Aston Martin DB2

Aston Martin owner David Brown was very keen on motor racing, and so the first DB2s were actually “works” racing cars which ran competitively and reliably in a variety of races, paving the way to crucial export sales and enduring popularity on the Continent and in America. Competition success came quickly, with John Wyer engaged to manage the “works” racing team. Three cars were entered at Le Mans in 1950, finishing first and second in class (and notably fifth and sixth overall), effectively writing the opening chapter of Aston Martin’s illustrious post-war racing history.

A quick look at the mechanical specifications of the DB2 reveals a 2.6-litre DOHC inline six-cylinder engine with hemispherical combustion chambers that was conceived for Lagonda by Willie Watson under the supervision of W.O. Bentley, Lagonda’s Chief Engineer. Depending upon carburetion, compression ratio and camshaft configuration, this engine could produce in the range of 120 to 150 bhp. David Brown’s Gear Division built the four-speed gearbox, which transferred the power through a nine-inch Borg & Beck clutch to a Salisbury rear axle.

The chassis, a very early space-frame unit, supported a modern independent front coil-sprung suspension with trailing arms, a transverse torsion bar and Armstrong shock absorbers. The live rear axle was also coil-sprung and located by parallel trailing arms and a transverse Panhard rod. This was all very advanced, considering that the Jaguars, Ferraris and other marques of the time made do with comparatively antiquated suspension technology for nearly two decades following Aston’s introduction of four-wheel coil spring suspension in 1949! Twelve-inch drum brakes with a friction area of 152 square inches provided ample stopping power, and a 20-gallon fuel tank ensured an adequate Continental touring range.

The DB2 was introduced in May 1950, and it debuted in America at the British Motor Show in New York City that year. When production of the original DB2 was discontinued in April 1953, just 309 Coupés and 97 Drophead Coupés were built.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in June of 2011 at the Syon House, London.

105+ bhp at 5,000 rpm (SAE), 2,580 cc DOHC inline six-cylinder engine, twin SU carburettors, four-speed manual gearbox, independent front suspension with trailing links, coil springs and torsion bar, live rear axle with coil springs, parallel radius arms and Panhard rod, and Girling four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 99".

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Tim Scott

Gallery: Aston Martin DB2