1954 Aston Martin DB2/4

Drophead Coupe by Bertone
Gooding & Company goes online for Scottsdale 2021
Monday, 18 January - Friday, 22 January 2021
Sale Price
$1,000,000 - $1,400,000
Est. Range
22 January 2021
Sold Date
Lot Number
Older restoration
Gooding & Company
Auction House
Chassis no. LML506; Engine no. VB6E50337. Metallic blue/gray with blue cloth top over parchment leather. 2580/125hp dohc inline six, dual SU carburetors, chrome wire wheels, Michelin Pilote 6.00x16 tires, tool kit, copy build sheet, BMIHT certificate.

Evaluation: One of two believed in this style and a total of eight Bertone-bodied DB2/4s built for ‘Wacky’ Arnolt. First owned by Mrs. Edith C. Field in San Francisco and displayed by her at Pebble Beach in 1955 where they won third place in class. Later acquired by GP driver Innes Ireland, then by David Clark in 1988. Restored a decade ago but still show quality with a beautiful engine compartment, strong details, and excellent paint with a few small flaws and nicks but barely anything for the restoration’s age.

Bottom Line: Sold by Bonhams at Goodwood in July 2011 for $974,646 (GBP 606,500 at the time), then by Gooding at Pebble Beach in 2017 for $1,430,000. This result, should anyone wish to compare it with 2011, is GBP 707,300 which demonstrates the frustrating effect of exhange rates in comparing auction results. It’s not one of Bertone’s best designs (the interpretation of the Aston Martin grille is nothing if not awkward) but it is distinctive and rare. Today the odometer at 373 miles is only 231 more than it showed in 2017 and the restoration is starting to show its age. Bidding was at $870K with 1 3/4 hours to go and advanced only one more increment to timed closing. The consignor and the bidders seemingly reached an intelligent compromise in the final minutes.

by Rick Carey
2 February 2021
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Condition definitions
Condition #1: Concours
Condition #1 vehicles are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best vehicle, in the right colors, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours. Perfectly clean, the vehicle has been groomed down to the tire treads. Painted and chromed surfaces are mirror-like. Dust and dirt are banned, and materials used are correct and superbly fitted. The one word description for #1 vehicles is “concours.“
Condition #2: Excellent
#2 vehicles could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 vehicles that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws, but will be able to find some not seen by the general public. The paint, chrome, glass and finishes will all appear as excellent. No excessive smoke will be seen on startup, no unusual noises will emanate from the engine. The vehicle will drive as a new vehicle of its era would. The one word description for #2 vehicles is “excellent.“
Condition #3: Good
#3 vehicles could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4 vehicle, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior where applicable. #3 vehicles drive and run well, but might have some incorrect parts. These vehicles are not used for daily transportation but are ready for a long tour without excuses, and the casual passerby will not find any visual flaws. “Good” is the one word description of a #3 vehicle.
Condition #4: Fair
#4 vehicles are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratches, the windshield might be chipped. Paintwork is imperfect, and perhaps the body has a minor dent. Split seams or a cracked dash, where applicable, might be present. No major parts are missing, but the wheels could differ from the originals, or other non- stock additions might be present. A #4 vehicle can also be a deteriorated restoration. “Fair” is the one word that describes a #4 vehicle.
Condition #5: Poor
Running, but battered, incomplete, and perhaps rusty.
Condition #6: Parts car
Parts car.
Hagerty only assigns condition ratings to vehicles we can inspect in person or, for online listings, via high-quality photography.