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.