1949 Aston Martin DB2 Prototype

Before the DB2 went into production, four prototypes were made and they laid the foundation for David Brown’s first successful sports car. His purchase of Aston Martin was still fairly recent and he built upon all the available resources. The first three cars registered UMC64, UMC65 and UMC66 would launch Aston Martin down a successful path that eventually included an overall victory at Le Mans in 1959 with the DBR1.

As far as the factory was concerned, these prototypes were named the DB Mark II since they followed a small run of roadsters known as the ‘Two Litre Sports’ or DB1. Unlike the DB1, the DB2 was purpose built for racing and all of the first prototypes did just that.

At the 1949 Le Mans, David Brown brought three of his new Coupes and one of them was fitted with the potent Lagonda 2.6-liter engine. The other two had a inline-4 design that was good for the 2-liter class. These cars faced a wide range of competition including prewar cars and the winning Ferrari 166 MM of Luigi Chinetti. Remarkably, one of the 2.0-liter cars placed seventh overall.

The six-cylinder car, UMC66, went on to race at SPA and eventually became the development car for the DB2. David Brown built a fourth car for himself registered UMC272 which was raced in 1950 under the management of John Wyer. Almost all the subsequent cars were used for racing until the model was officially launched at the 1950 New York Auto Show in April.

In Detail

typeConcept / Prototype Car
built atFetham, England
body stylistFrank Feeley
production4
engineLagonda Inline-6
positionFront Longitudinal
aspirationNatural
fuel feed2 SU Carburetors
displacement2580 cc / 157.44 in³
bore78 mm / 3.1 in
stroke90 mm / 3.5 in
compression6.5:1
engine designerWillie Wilson
power78.3 kw / 105 bhp
specific output40.7 bhp per litre
bhp/weight95.45 bhp per tonne
body / frameSteel Chassis
driven wheelsRWD
front brakesDrums
rear brakesDrums
f suspensionTrailing Parallel Links
r suspensionRigid Axle
curb weight1100 kg / 2426 lbs
transmissionDB 4-Speed Manual

Chassis & Sales

1949 Aston Martin DB2 Prototype

LML/49/4-Forth car built and the second with the 2.6-litre engine. Built for David Brown with oversize 18-inch wheels. It was used as personal transportation by David Brown until it was sold to Lance Macklin and raced at the 1950 Targa Florio and Coppa Intereuropa at Monza. At the Targa, the Macklin overturned the car and sold it off to pay for the repairs. In February of 2010 a restoration was completed by the Works Service. for the car’s Swiss owner. It was then displayed at the 2010 Villa d’Este Concours d’Elegance and ran in the 2010 Mille Miglia.

1949 Aston Martin DB2 Prototype
>LML/49/3-First Aston Martin fitted with the Lagonda 2.6-liter engine. Raced at the 1949 24 Hours of Le Mans, but only completed 6 laps with water pump failure. It then contested the 24 Hours of SPA Francorchamps and finished 3rd overall. In 1050, it again contested Le Mans but again retired with a broken crankshaft. It was restored and offered by the Blackhawk Collection for some time. In 2005 it was purchased and raced at the 2005 Monterey Historic Races and subsequently displayed at the 2007 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance for an Aston Martin Feature. It was most recently seen at the 2008 Monaco Grand Prix Historique.