Making its debut at Le Mans in 1949, well before road versions hit the streets, the first DB2s were fully-fledged competition cars.
The model was made possible by David Brown’s purchase of Aston Martin and Lagonda in 1947 guaranteeing the availability of Lagonda’s superb twin-cam, six-cylinder engine – a WO Bentley creation – which when mated to a shortened AM ‘2-litre Sport’ chassis and clothed in Frank Feeley’s distinctive sports-tourer bodywork resulted in the era-defining DB2.
The earliest DB2s featured a three-part grille and a substantial slatted vent behind each front wheel which gave rise to the “Washboard” nickname which is still how the early cars are referred to and even the current register of the three-grille cars is entitled ‘The Washboard Register’.
After an initial run of 49 cars, the design was simplified and thereafter the side vent was deleted and the three-piece grille replaced by a single unit.
Of these first 49 cars, 39 Coupes were produced and 10 Drophead Coupes.
ABOUT THIS SPECIFIC EXAMPLE
This delightful and rare Aston Martin DB2 was delivered new to Melbourne, Australia, by Brown and Dureau on 14th of December 1950 for its first owner, a Mr WH (Tony) Luxton of Dundenory, Victoria.
This Aston was the sixth production DB2 and the first to be fitted with a floor-mounted gear change.
According to its Heritage Certificate, it was finished in Almond Green with a beige interior (the same colour as the three ‘works’ cars at Le Mans in 1949) and fitted with a Smiths heater and a Smiths ‘Bijou’ cigar lighter.
With competition in mind, the car was fitted with ‘Alfin’ brake drums by the factory as well as a close ratio floor-mounted gear change.
Mr. Luxton enjoyed the car in several competitions and there are written records and photographs of the car competing in The Victorian Trophy in November 1951 at Ballarat Airfield, the Rob Roy hill climb on January 1951 (demonstration run) and the Argus Cup on March 1956 where it placed 15th.
In the beautiful history file are a copy of Australian Motor Sports magazine and various photographs, results sheets etc.
The Aston’s second owner was a Mr P Thornley from South Yarra, Victoria and subsequently a GJ Moulden until around 1991.
In 2003 the Aston appeared in an advert by Brooklands Motors of Sandringham, Victoria offering the car for sale disassembled and ready for restoration.
Max Hobson appears to have purchased the DB2 in late 2003.
The Aston went through a bare metal body-off restoration and full mechanical rebuild by The Healey Factory between 2004 and 2007. The Healey Factory is a sports car specialists with a reputation for Concours-quality restorations.
From the invoices and correspondence is clear that Max Hobson was determined to finish the project with the best possible parts and no expense spared on the car’s preparation.
The Healey Factory kept a digital record (over 100 images) of their restoration.
The final set of photographs show a magnificently restored LML/50/16, registered DB 016, on14/06/2009 at the Mornington Rally in Victoria.
The car’s next owner was Mr. Vern Schuppan, the talented South Australian racing driver who enjoyed success at every level of the sport.
It was purchased by Mr. Schuppan in 2009 and taken to the top-level (2010/2011) by Marque Restoration of Adelaide.
Invoices in the file detail a serious amount of work by Marque Restoration to the tune of $50,000 – 60,000 including taking the car back to bare metal, re-fitting the doors and bonnet, removing any filler, reshaping panels, fully repainting the car (again) and dealing with a number of small mechanical issues. In fairness, there is no mention of any work to the engine, chassis or trim which presumably met the required standards.
A disc containing over 240 images of the remedial work by Marque Restoration is included in the file.
The final invoice in the file from Marque Restorations is dated 14/11/2011 so presumably, the car was finished by then.
The Aston remained in Vern Schuppan’s possession until late 2013.
In April 2015 it was purchased by the next owner, who is based in Australia, and whose intention was to enter the world-famous Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance that year with a competitive car.
Although the Aston was a Concours winner in the hands of Vern Schuppan, some four years had passed and whilst the car remained in fabulous condition, Pebble Beach was a different matter.
JD Classics had a great record of success in, what is effectively the most significant Concours d’Elegance in the world, and they were asked by the Australian owner to bring the car up to the unbelievable standard required, secure an entry, and get the car there.
Their efforts evidently paid off and on 16/08/2015 the Aston was rewarded Third place in ‘Post-war Sports Cars’ in 2015 at Pebble Beach, the world’s most prestigious Concours.
We can be very short about the condition of the exterior of the car as every single detail is in mint /concours condition. The panel fits are excellent, the chrome is in excellent condition even as the windows, the wheels etc. etc.
The interior of the Aston Martin was restored to very high standards using the period correct materials as well as colors.
Carpets, doorpanels, seats, meters, switches, dashboard etc. etc. have all been fully restored and due to the low amount of kilometers since the restoration the interior is in a brand new / mint condition.
A just restored / concours car is mainly known as a car which is not driving very well just because everything has been made to be nice and not be comfortable and well driving.
In this case we can conclude that this car is different. The car is in the condition of a mint top concours car but the driving capability is very well. as perfect as from a just prepared holiday/rally car. Absolutely amazing and difficult to describe how superb this ASTON MARTIN is driving.