1952 Aston Martin DB2 Ex Works HWM Ex George AbecassisSOLD
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Estimate: £45,000-55,000

Sold: £86,693

When David Brown bought Aston Martin in 1947, and bought Lagonda soon after, he acquired two outstanding elements from which to build a car. From Lagonda came a superb 2.3 litre twin overhead camshaft, straight-six engine designed by Willie Watson under the guidance of W.O. Bentley which was to power not only Aston Martin road cars, but also the DB3, DB3S and DBR1 sports racers. For its part, Aston Martin had a superb chassis (from the 'Atom') designed by Charles Hill. It was welded from square-section tubes; front suspension was by coil springs and trailing arms while the live rear axle was located by coil springs, parallel trailing arms and a Panhard rod. It was light and stiff and it handled beautifully. A marriage was arranged.

To complete the package, Aston Martin's own Frank Feeley designed a body of timeless elegance and the engine capacity was increased to 2.6 litres. The result was the best GT car in the world Handsome is as handsome does, and the DB2 soon proved itself in major competitions. In 1949 a DB2 came fifth overall at Le Mans, shared the Index of Performance and won the 3.0 litre class with a sister car in sixth place and second in class. Later in the year DB2s scored 1-2-3 in class in the Tourist Trophy. In 1950 a DB2 finished third overall at Le Mans to lead a 1-2-3 in class for the works team, while two private DB2s ran like trains to the finish. Five starters, five finishers, and this with a production model - it is arguable that it was a finer performance than Aston Martin's win at Le Mans in 1959. Other successes included third in the Spa 24 Hours race, class wins in the Mille Miglia in 1951 and 1952 and a Coupé des Alpes in the 1952 Alpine Rally.

The DB2 (capable of almost 120mph with standard engine) was offered between 1950 and 1953, during which time 410 were made - which is more than Ferrari and Maserati combined in the same period. It is not hard to see why: Feeley's styling was at least as good as the best which was coming out of Italy, the DB2 had an impressive portfolio of competition successes, it was superbly made and it was a thoroughly practical road car. Indeed, beyond argument, the DB2 was the finest GT car of its day and it was among the most handsome cars in the world. It had the special cachet of being a race-bred design and this was apparent in features such as the fact that the body was in aluminium and the entire bonnet hinged forward to allow easy access to the engine. Unlike early Ferrari GT cars, however, it was not a de-tuned racer with all the drawbacks of such a car, but a smooth, practical road car which was so competent that it could compete in international racing.

It was a car which did everything well. Its road holding and handling set new standards, it was reliable, it was comfortable, it was superbly made and trimmed, it had excellent luggage capacity, it easily cruised at over 100mph and it had personality and presence in trumps. It was a car which held its place in any company, either at the casino in Monte Carlo or on the Mulsanne Straight.

Manufactured in April 1952, chassis LML/50/126 was raced at Snetterton the same year by none other than George Abecassis, co-founder of Aston Martin dealer HWM Motors, works Aston Martin driver and husband of Angela Brown, daughter of Aston Martin Lagonda owner David Brown. First registered with HWM as RPH 2 and used by the famous garage as its London demonstrator, it is pictured at the Snetterton race in A Life at HWM by Fred Hobbs (a copy of which accompanies the car). From 1982 it was campaigned extensively in competition by Bill Monk, and it has continued to be a familiar sight in the hands of the vendor, who has owned the car since 1998, at numerous race meetings in Britain and abroad, encompassing the 1998 Tour de France, national AMOC events and even the Around the World in 80 Days Motor Challenge in 2000 in which the car finished in a highly impressive fifth place in class and 20th position overall. Fitted with a 125bhp Vantage specification engine in 1958 and with a well-sorted chassis, the car has always proved competitive and its most recent international outings include the 2002 Le Mans Classic, the 2003 Mille Miglia and the 2004 Le Mans Classic in which it finished in 11th place on performance.

Finished in metallic blue with black leather interior and fully competition prepared, LML/50/126 is offered in good general condition and with the modified engine being described as in excellent order. It comes with a large history file containing cuttings relating to the car, assorted invoices, race and rally entry forms and results sheets and a MoT test certificate valid to November 2008. A well known Aston Martin with a fine pedigree, this DB2 would be a welcome entrant in historic events anywhere in the world.

Reference Number 15763

as of 11/21/2007

Car 1952 Aston Martin DB2 Ex Works HWM Ex George Abecassis
VIN LML/50/126