MYS­TERY CAR

New Zealand Classic Car - - Automobilia -

Still drift­ing through the mid ’50s this month, here we have an in­ter­na­tional co­op­er­a­tive ven­ture, a one-off ve­hi­cle, though prob­a­bly one that had pro­duc­tion in mind at the time of com­mis­sion­ing the project. Send your so­lu­tion by email or snail mail to Mys­tery Cars No. 232, NZ Clas­sic Car, PO Box 46 020, Herne Bay, Auck­land, by mid-may. The win­ner will be the first cor­rect en­try opened from the en­tries box. Last month’s Mys­tery No. 231 was the hand­some mid-’50s As­ton Martin DB2/4 MKII in its sel­dom­seen fixed-head coupé ver­sion, of which it is be­lieved only 34 were built. It was a favourite

of David Brown, As­ton Martin’s owner at the time, and the body was built for As­ton Martin by the well-known UK coach­builder Tick­ford, at New­port Pagnell, which David Brown had bought in 1955. The MKII ver­sion of the DB2/4 was use­fully im­proved over the pre­vi­ous model, with a strength­ened rear axle and a stan­dard 104kw (140bhp) twin-over­head-cam 2922cc en­gine, though a 123kw (165bhp) ver­sion of the mo­tor was an op­tion from 1955 on­wards. The fixed-head coupé body of­fered slightly more head­room in the rear than the stan­dard fast­back­style coupé, which had rear seats rather more of the +2 va­ri­ety and more suit­able for chil­dren, so the fixed-head coupé was in some ways a sen­si­ble op­tion — though it ap­pears it was built to spe­cial or­der rather than be­ing a regular-build show­room car. For its time, this was an im­pres­sive per­for­mance car. The 104kw stan­dard en­gine gave it a 190–200kph (120–125mph) top speed, and swift ac­cel­er­a­tion (0–100km in around 10 sec­onds), while fuel con­sump­tion thanks to com­par­a­tively light weight (1195kg) and a well-shaped body re­mained rea­son­able at 11.3 to 12.8 litres/100km (22–25mpg). And be­yond mere fig­ures, the DB2/4’S poise and race-bred han­dling gave its own­ers as­sur­ance in us­ing the per­for­mance of their car on give-and-take roads. How many were built? Most sources agree on 34, out of a to­tal of 199 DB2/4 MKII. The com­par­a­tive rar­ity of this ver­sion has made it one of the more sought-af­ter 1950s As­ton Martins. It seems that we had no tak­ers for the rare Cisi­talia 35DF, Mys­tery No. 230, though with email va­garies af­flict­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tions last month, we could have missed some an­swers — our apolo­gies if that is the case.

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