1955 Aston Martin DB2/4

Fine car though the Aston Martin DB2 was, its sales had been affected by the limitations of two seats and minimal luggage space. Aston Martin thus redesigned the rear of the car to enable two occasional rear seats to be installed, at the same time raising the roof line slightly to increase headroom and fitting a larger rear window in an opening lid; as such this Aston, appropriately renamed the DB2/4, was arguably the world’s first hatchback.

The windscreen also became a one-piece molding, the quarterlight windows were reshaped, the headlights repositioned higher in the bonnet and the overall length increased by six inches. Beneath the aluminum body the rigid steel chassis retained its independent trailing link/coil spring front suspension, with transverse torsion bar, and a live coil-sprung rear axle located by parallel arms and Panhard rod. Brakes were large and powerful drums all round.

The DB2/4 made its debut at the 1953 London Motor Show, both with the saloon and drophead coachwork. Slightly less graceful than the DB2, the DB2/4 was nonetheless a beautiful looking machine. Initially the engine was to 125 bhp DB2 Vantage tune – propelling the car to 120 mph and 0-60 mph in 11.2 seconds – but in summer 1954 the capacity was increased from 2,580 cc to 2,922 cc which raised power to 140 bhp at 5,000 rpm and reduced the 0-60 mph to 10 seconds.

Registered in the UK on November 25th 1955, the DB2/4 Mk II fixed head coupe by Tickford pictured here is one of just 34 built and was also Aston Martin’s official demonstrator. It was purchased in Canada by its current and fourth owner in 1978, painted green and in a somewhat shabby state; notably front disc brakes had been fitted.

Over the ensuing years much work was carried out to restore the car to its original condition, including a complete engine rebuild by Autodove Coachworks of Exeter and many new hand-beaten alloy panels to ensure correct alignment. The chassis was also stripped, rebuilt and undersealed, and a new wiring harness fitted by T&T Coachworks. The car was then repainted in the original Bayard Crimson with Devon Stone roof, the interior being retrimmed in cream hide with new Wilton carpets; a stainless steel exhaust was also fitted.

Following completion of its restoration in 1993, this very rare Aston Martin won first prize at the AMOC’s Birtsmorton Court Concours d’Elegance.

Having covered only around 1,000 miles since, the highly desirable British thoroughbred is thus offered in excellent condition complete with history file, restoration photographs and all receipts.