The Aston Martin DB2 is a grand tourer that was sold by Aston Martin from May 1950 until April 1953. The successor to the 2-Litre Sports model, it had a comparatively advanced dual overhead cam 2.6 L Lagonda straight-6 engine in place of the previous overhead valve engine straight-four engine. It was available as a closed, 2-seater coupé which Aston Martin called a sports saloon, and later also as a drophead coupé, which accounted for a quarter of the model’s total sales. The closed version had some success in racing.
The DB2 debuted at the New York Auto Show in April 1950 and continued in production until April 1953, by which time 411 had been made. The first 49 had a chrome-framed front grille in three separate parts, and large rectangular cooling vents in the front wings. Subsequent cars had a one-piece grille with horizontal chrome slats, and no side vents.
The single-piece bonnet was hinged at the front. At the rear of the fixed-head coupé (FHC) a small top-hinged lid gave access to the spare wheel, and luggage space was behind the front seats, accessible only from inside the car.
Later in 1950, a Drophead Coupé (DHC) variant was introduced. At least 102 were built.
In April 1950, an engine with larger carburettors, inlet camshaft the same as the exhaust (for increased duration), and higher compression ratio pistons (8.16:1) was made available. Aston Martin’s first Vantage upgrade option offered 125 hp (93 kW). Initially the higher compression ratio made the engine unsuitable for the British market, as the postwar austerity measures of the early 1950s restricted UK vehicles to 72 octane “Pool petrol”.
The first DB2 Vantage, LML 50/21, was delivered to, and raced by, Briggs Cunningham in the United States.