Ultra Rare 1953 Aston Martin DB2 Garage Find!

The ad says this is a “garage find,” which is presumably one step up from a barn find. It’s certainly a classy car, a 1953 Aston Martin DB2 with left-hand drive and matching numbers. It’s one of only 411 DB2s made, and for sale in “as-found” condition here on Gullwing Motors in Astoria, New York (a/k/a Queens) for $167,500.

From the looks of it, this car was in better than average condition when socked away. But that might have been a very long time ago. It is “requiring mechanical attention prior to road use, as it is not currently running.” That’s evident. Generations of critters have had their home in it without interruption.

Yes, it is a rare find, but will require extensive restoration. The Aston was ordered via the famous Wacky Arnolt’s dealership in Chicago, and delivered to first owner Joseph Marjob, a lawyer, in Skokie, Illinois on June 11, 1953. The selected color was Moonbeam Grey (looks green), with a blue interior piped in grey. The ad says the DB2 was “specified in left-hand drive with Smiths instruments.” Did anyone ever specifically order Smiths’ gauges?

From the photos, it looks like the car would clean up rather well. There’s a layer of dust on the body, and mildew on the seats, but both are treatable. The wooden dashboard and sporty steering wheel are particularly well preserved. Even the chrome doesn’t look too bad, though those ancient wide whitewall tires look ready to blow. The physical plant could possibly be left as is, if the new owner wants patina, but seals and gaskets will have to be renewed, among many other recommissioning tasks.

The engine is the correct unit, serial number VB6B/50/1157. The powerplant is a Lagonda-sourced 2.6-liter, dual-overhead-cam straight-six, producing 105 horsepower. It replaced Aston’s own two-liter straight-four. Getting his clutches on that engine was David Brown’s main reason for acquiring Lagonda in the first place. The attractive fastback body was designed by Frank Feeley and sat on a tube frame chassis originally created for the Aston Two-Liter Sports.

First shown in New York in 1950, the DB2 soldiered on until 1953. The example on offer would appear to be a later-production version, as the early ones had grilles with chrome frames and large cooling vents in the front fenders. The DB2 is not as highly valued as the later Bond-identified cars. Only 102 convertibles (a/k/a “Drophead Coupes”) were made, and these would carry a premium. And where is the Drophead that appeared in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 The Birds, driven by the great Tippi Hedren? The cars were expensive new in 1950, in the UK £1,915 for the “Saloon” and £2,043 for the Drophead. The prices have zoomed up considerably in the last few years. Hagerty places a Concours example of the 1951 DB2 at $385,000. That means the new owner of this one could spend the purchase price again on its restoration, and then just about break-even at sales time. Ready to gamble? By the way, what’s that exotic parked next to the Aston?

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Comments

  1. RoughDiamond RoughDiamond Member

    Every time I see something exotic like this ultra rare DB2 for sale, I know that unfortunately, it’s more than likely by this Seller or one of the huge auction houses. It’s still cool to read about though.

    Like 12
  2. bobhess bobhess Member

    Missed a chance to buy one of these for $500 in running condition in the late ’60s. Coming back from a conference in southern Alabama the car was sitting in a front yard with a for sale sign on it. Stopped and talked to the owner and then went on toward our Florida home. Already had two ’55 Austin Healeys so the only thing I came back with was a late 1700s pot belly stove, which we still have. Hindsight is a wonderful thing that I try to avoid whenever possible. It was one of the rare left had drive cars…..

    Like 22
  3. wuzjeepnowsaab

    I think this one has been talked about at least twice before

  4. Jon

    Tom Brady is a fan of the cars,he has the money to restore it too.

    Like 1
  5. rextreme Member

    Yeah, what is that other car? And is it for sale also?!

  6. Will Fox

    A ‘garage find’ that you are guaranteed not to lose a dime on. GLWTA!!

  7. Frank Sumatra

    I have now learned to stop reading these write-ups when I see “Astoria, NY”

    Like 15
  8. Andrew S Mace Member

    I have to wonder if they might easily get $167,510 by washing the car…. ;)

    Like 3
  9. Christopher Gush

    I appreciate these iconic pieces of iron seeing the sunlight again, but cannot help but feel the seller (Gullwing) capitalizes on preying on those poor souls who have lost a mate and not realizing or do not have the capability of marketing the lost ones vehicle after finally releasing its emotional attachment. I have seen it too many times as a former classic car dealer. When I stumbled on these opportunities I would often pay the seller more than it was being sold for given they literally had no idea, and, realizing the mantra that your’e always going to get found out, and honesty has no memory. Its your reputation. I truly wonder if he paid them a fair market value, and understand Gullwing also has to realize a profit. Anyone thinking different reading their ads has to be thinking this when they see this dynamic. I think Barn Finds should’t be a vehicle to sell Peters cars. It conveys the wrong impression.

    Like 16
    • ErnieSC

      I agree with Mr. Gush. I see the Old Man standing in the door and hope the Seller is selling for him on consignment for a VERY FAIR FEE!
      Car Dealers have very bad reputations for a Reason.

  10. steve

    yup, Gullwing motors is an interesting place. Going in there you can find anything from a MG TD that looks like a pile of parts to a Bentley that looks like a pile of parts.

    Like 1
  11. Howie Mueler

    For fun check out their inventory, lots of great cars and bad prices!!

    Like 3
  12. Oilyhands

    I just checked my garage and was disappointed again to find no Aston Martins or other exotic cars that I’d forgotten about…. Maybe tomorrow will better and one might appear.

    Like 8
  13. Paul T Root

    Tippe’s car was a DB 2/4

  14. Laurence

    The original owner may have specified Smiths gauges because the standard English Jaeger instruments these cars came with, were very expensive and hard to replace.

    The other car could be an early DB-4…or another DB-2 variant…hard to tell without seeing more. I base this speculation on the bit of window and door seen in the second snapshot.

    Like 2
  15. Lukasz Rzepecki Member

    There is something wrong with the rear screen, it is much to big for original DB2 body. I’m not saying it is wrong, as in original car there is poor visibility, but this one is definitely not original shape.

  16. mike

    parts would be hard to get for this vehicle.

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