Those of you up on your Aston Martin history know David Brown as the former owner of Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd. Brown, whose initials grace the highly desirable DB series of Aston sports cars, is credited with bringing the oft-struggling company into the modern age.
That said, it’s easy to imagine any car proven to have been owned and driven by the legendary industrialist would be an extremely valuable commodity. Earlier this year, a 1958 Aston Martin DB2/4 Mk III Drophead, a personal driver of Mr. Brown, emerged as a “barn find”.
After spending the last 30 years under a tarp, the car drew a bid of £206,866 (approximately $318,310)--more than twice its top estimate--at Barons British Heritage sale at Sandown Park on September 7th.
This extremely rare machine--now a rolling restoration project--emerged after three decades to present collectors with an extraordinary opportunity to acquire and restore a true piece of British motoring history. Interest in the car came from around the world, and bidding rapidly exceeded the £80,000-£100,000 guide price. When the hammer finally fell, the successful bidder, a private British collector, paid £206,866 (including premium).
The last iteration of the DB2 series, the DB2 Mk III was introduced early in 1957, and continued through 1959 as the Mk IIIB. The first Aston Martin production car with front disc brakes as standard issue, its standard 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine produced a claimed 162 bhp. There were also two variations available with up to 200 bhp. With a kerb weight of only 2,500 pounds for the coupe, the cars were quite fast. Though meant for the road, privateers in many various sporting events used the DB2/4 models with much success.
A total of 551 DB2/4 Mk III cars were produced between 1957 and 1959.