1954 Aston Martin DB2/4 Drophead Coupe
Chassis Number LML/562
Engine Number VB6E/50/1294
2,580cc DOHC six-cylinder in-line
Chassis LML/562 is a true one-off Aston Martin DB2/4 with unique Drophead Coupe coachwork by Graber of Switzerland.
According to Aston Martin factory records the well respected Carrosserie of Hermann Graber in Wichtrach, Switzerland received this car in June 1954 in 'show' chassis form thus without coachwork but clearly with some extra features which included heavier duty Armstrong shock absorbers, Dunlop tires, KLG spark plugs and a telescopic steering column in right hand drive format. Carrosserie Graber had previously designed their drophead coachwork on three DB2 models, and only one of these is now known to have survived. LML/562 is the only DB2/4 ever bodied by them.
Graber's construction technique differed from the English counterparts and whereas Feltham car bodies were fastened to the frame, Graber actually welded his to the chassis. Furthermore, he employed aluminum for the front section. Whilst being far more expensive it was lighter and therefore provided for superior performance. Steel was used from the cowl back under which lay an oak framework in the well-honed tradition of coachbuilt manufacture. The design of the car included a single curved windscreen (as opposed to a split windscreen). Marchal continental lighting, metric sizing for hardware, Smiths traditional Aston Martin instruments and Bosch switches, the resultant combination clearly very much entente cordiale!
The car was retailed in the Spring of 1955 though Garage Stierli of Zurich who were the Aston Martin agents in that area of Switzerland. It next appeared in the mid-1970s when respected Swiss collector Hans-Peter Wideman purchased it. It came into Californian ownership in 2007 when Los Angeles businessman Andy Gordon purchased it for his collection and he subsequently engaged Kevin Kay Restorations in Redding, northern California to undertake a complete and total rebuild to show standards. This endeavor took over 1,000 hours of workmanship and the car subsequently had its debut at Pebble Beach in August 2010 taking a superb third in class in the ultra-competitive Post-War Sports Touring category. The current custodian subsequently acquired it for his collection.
Finished in an understated but wholly period-appropriate Dove Grey and with dark blue leather interior trim, this is a uniquely interesting coachbuilt car which should fit any world-class collection with ease, and will definitely stand out as one-of-one made.