23 June 2011
1953 Aston Martin DB2 Saloon
- Chassis no. LML/50/393
£125,000 - £155,000
To be auctioned on Thursday, June 23, 2011
- 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.
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