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1956 Aston Martin DB2/4 Mark II Touring Spyder

1956 Aston Martin DB2/4 Mark II Touring Spyder

1956 Aston Martin DB2/4 Mark II Touring Spyder

When considering Aston Martin and design house Touring of Milan, most will be familiar with the DB4, DB5 and DB6 which proudly wear Touring’s Supperleggra badge, but before these cars came about, a number of special one-ofs were prepared that are less familiar.

As early as 1953, Aston Martin was shipping over bare chassis to be bodied by the great Italian design houses. At the time, David Brown was interested in promoting his marque with special limited production designs that could be shown at the great motor shows and broaden Aston’s appeal.

The DB2/4 chassis was the last of Aston’s DB2 chassis and provided a strong basis for the studios since it was built as a 2+2. Three copies were sent by Stanley Arnolt to Bertone in 1953, a sole four seat cabriolet was made by Touring in 1953 and a relatively unknown Vignale Supersonic appeared at the 1956 Turin Motor Show. In early 1956, a trio of chassis was sent to Touring and they had the task of creating a a Spyder that was more dramatic than the cars that came before it.

Touring must have decided that clean flowing lines were the next direction, because the resulting body was a gentle and harmonious design not too far from Touring’s famous Ferrari 166 Barchetta. Like that Ferrari, the Aston had a long front hood, a leather stitched interior and a low set windscreen.

To individualize the design, Touring gave great freedom to Signor Formenti who used some flamboyant accents such as the custom bumpers, twin hood scoops and an interesting version of Aston’s signature grill. The rear has two curious intakes over the leading edge of the rear fenders are reminiscent of the mid-engine sports cars that were on their way.

Before the nineties, any information or images on the Touring Spyers were difficult to come by. It was well known to the Aston Martin Owners Club that three chassis were sent to Milan, but the cars had been very elusive over the years.

The very first Spyder, AM/300/1161 was displayed at the 1956 Turin Motor Show alongside the last Bertone Spyder and was purchased by the Associated Newspapers of London who held a contest to the person that could best sum up the design in a catch phrase. Alexander Smith won the car with ‘who said a spyder couldn’t fly’. Later, it stayed in England and sold after a right hand drive conversion at Coy’s Auction for 195 000 GBP.

AM/300/1162 was first displayed at the Paris motorshow. Its engine was later upgraded to DB3S specification with more potent camshafts, Webers and an aluminum sump. By 1966, it was in America and underwent a full restoration. Afterwards, it was sold for an asking price of $6000 and was later found under a tarp in Utah in 1984. After being restored again, it debuted at the Pebble Beach Concours in 1997. It was retained by the Blackhawk collection in 2005 painted in silver.

AM/300/1163 spent most of its life with same owner on the coast of the USA and was purchased by Whitman Ball. It went through the Blackhawk collection in 2004 painted light green.

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In Detail

submitted by Richard Owen
position Cast Iron Inline-6
aspiration Front Longitudinal
valvetrain DOHC 2 Valves per Cyl
fuel feed Triple Weber Carburetors
displacement 2922 cc / 178.3 in³
bore 83 mm / 3.27 in
stroke 90 mm / 3.54 in
compression 8.2:1
power 132.7 kw / 178 bhp @ 5500 rpm
specific output 60.92 bhp per litre
bhp/weight 206.5 bhp per tonne
wheel type Wire Wheels
front tires 600L-16 Avon Turbospeed MkIV
rear tires 600L-16 Avon Turbospeed MkIV
front brakes Alfin Drums
f brake size x 305 mm / x 12 in
rear brakes Alfin Drums
r brake size x 305 mm / x 12 in
front wheels F 40.6 x 15.2 cm / 16 x 6 in
rear wheels R 40.6 x 15.2 cm / 16 x 6 in
f suspension Trailing Arms w/Coil Springs, Lever Shocks
r suspension Rigid Axle w/Coil Springs, Lever Shocks, Panhard Rod
curb weight 862 kg / 1900 lbs
wheelbase 2515 mm / 99 in
front track 1372 mm / 54 in
rear track 1372 mm / 54 in
length 4267 mm / 168 in
width 1651 mm / 65 in
height 1194 mm / 47 in
transmission 4-Speed Manual
gear ratios :1
top speed ~212.4 kph / 132 mph