Aston Martin was a very successful manufacturer of small (cycle-fendered) sports cars in the 1930s. At the 1950 New York Auto Show, the production version of the six cylinder car was launched. Dubbed the DB2, it featured a 2.6 litre version of the Lagonda six cylinder engine and sported an attractive two-door coupe body penned by Frank Feeley. The new Aston Martin was an immediate hit and the small factory could hardly cope with the orders.
From 1951 onwards, the DB3 were specifically built for racing purposes and the DB2 served as a road car only. The first major revision to the successful two-seater was the addition of two rear seats in 1953, which resulted in the aptly named DB2/4. Like the DB2, the four-seater was available as a fixed and drop head. The hard top model was the first car to ever feature a 'hatch-back', used to access the rear luggage compartment. Several chassis were delivered to coachbuilders to have custom bodies fitted.
In 1956, the 3 litre version of the six cylinder engine was introduced to form the DB2/4 Mk II. The hatch-back was retained on Mk II, but a second fixed-head model was offered with a more conventional tapered roof. Aston Martin again made the chassis available to coach builders to have them fitted with custom bodies.
One of just four DB2/4 Mark IIs supplied to Italian coach-builders, chassis AM300/1131 was sent to Ghia. Here it received the striking 'Supersonic' style coachwork that was also fitted to Fiat and Jaguar chassis in the same period. The first owner of the unique Supersonic Aston Martin was French-born American racing driver Harry Schell. It was shown at the Turin Show in 1956 but had disappeared from view until it resurfaced at the 2011 Pebble Beach Concours following a complete restoration.
With the 3 litre straight 6 engine, this car can produce 182 bhp / 136 KW @ 5,500 rpm. (ultimatecarpage.com)
1956 Ghia Supersonic Aston Martin DB2/4 (chassis # AM300/1131)
A factory model of 1956 Aston Martin DB2/4
(Photos from rmsothebys.com, ultimatecarpage.com,