DB2/4 saloon
DB2/4 saloon

DB2/4 saloon

(1953 - 1955)

Introduced to the public at the London Motor Show in 1953, the DB2/4 offered a true first in the motoring world - since then much imitated. It's Aston Martin that we have to thank for bringing the world the 'sporting hatchback' although, unfortunately they failed to patent this innovation. This innovation came about as the DB2/4 was a four seater (really a 2+2) unlike the pure two seat DB2, and rear access was required for the occupants luggage. With the rear seats folded down, the DB2/4 had a colossal luggage capacity. The rear screen was significantly larger than on the DB2 which aids easy identification.

DB2/4 saloon

The roofline of the DB2/4 was raised so as to provide extra headroom for rear seat passengers. Also the front windscreen became a single piece full width curved affair. 50 years after it was first seen, the hatchback returned to the Aston Martin range on the AMV8 Vantage concept and into production with the Gaydon built V8 Vantage.

As well as the useful hatchback, the DB2/4 can be distinguished from the earlier car by more substantial bumpers with over-riders. That said, its quite common to see DB2/4’s modified for the track without bumpers fitted.  Also the headlamps were repositioned slightly higher than on early DB2’s as demanded by new safety regulations.

Initially the DB2/4 had, as standard, the 2.6 litre engine (2580 cc, VB6E/) in Vantage tune producing 125 bhp previously an option on the outgoing DB2. Then from mid 1954, an enlarged 2.9 litre (2922 cc, VB6/J) engine was introduced giving a much improved 140 bhp. Once fitted with the larger capacity engine, the 2.9 litre DB2/4 was capable of a genuine 120mph top speed.

While the DB2/4 is regarded as a Feltham car, they were actually built in many different places. The rolling chassis, engines and other parts were made in the David Brown Industries factories at Meltham Mill near Huddersfield and the nearby tractor engine factory at Farsley, both in the county of Yorkshire. David Brown was a Yorkshireman himself of course. The coachwork was assembled by Mulliners of Birmingham from panels made by such people as Airflow Streamline in Northampton. Then the cars eventually arrived at Feltham for final finishing.  However, by 1955 the cars were assembled almost entirely at Farsley in West Yorkshire.  Fully trimmed bodies from coach builders, Mulliners were fitted to the rolling chassis and finished on a production line alongside the David Brown tractors.

How to identify a DB2/4 saloon

How to identify a DB2/4 saloon

In total, 451 DB2/4 saloons were built before the model was replaced by the DB2/4 Mark II, late in 1955.