Salon Privé

23 June 2011

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Lot 149

1953 Aston Martin DB2 Saloon

  • Chassis no. LML/50/393

£125,000 - £155,000

(Est.) 125+ hp, 2,580 cc DOHC inline six-cylinder engine rebuilt to Vantage specification, twin SU carburettors, four-speed manual gearbox, independent front suspension with coil springs, trailing links and anti-roll bar, live axle rear with coil springs, radius rods and Panhard bar, and Girling four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 99.25"

- A professional, nut-and-bolt restoration; engine rebuilt to Vantage specification

- One of just 411 DB2s originally built

- Excellent, documented history with just five UK-based owners from new

- Complete with early “works” maintenance records, books, tools and more

- Ready for show and eligible for prestigious classic rallies including the Mille Miglia

Introduced in 1950, the DB2 is the seminal Aston Martin model from the illustrious David Brown era, as well as the most aspirational. Renowned for superb handling and impeccable quality, the DB2 continues to be highly prized for its purity of design, landmark “first model” standing and sheer rarity, with just 411 produced.

This 1953 DB2 Coupé, chassis LML/50/393, was delivered new on 22nd May 1953 to Brooklands of Bond Street, London for Mr. I.S. Duffus, under whom it was registered “NUV 944.” It passed to Mr. Phillip Scofield, and during its first four years of existence, the car was maintained by the factory. In 1958, M.J.A. Hill acquired the DB2, and a photograph of the car dated 1958, during Mr. Hill’s tenure, is included in the historical file. In 1964, W.H. Ward of Moseley purchased the car from Queen’s Park Garage. Stored and unused from 1966 to 1985 when Mr. Keith Hampson acquired the car, a restoration over a 10-year period commenced shortly thereafter and ended in 1996.

The photo-documented nut-and-bolt restoration must certainly be among the most painstaking and thorough efforts conducted on a DB2 and is estimated to have taken several thousand hours to complete, with the car completely dismantled and carefully reassembled after every component was thoroughly restored. While maintaining originality was a key objective, safety was enhanced with the original wing-mounted semaphores bypassed by wiring the flasher unit to the existing side- and tail-lamps.

The body was removed from the chassis, and Peters & Hales completely stripped, repaired and refinished the chassis and body. While remarkably sound, 540 hours were invested in the body restoration. The interior was completely renewed, including the red Connolly leather upholstery with matching headliner and carpeting.

The engine was rebuilt to VB6E Vantage specification, providing improved performance and reliability. The cylinder block was re-bored with new liners and shims, line-bored and fitted with new high-compression pistons, new Carillo steel connecting rods and new valves and valve springs. The twin SU carburettors were fully rebuilt with SV (fast road) needles. Lubrication was enhanced with an uprated oil pump by Rex Woodgate, and all oilways were opened and ported to racing specifications. A special crankshaft damper, new timing chains and new main and big end bearings were utilised, the cylinder head and flywheel were resurfaced, the crankshaft was crack-tested, the reciprocating assembly was balanced, and all alloy engine components were polished. New exhaust manifolds, a new stainless steel exhaust system and an electric cooling fan were fitted.

The same spare-no-expense procedures were lavished on all other mechanical systems including the gearbox, suspension, rear axle (retaining the 3.77:1 ratio) and the brakes, now upgraded with stainless steel pistons. The original 16-inch wheels were sandblasted, rebuilt and fitted with new Michelin Pilot radial tyres. As a finishing touch, a Moto-Lita steering wheel is presently fitted, with the original Bakelite wheel included as well.

With only 2,500 miles since restoration, LML/50/393 is complete with early factory maintenance records, an owner's handbook, a parts manual, a workshop manual, a jack, a wheel hammer and a tool kit. A factory sales brochure, an Autocar advertisement, the continuation of the RF60 registration book and a current V5 registration document also accompany it. Beautifully restored and presented, this DB2 is ready for shows and spirited touring at such prestigious events such as the Mille Miglia Storica.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

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Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

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Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

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Cameron Smyth joined RM Sotheby’s as a Car Specialist in 2015, working out of our corporate office and providing assistance on c... read more

David Swig

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David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

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Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

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Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

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Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

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Ian Kelleher began his automotive career immediately following his graduation from Oberlin College with a Bachelor of Arts in Politica... read more

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Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

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Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

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A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

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Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

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United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

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United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

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Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

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Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

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United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more