieces. All of the interior fasteners were replaced with stainless or chrome bits. There are new period-correct seat belts, and a new Triplex windscreen was installed, along with all-new rubber seals and weather-stripping. The window regulators were refurbished for proper operation, and all exterior brightwork was re-chromed, with a new cloisonné restoration added to the badges. The car has five new 600x16-inch Firestone bias-ply tyres and tubes, and the wire wheels and grille were powder-coated black. The rear luggage area is protected by a set of leather-edged over-carpets. Receipts for the extensive work performed are available in the car’s history file.

The car is presented in stunning polished alloy, and it will be supplied with its correct bumpers and bumper-irons, front over-riders, mounting hardware, and its original Scottish number plate, MUS 194. Also included will be all of the books, invoices, and records from the consignor’s ownership, a display board that includes its BMIHT Certificate, a technical data sheet, its factory record, a modified factory record, and all of its factory tools, including those fitted into the interior armrest. An Aston Martin DB2/4 of this vintage is Mille Miglia-eligible, and this wonderful example has indeed been prepared for rally events. Recent concours outings have produced Best in Class and Exceptional in Class awards.

The connoisseur searching for a sorted and strikingly beautiful DB2/4 need look no further, and whether the car remains unpainted or is returned to its original colour scheme, the next owner will have an extraordinary Aston Martin that is certain to turn heads anywhere and everywhere it is seen.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

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California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

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United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more