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Car Tales: A British Cultural Icon, The Aston Martin DB2/4 MK 2

‘Although Aston Martins appeared in far fewer of the early Bond films than the myth suggests, the romantic existence of the fictional spy James Bond has been irrevocably associated with the Aston Martin motor-car. Ever since the appearance of Bond’s gadget-packed Dubonnet Red DB5 in the Goldfinger movie, the Aston Martin car has been seen almost as the personification of Bond.
1957 Aston Martin DB2 front
‘Why was Bond fictionally given his prestigious motor-car, an Aston Martin DB2/4 mark 3, in the Goldfinger novel, written in early 1958? Because of the terrific reputation that the Aston Martin had already acquired: the superspy was being associated with a marque that was considered the very highest of British quality. Now it is seen as a British cultural icon.

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‘Right now at Beverly Hills Car Club we have a legendary, left-hand drive 1957 Aston Martin DB2/4 MKII, with matching numbers. It is in British Racing Green and is equipped with a 4-speed manual transmission, dual SU carburetors, and wire wheels. This Aston Martin is truly a rare and exciting opportunity to be a part of a select few to own a piece of British motoring history.
1957 Aston Martin DB2 for sale
‘The DB2/4 was based on the DB2, which it replaced: the DB2 debuted at the New York Auto Show in April 1950 and continued in production until April 1953, by which time 411 models had been made. Changes into the DB2/4 included a wraparound windscreen, larger bumpers, and repositioned headlights. The body was designed by draftsman John Turner who was 17 years of age at the time.
‘The version that we here at Beverly Hills Car Club have is a DB2/4 Mark II, of which only 199 were made; of these 34 were fixed head coupes and 16 drophead coupes.
‘The ‘DB’ appellation comes from the Aston Martin owner, David Brown. And Brown, who started Aston Martin and led it to motoring glory, is almost as fascinating as novelist Ian Fleming’s character.
‘Blunt, gritty and Northern – he was brought up in the Yorkshire mill-town of Huddersfield in 1904 – Brown single-handedly created the Aston Martin. His father owned a company that bore his name: David Brown & Sons, which specialized in transmission components. As soon as he left school at the age of 17, David Brown was employed as an apprentice at his father’s factory.
1957 Aston Martin DB2 interior
‘The next year, 1922, he was sent to South Africa to assist a director of the company in overseeing the installation of the company’s gears in gold mines near Johannesburg. When the director’s drinking problem affected his work, Brown took over the project.
Driving a Classic Aston Martin
‘Returning from South Africa, David Brown vowed to build and design his own car. Working in his bedroom each night until 2:00 am, he designed a 1.5-liter twin-cam, straight-eight engine. Using the firm’s foundry, he made patterns and cast the cylinder block, while using the machine shop to produce the other components. But his father put a stop to his son working on the project in company time. 
‘Undaunted, Brown constructed a chassis, fitting it with a Sage 2-litre engine, coupled to a Meadows gear box. He called the result the ‘Daybro’.
‘In 1929 David Brown was made a director of the business and on his uncle Percy’s death in 1931 was appointed joint managing director in 1932. In 1933 he became managing director. Under Brown’s leadership, the company significantly expanded its operations.
1957 Aston Martin DB2 engine
‘In late 1946 a classified advertisement appeared in The Times newspaper. For sale was a ‘High Class Motor Business’, with an asking price of £30,000. The company was Aston Martin.
‘David Brown visited their headquarters in the furthest reaches of west London and test drove their new prototype design, the Atom. He acquired the Aston Martin company for £20,500. The Atom entered production as the Aston Martin 2-Litre Sports, now commonly called the DB1, the chassis redesigned from the original saloon model to accommodate an open top.
‘In 1947 David Brown learned that Lagonda was in serious financial difficulties. Visiting the company Brown met the renowned engine designer W.O. Bentley. Bentley demonstrated an engine called the LB6 that he had worked on for Lagonda: a modern twin-cam 6-cylinder engine of 2,580 cc. Brown saw the engine as ideal for his new generation of Aston Martin models. For £52,500 Brown bought Lagonda and with it the rights to the new engine, which soon saw service in the Aston Martin DB2.
‘Which is where we came in. Although with some modifications, that engine is what powers the 1957 Aston Martin DB2/4 MKII we presently have for sale at Beverly Hills Car Club.
Anyone for a vodka martini?
-Alex Manos, Owner
Classic Aston Martin Buyer Alex Manos

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