1955 ASTON MARTIN DB2/4 MARK I VANTAGE DROPHEAD COUPE
Chassis No. LML 906
Engine No. VB6J 413
Royal blue with biscuit leather upholstery
Engine: six-cylinder, twin overhead camshafts, 2,922cc, 140bhp at 5,000rpm; Gearbox: four-speed manual; Suspension: front, independent coil springs, rear, independent with live axle and coil springs; Brakes: four wheel drum. Left hand drive.
Aston Martin struggled to resume production following World War II and it was not until the company was acquired by the industrialist David Brown in 1947 that sufficient funds were made available to produce new models. David Brown also purchased the ailing Lagonda company which included access to a new double overhead camshaft engine that had been designed by W.O. Bentley. Bentley had been Lagonda's technical director since 1935.
Having produced a few DB 1 models (the DB was infact the intials of David Brown) based upon a pre-war design, the company turned to its new models. Devolped in 1949 and announced in 1950, this new model the DB2, designed by Frank Freely was a huge success. Initally with a 2,580cc version of the Lagonda engine, a new multi-tube chassis, and a highly aero-stylish coachwork the car was offered as either a closed coupe or drophead coupe. With its lightweight chassis and bodywork, the 105hp engine gave the car a very spirited performance and many observers equated the Aston more to a competition car rather than a road car. Aston Martin did indeed become heavily involved in motor racing, which led to a higher powered Vantage engine being produced. A racing version of the DB2 performed well at Le Mans and won its class in the Mille Miglia. The company also went on to produce a range of specialized racing cars starting with the DB3.
Introduced at the 1953 London Motor Show, the DB2/4 was designed as a slightly larger model which offered two ocassional rear seats and much greater luggage space. The new coachwork featured a higher roof line giving more headroom, a large opening rear window, redesigned bumpers with over-riders, raised headlamps and a single piece windscreen. Once again the car was available in closed or open form. Around 564 MK1 DB 2/4's were produced between October 1953 and October 1955 of which only 73 were the desireable high performance sporting drophead coupe version.
Initially the car came equipped with the 2,580cc Vantage engine, however in April 1954, the three liter engine (VB6J) was introduced for the drophead version. This engine produced 140bhp which enabled top speeds of 120mph. The superb looking example on offer today was imported into the USA from Greece in 1992 to join the Fredric Reeser Collection. Between 1993 and 1996 this car was comprehensively restored at the Reeser collection. Work carried during this restoration includes a top end rebuild of the engine, and a full hand rubbed repaint with royal blue sikkens paint. The interior was completely redone, new leather upholstery using Connolly hides was fitted along with new Wilton carpets. At the same time the rubbers were replaced and all the chromework was redone. Since this work was completed this desirable Aston Martin has had minimal use.