Amelia Island

10-11 March 2017

A Gentleman's Collection: The Pride & Passion of Orin Smith

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Lot 124

1953 Aston Martin DB2 Vantage Drophead Coupe

  • Chassis no. LML/50/376
  • Engine no. VB6B/50/1088

Sold for $346,500

Est. 125 bhp, 2,580 cc DOHC Vantage inline six-cylinder engine with dual SU carburetors, four-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with coil springs, trailing links, and anti-roll bar; live rear axle with coil springs, radius rods, and Panhard bar; and Girling four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 99.25 in.

  • An original American-delivery, left-hand-drive, Vantage-specification example
  • One of only 98 DB2 drophead coupes built
  • High-quality older restoration in classic colors

Made famous by its incredible racing successes, in particular 1st in Class at both the 1950 and 1951 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Aston Martin DB2 was the first of David Brown’s cars to bear the manufacturer’s initials. While later DB cars gained a reputation for being a gentleman’s luxury grand tourer, the DB2 was a sports car through and through, merging Lagonda’s impressive W.O. Bentley-designed six-cylinder engine with Aston’s own top-quality chassis construction.

In 1951, the company introduced its first Vantage engine option, a name that would come to stand for Aston Martin’s ultimate performance model. On the DB2, the Vantage engine bore larger intake valves crowned with bigger SU HV6 carburetors, good for an estimated 125 brake horsepower. This engine was an option through the end of production and grew increasingly more popular, as Aston’s performance-minded buyers adored the extra power. It is rare, however, to find the option in combination with the DB2 drophead coupe, in itself a great rarity, with only 98 examples built.

The car offered here is one of approximately 75 DB2 drophead coupes to have been originally built with left-hand drive, and one of fewer still originally fitted with a Vantage engine, both as noted in its original build sheet, a copy of which is on file. Delivery was made to original owner Louis Comito of 47 Revere Road, Roslyn Heights, Long Island, on 24 November 1953. Mr. Comito had his own imported car dealership in Huntington Station and was himself a gentleman sportsman who raced Alfa Romeo Giuliettas at Sebring later in the 1950s. The car later passed in the early 1970s to Charlie Turner of Atlanta (who, at one time or another, owned “every great Aston” during his heyday); to Gene Garratt of Brecksville, Ohio; to Albert Schneider of Cleveland, in 1975; to Aston Martin historian Nick Candee of Ohio, in 1979; to Everett Smith of Illinois, in 1981; and to Steve Mayo of Merrimack, New Hampshire, in 1984.

In the late 1990s, the DB2 received a complete, body-off restoration by Hyannis Restoration of Massachusetts, reportedly later freshened by Vantage Motors of Connecticut with a rebuild of the current Vantage-specification engine, number VB6B/50/1088. The body is finished in Fiesta Red with grey leather upholstery, piped in red; red carpeting; and a black cloth top by Johan Merkhofer, known as the “go-to” trimmer for Astons in the Northeast. The restoration work shows only light patina and remains extremely presentable; the finish shows minor checking and cracking in stress areas but has a fine shine, and the interior is still tight and excellent. Overall the car is a very high-point driver, the position that it proudly occupied in the Smith Collection, recording 1,135 miles at the time of cataloguing. Invoices are on file for $32,172 of work performed for Mr. Smith by the respected Miami firm Vantage Motorworks (not to be confused with the aforementioned restorers in CT), including servicing and a partial rebuild of the engine with new timing gear, installation of electronic ignition, and services to the radiator and carburetors. Another $2,152 was spent installing an improved fan to cool the engine during Florida summers.

An excellent DB2 Vantage drophead, of the best equipment and configuration, this car is ripe for future enjoyment in the tours, rallies, and AMOC North America activities of a new owner’s choice.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

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

+1 805 231 6410
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

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
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