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This guide includes several classic Aston Martin car models.
Introduced to the public at the London Motor Show of 1953, the DB 2/4 was a continuation of the DB2 theme. The 4 designation denoted four seats and to provide extra room the model was given an extended roofline and much larger rear windows. The longer rear fender development gave the DB2/4 a sense of bulk not found in the DB2. Originally fitted with a 2.6 litre engine, this was enlarged to 2,922cc (140bhp) in April 1954, which improved the top speed to an impressive 118mph and 0-60mph in around 10.5 seconds. Both closed and drophead versions of the car were offered from the beginning of production. Total production for the DB2/4 Mk1, DB2/4 Mk2, and DB Mk3 was 565, 199 and 551 vehicles respectively.
Aston Martin chose the London Motor Show of 1958 to launch the new DB4, although the DB2/4 Mk 3 was not discontinued at that time and production of the two models overlapped until July of 1959. The DB4 featured a new aluminium twin cam 3.7 litre engine designed by Tadek Marek and superb new body by Touring of Milan, making it a truly handsome sports car. The DB4's stunning top speed of 140mph and 0-60 in 9 seconds was matched by precise handling and excellent four-wheel brakes. Numerous production changes in both body (such as enclosed headlights on late DB4s) and mechanical details resulted in five distinct series with production ending June of 1963 and totalling only 1,113 cars.
Compact and purposeful, the Aston Martin DB5 was produced between July 1963 and September 1965. Rounded front fenders immediately distinguish the model from the early DB4s but the car does share its design with the late Series IV and V DB4. The advantage of the DB5, which represents for many, the best of the post-war production Astons, is the extra performance provided by the powerful 3,995cc engine. In standard tune the six cylinder three SU unit produced 282BHP @ 5,500rpm (Vantage up-rated to 325bhp) and maximum speed had increased to 145mph. In addition to 886 standard Aston Martin DB5s, 123 convertibles were produced together with 12 shooting brakes by coachbuilders Harold Radford.
Announced at the 1965 London Motor Show and an obvious development of the DB5, the DB6 marked the increasing trend away from the sporting side of the early Aston Martins. Clearly bigger and different, the DB6's roofline was some 2 inches higher and the rear window no longer faded away to a point as on the DB5. At a glance the most distinguishing feature was the upswept tail of the DB6. The basic 3,995cc dohc engine was retained but power steering was offered, along with a limited slip differential and also air conditioning. Automatic transmission was a no-extra-cost option and creature comforts were greatly improved over the DB5. A total 1,782 (including Volante) cars were built between October 1965 and November 1970.
Styled by William Towns, the DBS was introduced in September 1967 as a 'next generation' replacement for DB6. Despite a new body, the mechanicals were basically the same as the DB6 MkII since Tadek Marek's new V8 engine, for which the DBS was prepared, was not ready in time. Some 200lbs heavier than a DB 6 Mk II, performance of the DBS inevitably suffered. Nevertheless the 140mph top speed and 0-60 in under 8 seconds could hardly be considered inadequate. Among the plus points for the DB S were a larger interior and a generally higher level of refinement. DBS production amounted to 790 cars built between October 1967 and May 1972 before being replaced by the DBS V8.
The new Aston Martin was announced on April 24th 1972 with a revised front. The outline of the grill was now more in the David Brown tradition and the two headlamps also chose to pick up on the earlier styling themes. Maintaining the usual high standards that had come to be expected of the Aston Martin, it was the AM V8's performance that was particularly impressive. Zero-to-sixty times hovered around 6 seconds with high maximum speeds now in the 150mph-160mph range. Continual refinement lead to five distinct series being produced and in 1978, the Volante convertible was added to the Aston Martin AM V8 range. The Volante, built on the AM V8 platform, was a very handsome and desirable option.