ASTON MARTIN DB2/4
July 5, 2023 – Published in Design & Decor Spring-Summer 2023 issue
A timeless piece of art
The Aston Martin DB2/4 was born in 1950. A luxurious sports car that captured the hearts of many car enthusiasts with its stunning looks and performance, it was the Aston Martin DB2’s successor, but it offered more practicality and space for passengers.
The first version of the Aston Martin DB2/4 was a coupé with a 2.6-litre inline-six engine that produced 105 horsepower. It had a top speed of 118 mph and could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 11 seconds. The car was an instant hit, and people loved its elegant design and impressive performance.
In 1953, the Aston Martin DB2/4 received a significant upgrade. The new version had a larger 2.9-litre engine that produced 140 horsepower but it also came with a hatchback design that allowed for bigger storage space, making it more practical and therefore appealing to families looking for a luxurious car that could transport their children and luggage.
The car’s popularity continued to rise and in 1955 the Aston Martin DB2/4 MkII was introduced. This version had a modified body design that featured a repositioned front grille, larger front and rear overhangs, and a longer wheelbase. The car was now available in both coupé and convertible versions, which gave customers more choice.
In 1957, the Aston Martin DB2/4 MkIII was released. This version had an even more powerful 3-litre engine that produced 162 horsepower. It also had a limited-slip differential and disc brakes, which improved its handling and braking capabilities. A true sports car offering unparalleled performance, it became one of the most sought-after cars of its time.
The Aston Martin DB2/4 continued to evolve, and in 1958, the company introduced the Aston Martin DB2/4 MkIII saloon. Its larger size offered more interior space and comfort, but it was also the first car to be fitted with power steering, which made it easier to manoeuvre.
The Aston Martin DB2/4’s production came to an end in 1959; however, its legacy lives on, setting the standard for luxury sports cars of its time. Its timeless design and impressive performance continue to captivate car enthusiasts around the world, and it remains a coveted collector’s item.
In conclusion, the Aston Martin DB2/4 is a true masterpiece of British automotive engineering. Its history is a testament to the passion and dedication of the people who created it, and it will always hold a special place in the hearts of car enthusiasts everywhere.
The car in question is a 1956 Aston Martin DB2/4 with marvellous history and a connection with the island of Malta: both have a wealth of style and beauty, complementing each other in so many ways.
The car was delivered to its first owner, Herold John Coombs (F1 and historic racing driver) who owned Coombs and Sons, a main car dealer in the south of England, on 18 March 1955.
Shortly after, the car was sold to Hon. Patrick Lindsay (an ex-racing driver), who regularly used the car for local events and hill climbs (enclosed: photograph of the car at Goodwood).
Patrick Lindsay owned several cars, and sometimes lent this particular one to friends; once, for instance, Jean Moss drove the car on an Easter Bank Holiday at Goodwood and placed it.
After a colourful high life, the car made its way to Hugh Arnett who purchased it in 1966 and had it shipped to Malta, where he had been stationed with the Royal Air Force and where he returned to having married his lovely Maltese wife. The car was used daily and for family days out; it became known as ‘the mistress’ as many locals would assist Hugh in servicing and repairing it without the good lady of the house knowing how much time and money was spent over the years.
On Hugh’s passing (late 2015), Classicmobilia, a well-known Aston Martin specialist, was contacted by Mrs Arnett to discuss the sale of the car: an inspection was carried out on the island, and arrangements were made to ship the car back to the UK.
It was not long before the car was sold and the new owner, Chris Mayhew, started weighing up his options. As Chris’s plan was to take part in the most beautiful race in the world, the Mille Miglia, with his father Stuart, the car was driven to Chris’s workshop for a full strip-down and refurbishment to meet the Mille Miglia’s requirements in 2020.
Despite Covid challenges, Chris and his father managed to participate in the race and successfully finished it, a credit to Chris, his father and the Aston Martin DB2/4 which did not miss a beat.
Back ‘home’, the Aston Martin has pride of place in the Mayhew garage, ready for a new UK challenge: the next Goodwood Members’ Meeting event.