The very earliest Aston Martin DB2s are marked out by a few key details including slatted side vents, later deleted, and an incredibly intricate three-piece grille, later simplified into a single piece to reduce production costs. Known by enthusiasts as ‘washboard’ cars on account of those side vents, only the first 49 examples featured these details. This rarity makes them among the most desirable and collectable of road-going DB2s.
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This right-hand-drive car was the sixth production DB2 to leave Newport Pagnell, and apparently the first to be fitted with a floor-mounted gear lever. It was originally sold to Australia in 1950, and records show that the Aston took part in a few low-level competitive events with its first owner, Victoria resident Mr Tony Luxton. It survived with its second owner until around 1991, when the trail was lost.
Re-discovered in 2003 as a partially dismantled project, it underwent considerable mechanical restoration work from 2004 to 2007 at The Healey Factory in Melbourne. It was sold again in 2009 to Le Mans winner Vern Schuppan. He spent more time and money refining the DB2, which was not quite up to his standards. This started with rebuilds of the steering box, springs and dampers but eventually led, in 2011, to a full bare-metal repaint by specialists Marque Restoration. At that point the doors were re-fitted, any filler was removed and many of the panels were reshaped. It returned to the UK in 2013, and subsequently won the Post War Sports Car class at Pebble Beach in 2015. More recently it has been returned to factory specification. All numbers match the build sheet and it’s finished in its original Almond Green, though the interior is now dark green rather than original beige.
It will be offered alongside many other British classics – including a similarly special Silver Birch DB5 – at Silverstone Auctions’ British Marques sale at Heythrop Park on 11 May. It’s estimated to sell for £475,000-550,000. silverstoneauctions.com