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Homepage. This page: A classic 1950s Aston Martin sportscar, a DB2/4 Mark 2 FHC, parked in a street.

Aston Martin DB2/4 Mk2 FHC.

This small photo is of a two-tone Aston Martin DB2/4 Mk2 dating to 1955, the year of the Mk2's introduction. Registered 163 GMC (chassis AM300/1107) it was, apparently, a works' demonstrator that later went on to be used in competition. At the time of this photograph though it was still very much a road car, parked as it is in a leafy suburban street. The revised grille, and the horizontal bonnet shutline level with the top of the front wheelarch, identify this as a Mk2 rather than Mk1 DB2/4. A check of the DVLA site doesn't bring up a reference to 163 GMC, but surely it survives somewhere? The car appears in a copy of a classic car magazine from the 1980s in a race.
(Please click the thumbnail to view full-size image.)
Photo of 1955 Aston Martin DB2/4
The Mk2 was in production from 1955 to 1957, during which time 199 examples were built. Most were fastback "saloons", with an opening rear hatch. A drophead coupe was also offered, as was a fixed-head coupe, which is the model shown here, of which 34 examples were built. Inside the four seater's cabin, the seats were re-profiled, and a fly-off - rather than umbrella - handbrake now took care of the car while stationary. The standard engine was as per the Mk1, but an uprated version featuring bigger valves and a high-lift camshaft was listed as a catalogue option. Small "fins" were now a part of the rear wing profile for the Mk2 DB2/4, requiring an altered lighting arrangement, while the roofline was also a touch higher than that of the outgoing model. At the front, the bonnet and front wings were modified, the latter now incorporating ventilation flaps into their sides, and the addition of small Tickford badges.
Road tests of the day were complimentary about the revised Aston, although it was noted that the rear seats - such as they were - wouldn't offer much in the way of comfort for longer trips, or for those of above-ample proportions. John Bolster, ex-racer and now journalist and commentator, praised the Mk2 in a 1957 road test, referring to it as a "high speed station wagon", while "all the right noises of a 'real Aston' are subdued but definitely there, and in spite of the luxuriously equipped closed body, the DB2/4 remains above all a sports car". Bolster's road tests were thorough to say the least, and the lure of the open road in a sporting Aston would be too much for this renowned ex-racing driver to resist, as he recalls: "To exploit the Aston to the full, I took it out at dawn one day, and really enjoyed myself while the rest of the world was asleep ... I found a straight road with a number of islands, between which I was able to achieve about 110 mph. At each island, I braked as hard as possible without actually locking the wheels, but there was no loss of braking power or noticeable increase in pedal travel".
Whereas the Mk1 body was constructed at the Aston Martin works in Feltham, for the Mk2 production was re-located to the Tickford facility in Newport Pagnell, which D.B. had purchased in 1954. Full vehicle production would ultimately switch to Newport Pagnell in later years.
The list price for a DB2/4 Mark II in 1955 was GBP 2,788 including Purchase Tax.
A photo of prototype DB2/4 registration 9 FMP (previously VMF 123) may be seen on this page at OCC, parked close to racing driver Juan Fangio at Silverstone.
Return to Page 16 in the gallery of classic vehicles.

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