Aston Martin DB2 Team Car

The following description is excerpted from a July 1951 Autocar article by Gordon Wilkins: A CAR WITH A CAREER - Impressions of a famous Aston Martin

Some cars seem destined to draw the spotlight and hold it. Take the Aston Martin DB2 saloon VMF 64, for example. It made one of the outstanding British performances at Le Mans last year, when it was driven by George Abecassis and Lance Macklin, finishing fifth in the general category at 87.26 m.p.h. and tying for first place on Performance Index. Before that it had been driven by the late Raymond Sommer on his memorable run in the 1950 Production Car Race at Silverstone and by September it was in Northern Ireland, where Lance Macklin brought it home third in its class in the T.T. race.

For some months afterwards, it had a somewhat quieter life, being used for business journeys by Mr. David Brown, head of the group which controls Aston Martin and Lagonda, but early this year Mr. Brown decided to lend the car to T.H. Wisdom for the Mille Miglia race. The service department at Feltham gave it a thorough check over and towards the end of April the car was on its way to Brescia.

The result was a success which created a considerable impression in Italy, for the car covered the difficult route of over 970 miles at an average of 68.79 m.p.h. and won the class for fast convertibles and closed cars of production type over 2,000 c.c. with a margin of six minutes ahead of Amendola’s Ferrari.

After that it came back to England and was soon handed over to the experimental department of the Aston Martin works to be prepared for the Le Mans 24-hour race. The treatment was rather more extensive this time and a two-pronged programme was undertaken to produce more power and less weight in an effort to improve on last year’s performance. The compression ratio was pushed up to 8.16 to 1.

Meanwhile appropriate steps were taken within the framework of the regulations to jettison unnecessary weight. The bonnet was given one of the new light alloy radiator grilles, the interior trim and head lining were removed and very light seats were installed. These alterations permitted a change in the axle ratio, which was lowered from 3.77 to 1 to 3.27, allowing a very high cruising speed to be maintained down the long straight from Tertre Rouge to Mulsanne without overstressing the engine.

Once more VMF 64 rose to the occasion, making the best performance of all the five Aston Martins which made such a brilliant showing in the race. Driven once again by Lance Macklin, who this time had Eric Thompson as co-driver, it won the three-litre class and finished third in the general classification at an average of 90 m.p.h. In the excitement over the high speed at which this year’s race was won it is easy to overlook the fact that this 2 ½ litre saloon, in finishing third, maintained a higher average speed than Rosier’s 4 ½ Talbot when it won last year’s race, despite the bad weather conditions this year.”

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in October of 2009 at the Battersea Evolution, London.

130 bhp, twin overhead camshaft 2,580 cc inline six-cylinder engine, David Brown four-speed gearbox, independent front suspension with trailing link, coil springs and Armstrong lever dampers, live Salisbury rear axle with coil springs, front and rear 12-inch hydraulic drum brakes, Dunlop 16-inch wire wheels. Wheelbase: 99".

Source: RM Auctions

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