ALL THE ROAD CARS 1930s-1950s

VANTAGE - - The Specialist Post Vintage - 15/98 DB2 DB MKIII

SPEC­I­FI­CA­TION En­gine 1949cc, in-line 4 Power 98bhp Torque n/a 0-60mph n/a Top speed 85mph

Us­ing the new 2-litre en­gine in wet-sump form, the 15/98 range (15 from the RAC rat­ing, 98 the peak bhp) in­cluded sa­loons and tour­ers, but they were heavy and hence slow (slow-sell­ing, too: a planned run of 100 cars was slashed to 50). Bet­ter was an at­trac­tive short-chassis road­ster (pic­tured). There was also a unique ‘mono­posto’ stream­lined sin­gle-seater de­signed to go for the 2-litre outer cir­cuit record at Brook­lands. The out­break of war meant it was put into ex­tended stor­age be­fore its po­ten­tial was re­alised. SPEC­I­FI­CA­TION En­gine 2580cc, in-line 6 Power 105bhp Torque n/a 0-60mph 12.4sec Top speed 116mph

The DB2 was the first of­fi­cially to wear the ini­tials of Aston’s new owner, David Brown. It also fea­tured the mar­que’s first six-cylin­der en­gine – in fact a Lagonda unit de­signed un­der WO Bent­ley and picked up when Brown ac­quired Lagonda shortly af­ter bag­ging Aston. This 2.6-litre twin-cam was ini­tially tem­per­a­men­tal, but once sorted it en­dowed the sleek, Frank Fee­ley-de­signed DB2 with im­pres­sive per­for­mance, es­pe­cially in 125bhp Van­tage form from 1951. A to­tal of 411 DB2S were built, in­clud­ing 102 drop­heads. SPEC­I­FI­CA­TION En­gine 2922cc, in-line 6 Power 162bhp @ 5500rpm Torque n/a 0-60mph 9.3sec Top speed 120mph

The MKIII (note: not DB3) was ef­fec­tively the third se­ries of the DB2/4, but Aston dropped the 2/4 nomen­cla­ture for its 1957-1959 range of coupes, drop­heads and fixed-heads. The lines were smoother and more pur­pose­ful, the grille pre­view­ing decades of As­tons to come, and even in its lowli­est tune the Wil­lie Wat­son six was now mak­ing well over 150bhp (up to 190bhp on triple We­bers). The MKIII ac­tu­ally over­lapped with the in­tro­duc­tion of the DB4 by sev­eral months, and to­tal pro­duc­tion of all three vari­ants hit 551.

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