Thursday 24th January 2019,
Inopian

Aston Martin DB2 1950 – 1953

Aston Martin DB2 1950-1953 in the pits le mans
The Aston Martin DB2 was David Brown`s first serious attempt at a production sports-car with a respectable level of luxury and performance. It soon became a classic in it`s own time. Launched at the New York show in 1950, it was well received by the public and motoring press.

Aston Martin had learned a lot from the 2 litre (DB1) and the time was right for a proper road-car. David Brown had acquired Lagonda to obtain the 2.6 twin-cam engine. This engine was now to be put to use. The 2.6 (2580 cc) Lagonda unit was the masterpiece designed and built by W.O. Bentley. He had joined Lagonda after leaving Rolls-Royce in the 1930s. The updating of the engine was undertaken by Willie Watson (eng) who continued his improvements through the future applications.

The fast-back coupe body was the work of Frank Feeley, using Claude Hill`s tube chassis, although slightly shortened from the original DB1 length. It should be pointed out that Aston Martin called the car `saloon` when, in fact, it was a two-seat fast-back fixed-head coupe. The drop-head coupe followed soon after.

In 1951 the Vantage option was offered. This option produced 20 bhp extra and in the case of the Aston Martin DB2 was purely a power increase. The Vantage badge later came to mean much more. The best DB2 model was the Aston Martin DB2 Vantage fixed-head coupe. This is the model we will focus on.

Chassis and Body:

The DB2 was very light due to it`s tubular steel, space-frame chassis and alloy panel construction. Frank Feeley`s styling was exceptional. The handsome fixed-head coupe was a two-door two seater with a hatchback tail-gate. The nose of the car was forward-hinged. The DB2 was equipped with a 19 gallon fuel tank.

Engine and Transmission:

The engine was, of course, the heart of the project. W.O. Bentley`s Lagonda straight-six had chain-driven twin over-head camshafts and four main bearings. Twin SU carburettors mixed the fuel and the result was a creditable output of 125 bhp and 144 ft/lbs of torque. This was achieved with a compression ratio of 8.2 to1.

A four-speed gearbox sent the drive to the rear axle. The rear suspension of the Aston Martin DB2 used a live axle with coil-springs, front suspension was by way of coils and wishbones. Sixteen inch wire wheels were standard equipment and drum brakes were fitted front and rear. The steering gear was of the `worm and roller` variety. Overall, the car was cutting-edge for the period with competitive specs and attractive styling.

Performance:

Figures for kerb-weight and power-to-weight ratio proved difficult to source but the best estimate seems to be as follows; kerbweight 1222 kg, output 125 bhp resulting in a power-to-weight ratio of 107 bhp per ton. These values are approximate. Performance figures are also approximate, with a top speed of 116 mph and a 0-60 mph figure of 11.2 seconds.

The finished product was a high quality, luxury sports-car, very popular with the public. However, production never matched the demand and so only 411 cars were built, of which 102 were beautiful drop-head coupe models. Due to the rarity of the DB2, we cannot estimate current value. Aston-Martin and David Brown were improving production methods and the more successful DB2/4 was to follow in 1953.

Watch the video below for an interesting story. Don’t worry it has subtitles.

Aston Martin DB2 1950-1953 Specs
 
 
Body Type2 seater Fixedhead/Drophead coupe
Engine PlacementFront
Drive TypeRear wheel drive
Brakes
FrontDrum
RearDrum
Dimensionsmminches
Length4128162.5
Width165165
Height135953.5
Wheelbase251599
Cargo VolumeVery respectable
Engine2.6 Lagonda DOHC 12V
Cylindersstraight 6
Displacement2580 cc157.4 cui
Power78 Kw105 bhp5000 RPM
Torque169 Nm125 ft. lb3100 RPM
Power/weight86 bhp/t
FuelPetrol
Top Speed177 km/h110 mph
Acceleration0-100 km/h - 0-60 mph12.4 s
Fuel consumptionl/100 kmImperial mpg
Urban16.617
Extra-urban10.526.9
Combined13.720.6
Gearbox4 speed manual
Weight1222 kg2694 lb
Engine2.6 Lagonda DOHC 12V Vantage
Cylindersstraight 6
Displacement2580 cc157.4 cui
Power93 Kw125 bhp5000 RPM
Torque195 Nm144 ft. lb2500 RPM
Power/weight86 bhp/t
FuelPetrol
Top Speed187 km/h116 mph
Acceleration0-100 km/h - 0-60 mph11.2 s
Fuel consumptionl/100 kmImperial mpg
Urban16.916.7
Extra-urban10.826.2
Combined1420.2
Gearbox4 speed manual
Weight1222 kg2694 lb
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About Bev Roberts

Speed, the smell of hot oil, the roar of a straight-through exhaust and the scream of an engine at max revolutions. They have all been a large part of my life for almost 50 years. It is time to share my experiences with you, dear reader. Do you want to know more? Read on through my `Full Bio` and many articles.

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I was born in Hereford UK in 1948 and brought up in Gloucester UK. I played Rugby football internationally as a schoolboy. At the age of 17, a new and wet driving license in my paw, I entered motor racing. I was supported and financed by my parents and so my journey began.

In 1965 I bought a 1293cc Mini-Cooper `S` and campaigned it for a season. Having quickly made some good friends in the racing fraternity, several interesting opportunities came my way. I joined a sports-car team and raced in the Le Mans 24 hours in 1968 and 1969 in a Lola T70. Mechanical failure defeated both efforts. During that period I owned and raced a `D type` Jaguar and an AC Cobra. In those days cars like that were available and not too expensive, now they reside in museums and private collections. I had a chain of interesting cars through my youth including Jaguars, Minis, Mustangs and Lotus-Cortinas.

As a young driver I had my share of accidents too. Often the car would only be worth scrap-metal value by the time I got it home! I worked for an Aston-Martin/Jaguar dealership for a while, which enhanced my experience and gave me the opportunity to sample some very exotic machines, Ferrari, Facel-Vega, Iso and Maserati to recall a few of them.

At the end of 1969 I moved to South Africa to work on my uncle`s farm but the S.A. government had other ideas and drafted me into the army. After five years had passed I was thanked and released from the service. While I was there I bought a beige Cadillac Eldorado, previously the property of Marilyn Monroe. While I was away on a patrol my girlfriend had it re-sprayed pink! I was unimpressed by both the joke and the bill for the work!

When I returned to UK in 1974 I left it behind. On my return I found that the once-mighty British motor industry was in decline and was headed for oblivion. Motor racing was now very expensive so I turned to commercial transport. Driving large trucks gave me freedom and a chance to see some of the world. I don`t remember ever making a career choice but for the next thirty years a truck was my home. For about ten years in that period I owned two trucks of my own.

I also owned a famous MGB-GT, known as `Lucky`. If you`d like to read `The Story of Lucky` there is an article in Inopian`s archive. I finally retired, due to ill-health, in 2008. Since I had varied knowledge and many experiences on our subject I decided to share the stories of the cars I enjoyed (and hated) with the new generation.

Enjoy Inopian… it is constructed and written for you.

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