1957 Aston Martin DB2/4 Mk II
Sold For $302,000Inclusive of applicable buyer's fee.
RM | Sotheby's - MONTEREY 15 - 17 AUGUST 2019 - Offered on Thursday
- Fascinating history; beautifully unrestored bodywork and interior
- Frequent vintage rally participant, including the 2013 Mille Miglia
- Mechanically sorted; wonderful example to drive and enjoy
- An unusual and exciting head turner
To simply call the Aston Martin DB2/4 Mk II on offer here “patinaed” would be a gross understatement. In fact, this Aston Martin tells a story—where it has been, what it has accomplished, and where it might go next.
The Aston Martin DB2/4 Mk II was the first Aston Martin to be made at Newport Pagnell, the historic home of Aston Martin. With bodywork now being controlled wholly by David Brown, subtle differences were introduced—small side vents reminiscent of the DB2, flashing turn indicators, nicer-shaped seats, and a proper fly-off handbrake. Overall, just 199 Mk II saloons were crafted during the nearly two-year production run.
According to the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust, chassis AM300/1293 was shipped to Cyril Williams Motors Limited in Staffordshire, England, on 26 July 1957. Finished in Black over black leather, the home market car likely would have remained in England for some time, but by 1995 the car was owned by British expat Malcolm Buckeridge of Pasadena, California. In 2008, the DB2/4 was discovered in the California desert by Aston Martin collector, specialist, and enthusiast Don Rose, who knew it was something exceptional. An advert by Buckeridge, dated May 2008, notes that he had started a restoration but was selling, as he was unable to complete the bodywork. Purchased complete and running but stripped of paint, with its bare aluminum sunbaked, Don sent the car to Aston Martin specialist restorers Kevin Kay—with explicit instruction to touch none of the patina.
Kevin Kay performed a comprehensive mechanical restoration including a concours-quality engine bay. The chassis was cleaned and detailed, while importantly, none of the interior or the bodywork was touched. Don went on to rally the DB2/4 for several years, during which time its interesting conception was the subject of a feature article in Octane magazine in March 2011. Shortly after publication, Don was informed that the storage facility that the Aston shared with 35 other collector cars had suffered a collapsed roof, the consequence of a vicious cycle of snow and ice. RM Auto Restoration jumped at the chance to restore the car but were cautioned by Don once again to retain as much of its patina as possible. As he explained, “I wasn’t afraid of having the car repaired, but I didn’t want it to become ‘ordinary’ in the process.” True to their word, the shop knocked out the roof but made sure to leave bare all its characterful pimples and dimples, including its now-chipped “Press on Regardless” moniker.
The current owner saw the DB2/4 Mk II parked under a tree at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este after it had just completed the 2013 Mille Miglia. A standout in any location, surrounded by concours-quality restorations, the Aston Martin drew a lot of attention—and the current owner knew he had to own it. A deal was done that weekend, and after the DB2/4 was shipped back to his home in the United States, he added his own touches to it—including the “Can’t Be Crushed” hot-rod script.
From the yellow bug screen to the David Brown tractor badge, this Aston Martin DB2/4 is a veritable scrapbook of every moment it has been a part of—it needs only a new owner to add to its story.