1951 Aston Martin DB2 Saloon Vantage (Aston Martin)
Chassis no. LML/50/79 - Engine no. LB6V/50/523
- Eligible for the Mille Miglia and many re-enactments worldwide
- 7th overall and 2nd in class at the 1952 Rallye Internacional de Lisboa (Estoril)
- Original Portuguese license plates in addition to the current plates
- Original interiors.
- Body and mechanical parts restored
- Matching numbers
The British Aston Martin produced the DB2 from 1950 to 1953. “2” as it was the second Aston Martin car to bear the initials "DB", from the owner's name, David Brown. With the presentation, in 1949, of a prototype at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, began the series of cars equipped with the twin-shift 6-cylinder engine (2580 cm³, 195 hp) that was designed by Walter Owen Bentley for the Lagonda. At the Lagonda, the founder of Bentley Motors Ltd had been able to make up for the negative period in which he had lost his namesake factory and had been forced to stay at Rolls Royce. He designed powerful and strong cars for Lagonda. With the transfer of Lagonda to Brown, W.O. Bentley remained in Aston Martin-Lagonda as a designer, developing the DB2 with Frank Feeley. The definitive DB2 model was presented later at the New York motor show in 1950. The following year an enhanced version of the DB2, called Vantage, was presented. Until its demise in 1973, the straight 6-cylinder engine was the cornerstone of the Aston cars. The Vantage cars presented higher power and development levels. The "Vantage" first appeared in the sales brochures of January 1951, as a more powerful engine option for the DB MK II (as the DB2 was first known). For many years the origin of the name remained obscure, it was discovered by chance at meeting at Aston Martin Lagonda in 1997. A young Mr Robertson had organised a production plants’ tour for himself and his father, an ex-Aston Martin employee. It appears that Robertson Sr. had invented the "Vantage" nickname. Alan Robertson newly arrived from the David Brown parent company in Huddersfield, shared an office with John Wyer at Feltham, both having arrived at the same time in early 1950. The name "Vantage" was chosen after leafing through a thesaurus looking for proper tags for higher performance variants of the DB Mk II. Offering 125 hp, versus 105 hp for the standard engine, Vantage represented the tuned state for Aston Martin's automobiles and was easily distinguished by a "V" in the engine number. Interest the interest in marketing the name faded by 1953 when the Vantage engine became standard on the new DB2/4 model, a car with room for four passengers. The Vantage name was no longer mentioned in the sales catalogues, and the "V" in the engine number was the only indication. It wasn't until early 1962 that the Vantage name appeared once again in Aston Martin's marketing brochures. The body of the DB2 was in aluminium. Frank Freeley designed the steel tubular frame. The suspensions were equipped with coil springs. The DB2 was offered as a coupé and in its convertible version. How to define the DB2: it’s a sports car or a tourer? Three DB2s participated in the 1949 24 Heures du Mans, but sadly one of them was involved in an accident in which the driver Pierre Marechal lost his life. The following year, the DB2s participated once again in the race. The power, thanks to higher compression and a new exhaust pipe, was increased to 125 hp. The tank capacity was increased, a new fuel-filler was introduced, and all the sound-absorbing panels were eliminated to reduce weight dramatically. The three cars were painted bright green and had the identifying codes VMF 63, VMF 64 and VMF 65. Among the drivers: Reg Parnell and Jack Fairman. During the tests, the Fairman’s VMF 65 was involved in an accident. The two surviving DB2 arrived fifth and sixth overall, winning in their class. The VMF 64 also won the trophy for the best performance. After Le Mans, the three DB2 participated in the Tourist Trophy, winning in their class - reserved for the three-litre cars. Aston Martin's cars were a significant presence at the Mille Miglia, both before and after the war. The first DB2 is participating in the Mille Miglia in 1951, with entry no. 425, was driven by “Tommy” Wisdom and Anthony Hume and ranked 11th overall. Four DB2 participated in the 1952 Mille Miglia. Of these, the no. 600 of Tommy Wisdom and Fred Lown ranked 12th overall, the no. 554 of “Reg” Parnell and Enea Serboli ranked 13thoverall. The last DB2 racing the Mille Miglia participated in the 1953’s race. However, two more cars, DB2/4 (with the Vantage engine) registered for the 1955 Mille Miglia, and Paul Frère and Louis Klemantasky drove one of the two vehicles.
The Aston Martin DB2 Vantage, chassis no. LML/50/79 is a 1951 specimen. It has a sporting history, since Simon Knudsen Hansen ran, with this DB2, the 1952 Rallye Internacional de Lisboa (Estoril) with entry no. 125. Hansen finished with a remarkable 7th place overall and 2nd in class. The car had, at the time, Portuguese license plates DB 17 99. Those original Portuguese plates are still in existence and are at auction with the car. According to the AMOC (Aston Martins Owners Club) in Portugal, the car was sold in the 60s by Simon Knudsen Hansen (who was supposedly not the first owner) to Lopo Carvalho and later sold to Antonio Ferreira Almeida, who was Carvalho's son-in-law. Mr Almeida sold the car in the 80s, and the care arrived in Italy. We have documents of the car in Italy during the early 90s, the car later participated in five editions of the Mille Miglia, from 2008 to 2012. Transferred to the Netherlands, it became the property of Mr Alex von Mozer who brought it to the 2014 Mille Miglia. Recently the car came back to Italy again, in late 2016, in the hands of the current owner. Chassis no. LML/50/79 was initially black. Now wholly restored in metallic grey, is showing a typical racing livery of the Aston Martins of the era, with the front grille and wire wheels painted in bright red. This DB2 has still its original black leather interior. The original steering wheel is still present, but the car is fitted with a new one. The mechanical parts have been restored. The original dynamo - replaced now with an alternator to face long-distance competitions - is sold with the car.
State of the Art: Body and mechanical parts wholly restored.
- Nick Walker, Simon Clay, Aston Martin DB2 DB2/4 & DB3 in detail 1950-1059, Herridge & Sons, UK.-R.m. Clarke
- Aston Martin 1948-1968 Ultimate Portfolio, Brooklands Books, UK.-Anthony Pritchard,
- Aston Martin, A Racing History, Haynes Publishing, UK.
Certifications and Statements
Fiva, ASI, Fiche CSAI.
Registration and Italian license plates in order and updated
- Mille Miglia. Eligible.
- Giro di Sicilia. Eligible.
- Targa Florio. Eligible.
- Goodwood Revival. Eligible
- Coppa d’Oro delle Dolomiti. Eligible.
- Vernasca Silver Flag. Eligible.
- California Mille: Eligible.
- Nürburgring Classic. Eligible.
- Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Eligible.
- Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. Eligible.
- Chantilly Arts & Elegance Richard Mille. Eligible.
- Concorso d’eleganza Villa D’Este. Eligible.