The name David Brown is key to the history of Aston Martin. The entrepreneur and former tractor builder purchased the company in 1947, and it’s his initials that grace some of the most famous Aston Martins such as the DB5, more recent DB9, and the latest DB12 and DBX models.
However, the first model launched under Brown’s tenure was a sprightly roadster known as the 2-Liter Sports. Later referred to as the DB1, just 15 examples were built between 1948 and 1950, and now one of is up for sale.
The car, number eight in the series, is set to be sold by H&H Classics at its auction taking place on Sept. 20 in Duxford, U.K.
The car bears chassis no. AMC/49/8, and was originally sold as a bare chassis to A.B. Hunter of Styles Lane, Park Langley, who had coachbuilder Gurney Nutting install a body.
1949 Aston Martin 2-Liter Sports (DB1) – Photo credit: H&H Classics
According to the listing, the original 2.0-liter engine was replaced shortly after the car was delivered due to mechanical issues, and a subsequent owner commissioned the current body from coachbuilder Swallow Coachbuilding during the late 1950s.
The DB1 then traded hands several more times, including to former Aston Martin engineer Shaun Magee who installed the current 2.6-liter engine and added a front axle from the DB2 and a transmission from the DB3S to improve performance. He raced the car with some success at a variety of Aston Martin Owners Club events.
The current owner purchased the car in 1994 with the view to restoring it to its original state, though he only managed to getting around to tearing down the engine, per the listing.
The current estimate for the classic is 100,000 to 140,000 British pounds (approximately $125,000 to $175,000). The price might appear low for such a rare classic but then not much of the original car remains due to modifications done by various owners over the years.