Lot 222

Monterey 2023

1954 Aston Martin DB2/4


$168,000 USD | Sold

United States | Monterey, California



Chassis No.
US Title
  • One of 761 DB2/4s produced
  • Prepared for vintage motor racing
  • Delivered new to the United States via famed importer S.H. Arnolt Inc. of Chicago
  • Documented by a British Motor Industry Heritage Trust certificate and invoices

Were it not for the intervention of industrialist David Brown, it is likely that both Aston Martin and Lagonda would have fallen victim to the economic aftershocks that reverberated around Europe in the wake of World War II. The tractor magnate purchased both companies in 1947, and while the first post-war Aston Martin—the Two Litre Sports—attracted just 14 buyers, the pairing of two of the jewels in Britain’s automotive crown would lead to one of the most enduring nameplates in sports car history: DB.

Introduced in prototype form in 1949, the DB2—so named for company chairman David Brown—struck an appealing balance between gorgeous aluminum coachwork, sporting driving dynamics, and a characterful twin-overhead-cam inline-six. Things only improved three years later, when the foundations that had made the DB2 such a successful sports car were built upon to create the Aston Martin DB2/4—a groundbreaking Frank Feeley design that introduced a subtly raised roofline, additional seating for two rear passengers, and a revolutionary “hatch back” offering unparalleled access to the luggage compartment. Always a rare model, even in more common closed configuration, total DB2/4 production amounted to just 761 examples.

The British Motor Industry Heritage Trust document on file states the Aston Martin DB 2/4 on offer was completed in October 1953. Finished in the exterior color Blue Haze, it was imported through the legendary S.H. Arnolt Inc. of Chicago, Illinois. While little is known about the car’s history after arriving in the United States, in the early 1990s this Aston Martin was prepared for vintage racing for the then-owner Jim Simpson. The work was performed initially by Robert Clerk while working for Peter Livanos at Aston Vintage Racing Services shop in Stamford, Connecticut. A high-performance engine was built in the United Kingdom by Martin Cheetham and installed. Later work was performed by Robert and Jon Clerk at their race shop, Performance Racing in Pompano Beach, Florida.

As expected, the car features a fuel cell, roll bar, and seat harness, and much work was undertaken on the brakes and suspension. As the subsequent engine power band was found to be quite narrow, Simpson had the engine rebuilt again, this time by well-known specialist Lance Evans of Steel Wings in New Jersey, during which it was slightly detuned to make it a more tractable race car. In a recent conversation with Jon Clerk at Steel Wings, his memory is that the rebuilt engine was probably producing around 210-220 horsepower.

The current owner has cared for chassis LML 572 over the past 20 years, and invoices on file display maintenance performed during this time. Throughout 2011 and 2012, the Aston Martin received a more extensive refurbishment which included both cosmetic and mechanical improvements carried out by the highly respected Motion Products, Inc.

A wonderful example of Aston Martin’s post-war sports car, particularly due to its upgraded engine, this DB2/4 is well-positioned to take on the competition in the vintage racing scene.