Aston Martin DB2 prototype





Aston Martin DB2 prototype

Year of production 1949 - 1949

Model: DB2 (1950 - 1953)

Wikipedia (DB2): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aston_Martin_DB2

(1949), 4 cylinder and 6 cylinder

The Aston Martin works team three car entry to Le Mans in 1949 featured a car described at the time as either the DB Mark II or the Le Mans fixed head coupes. These three cars had a shortened wheelbase 2 litre Sports (DB1) based tubular chassis and a new streamlined body designed by Frank Feeley of Lagonda, who joined Aston Martin when the two companies merged. Two of the cars were using the Claude Hill 4 cylinder engine, as already seen in the DB1, the third car, UMC 66, had a new 2.6 litre six cylinder, twin overhead cam engine. This engine, designed by Willie Wilson (but under the supervision of W.O.Bentley) was also acquired as a result of the merger between Aston Martin and the Lagonda Company. The 6 cylinder engine was already is use in the Lagonda saloon and drophead coupe.

During the 1949 Le Mans 24 hour race, the first 4 cylinder car, UMC64 crashed heavily and the driver, Pierre Marechal sadly died the following day. The second car, UMC65 went on to finish 7th overall and third in class. The six-cylinder car, UMC66 was less successful and retired shortly into the race with water pump failure. A little later, at the Spa 24 hour race, 6 cylinder UMC66 finished 3rd overall and the 4 cylinder UMC65, 5th. Yet despite the strong performance from the 4 cylinder car, it was the last engine of that configuration fitted to an Aston Martin (until the Cygnet!). The six cylinder UMC66 went on to be the development car for the upcoming production DB2.

Since UMC66 is now resident in the USA, I was fortunate to see the very first six-cylinder Aston Martin in the paddock at Laguna Seca and at the Pebble Beach Concours in the Summer of 2007.

The forth DB2 prototype and second with the six cylinder engine is LML/49/4 which carries the number UMC272. UMC272 became David Brown’s personal car but was also driven by Lance Macklin in competative events during 1950. It was photographed during the lead up and during the Kensington Palace Aston Martin Centenary Celebration.

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Photo gallery Aston Martin DB2 prototype

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