Taking over the rather more old-fashioned 2-Litre Sports, the Aston Martin DB2 represented the first of the traditional coupe body shape for the David Brown-owned company. Thanks to the lightweight body clothing a shortened 2-Litre Sports spaceframe chassis, and potent 105bhp power output, the DB2 was capable of some seriously impressive performance stats, posting a 0-60mph time of 11.2secs and a top speed of 116mph.
Thanks to Brown's takeover of Lagonda in 1949, the Aston Martin was fitted with a very advanced 2.6-litre straight-six engine, featuring a double overhead camshaft arrangement as used in Lagondas. Based on a design from William Watson and WO Bentley, the engine was a revelation when compared to the uninspiring pushrod unit fitted to the previous model.
Some even say that the low weight of the DB2 makes it the much more sporty car than its considerably heavier successors. The DB2 was also extremely successful in various motorsport events, including the 1949 and 1950 Le Mans 24 Hours.
Which one to buy?
A total of 411 DB2 models were built by Aston Martin, with the vast majority of models coming out of the factory as two-door saloons (a total of 309). The remaining examples are mostly drop head coupes, which offer an open-air experience. Five DB2s were sent to Graber of Switzerland for special bodies. Rather than the aluminium body panels of the regular cars, Graber used steel in the production of its convertible models, making them a fair amount heavier than the regular alloy cars.
All DB2s feel fairly sprightly, but if you want more significant performance then find an example fitted with the higher-compression Vantage-spec engine, which will hit 121mph. If you’re looking to take your DB2 racing, then this is the version you will want to find. As production went on, the DB2 became more luxurious, and focused on comfort rather than outright performance, so take this into consideration when browsing the classifieds.
While the DB2 is the most valuable of all the pre-DB4 standard road cars, it still represents fantastic value when compared against the later models. An above-average two-door saloon is likely to set you back around £220,000. More average examples come in at between £130,000-£160,000. If you’re looking for a restoration project, which is often the best value, you should be looking at something in the £90,000 range.
As with most Astons, the convertible model is worth considerably more money. The best drop head coupe can cost in excess of £320,000. A restoration project could potentially be picked up from £100,000. Budget around £160,000 for a runner, with an average car fetching upwards of £200,000.
This is an article about the model Aston Martin DB2
The Aston Martin DB2 that was the first real David Brown Aston, despite the fact the DB1 also beared his name. Brown, who’d made his fortune in transmissions and farm tractors, decided to have “a bit of fun” in 1947 by acquiring the financially ailing Aston Martin and Lagonda motor companies. Both were located just west of London, both were saddled with antiquated facilities, and neither could aff...
During the ownership of A.C. Bertelli, Aston Martin was a very successful manufacturer of small (cycle-fendered) sports cars in the 1930s. With legendary cars like the Ulster, the manufacturer scored many class wins in the most important races like the 24 Hours of Le Mans. From 1937 the company slowly changed policy by putting more emphasis on road cars. The culmination of these developments was t...