1950 Aston Martin DB2 Vantage Coupe

This superb DB2 was sold new to William “Bill” Spear, wealthy amateur American racer and a close friend of Briggs Cunningham, the famed American gentleman racer and sports car builder. In fact, the two of them each ordered a new DB2 in November 1950.

LML/50/19 is the 19th car built, an original right-hand drive example – and one of the very rare cars with the early three-piece front grille and side vents. It was supplied to Spear through New York agent Hoffman Motor Car Co. and delivered to him on 8th December 1950. Factory build sheet records confirm that it was red with rust-colored trim and with the engine (no. LB6V/50/240) fitted with racing valves, distributor, three spare wheels and tires, two spare carburetors and the latest type brake shoes. It is, according to the AMOC, the first Vantage-engined Aston Martin in the world. The Vantage specification engine referred to larger SU carburetors as well as a higher compression ratio engine giving 125 bhp at 5,000 rpm.

Spear entered LML/50/19 into the first ever Sebring six-hour race on 31st December 1950 in the Sam Collier Memorial Grand Prix of Endurance, where Rand & Marshall drove it (car number 9) and finished second in class, 15th overall.

Upon its acquisition by the current owner, it was sent to Aston Martin specialist Kevin Kay to have it fettled, with such things as the wiring, lights and new front spring towers. The original polished DB2 wheels were replaced with period correct – but more understated – black wires. No major mechanical work was needed, although a thorough check, primarily for safety, was conducted. A new set of Vredestein tires were fitted just before the car was shipped to Europe to make its debut in the 2009 Mille Miglia Storica, wherein it performed beautifully.

The engine sounds and feels very strong with an excellent gearbox. It should be noted that the engine number is missing on the timing case cover.

Stephen Serio

Stephen Serio - SCM Contributor

Stephen is the president and owner of Aston Martin of New England / Lotus Motorsports Inc. in Waltham, MA, although for the most part, vintage European cars are where his heart is. His need to over-indulge in vintage European cars of the 1950s and 1960s inevitably leads to coveting one more car. Recent garage inhabitants include a Porsche 356A Speedster and 356A European coupe, Ferrari 275 GTS and 246GT, BMW 2002 and a Hudson Hornet. HIs vintage-Porsche-driving wife, Amanda, tolerates this all nicely.

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