The DB2/4 (often called a DB2/4 Mk1) is a grand tourer sold by Aston Martin from 1953 through 1957. It was based on the DB2 it replaced, available as a Drophead coupe (DHC) and 2+2 hatchback (known by Aston Martin as a Saloon) well ahead of the times. Other changes included a wraparound windscreen, larger bumpers, and repositioned headlights. A handful of Bertone bodied spiders were commissioned by private buyers.
The Lagonda engine was initially the same dual overhead cam straight-6 designed by W. O. Bentley used in the Vantage version of the DB2. Displacement for this VB6E engine was 2.6 L (2,580 cc/157 in³), giving 125 hp (93 kW). In September 1953 for the Saloon & April 1954 for the Drophead, a 2.9 L (2,922 cc/178 in³) VB6/J version was used, pushing power to 140 hp (104 kW) allowing the car 120 mph (193 km/h).
102 Drophead Coupe models were built of 565 total Mark I models.
Three works cars were prepared for the 1955 Monte Carlo Rally and two for the Mille Miglia, but the company's focus was on the sports-special DB3 model.
A 2.9 litre car tested by British magazine The Motor in 1954 had a top speed of 118.5 mph (190.7 km/h) and accelerated from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 10.5 seconds. A fuel consumption of 23.0 miles per imperial gallon (12.3 L/100 km; 19.2 mpg-US) was recorded. The test car cost £2621 including taxes.
A drophead coupé (DHC) appeared in the Alfred Hitchcock film The Birds. This car, which was bought in the mid-1960s by a Los Angeles resident, had a 327 Corvette motor (with automatic transmission) installed for "roadability" then was restored at that time, except for damage to the undercarriage from the filming which remained for historic interest. However, within two years the car was totalled by a subsequent owner.
A Mark II model (Aston Martin DB2/4 MkII), introduced in 1955, allowed for an optional large-valve, high compression (8.6:1) engine capable of 165 hp (123 kW). Other changes include small tailfins, bubble-type tail lights as on the Morris Minor, and added chrome. The bonnet horizontal split line was also changed from door sill height to a horizontal line carried backwards from the top of the front wheel arch. A 2-seat Fixed Head Coupé (FHC) was new, in addition to the continued Drophead. Just 34 of the 199 Mark II cars used this new coupe body, being the personal choice of David Brown.
Three Mark II chassis were sent to Carrozzeria Touring in Italy to become Spider models. Touring would later help Aston with the Superleggera design of the DB4.
One significant behind-the-scenes change for the Mark II was the move of coachbuilding responsibilities from Feltham to the Tickford Coachbuilding Works in Newport Pagnell. David Brown had purchased the Works in 1954 and would move all of Aston Martin's operations there with the start of DB4 production.
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