The subject of today’s Survivor is this 1954 Arnolt Aston Martin DB2/4 Competition Spider with a body hand built by Bertone. It is one of only 3 designed by Scaglione, and remains in unrestored original condition with less than 15,000 miles. When we ran across it’s 2008 RM and 2009 Gooding & Company auction listings, we knew we had found the perfect vehicle for this weekend’s Sunday feature. While we mainly concentrate on restorations and projects during the week, we especially appreciate true survivors such as this that still wears it’s original hammer marks and spot welds on it’s hand formed body 60 years later, even more remarkable and unheard of considering it was a race car…
S.H. “Wacky” Arnolt was the Chicago distributor for Aston Martin, Bentley, Rolls Royce, Bristol, MG, Riley and Morris. As such, he used his close connections with Aston Martin to purchase 5 DB2/4 chassis to have gorgeous Italian bodies formed around.
Serial numbers LML/503, LML/505 and the subject car here, LML/507 were built as race cars while the even numbers in between were made “Delux” street cars, all badged “Arnolt Aston Martin”.
Understandably, the factory in England was not thrilled about creating a direct competitor for themselves, nor the little issue of their re-titling, so that was the end of that endeavor between the two, although 2 or possibly 3 more are said to have slipped through before the relationship ended. Those are said to have had coach built bodies by Touring and Zagato.
You got to love that they had to put a crease down the middle of the hood to clear the 140 hp 3 liter Vantage specification DOHC inline 6, on a body that drapes down over it’s body and then rises over it’s bulged fenders to house large painted wire wheels. Leave it to the Italians.
LML/507 has led an extremely well preserved life which was started by an interesting character of a man who only adds additional lore to the whole story of it’s creation. Just the fact that this car has remained original for all of these years and has race history is fascinating in and of itself, as cars that saw competition back in this one’s era are normally beat senseless repeatedly until worn out with nothing left, but this one has somehow truly survived. And for that, we solute it.
For more detailed information, we recommend reading the full RM auction briefing linked below.