Classifieds Hero: 1954 Aston Martin DB2/4

Seeking thrills, investment and something a bit different? Look no further than this healthy Aston DB2/4 from the AutoClassics classifieds

Let’s cut to the chase – this is the daddy. While later incarnations of the desirable Aston Martin DB line were faster, more agile and further developed, the DB2/4 is genesis personified.

Of course, this isn’t the very first DB, and the styling may not be fully appreciated at first glance, but as an indication as to the direction of future Astons nothing comes close.

The DB2/4 exhibits the same raw experience that the DB2 adopted and amplified from its 2-litre predecessor (often referred to as the ‘original’ DB). There’s the same guttural exhaust tone as you double declutch and point the curved snout into any tight bend; the inevitable grin as you power out the other side accompanied by a dignified tyre squeal.

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Under the bonnet lurks the same 2.6-litre dual-overhead-cam straight-six, originally designed by WO Bentley and so successfully employed by the DB2. An enlarged 2.9-litre variant was eventually made available, too – serving up 125bhp and 118mph, it offered 20mpg fuel consumption to boot.

This example from our classifieds runs with a later powerplant offered by the factory. The VB6J raises power to 140bhp and pushes top speed beyond the 120mph marker. It may seem like small fry compared with Aston’s contemporary, fire-breathing supercars, but back in 1954 this sort of performance was a revelation. So much so, that the DB2/4 attracted an exclusive clientele.

Whereas Aston’s DB5 presents itself as ‘the one to have’, largely due to its connections with a certain secret agent, and the DB4 Zagato gets collectors and purists foaming at the mouth, the DB2/4 is almost hidden in the undergrowth of nostalgia. It commands a hefty premium, but rarely can it be found atop any bucket list.

Those infatuated with later offerings may consider the car’s aesthetics to hold a remarkably post-war period feel, but that doesn’t mean running-gear splutters and the performance of a dazed sloth. The main reason for the DB2/4 being shunned from dream garages is the shadow in which it lives. The DB4 and DB6 are the models that frequent news headlines and cult movie posters, as opposed to their more humble predecessors.

Yet as the march of time finds younger enthusiasts looking beyond overexposed classics – which also include the MGB and Jaguar E-type – older vehicles are more in demand. The DB2/4 holds a trump card with the right balance of looks, power and style, and so attention is landing back at its door.

However, such desirability – combined with the fact that only 761 rolled out of the factory gates between 1953 and 1957 – means they don’t come cheap, nor are they readily available. Stumping up the cash to become a custodian of such an important vehicle is also only for the brave; not because the Aston reeks of unreliability, but due to the paramount responsibility involved.

Don’t panic, though. Besides a plethora of owners’ clubs and specialists ready and willing to help should mechanical work be required, Aston Martin itself will be more than helpful in tracing history and maintaining originality.

So if you’re looking for a heritage vehicle that can rightfully claim to be a legitimate trend-setter in both engineering and style, look no further.

Get a closer look with the AutoClassics classified advert.

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