David Brown Engineering Limited was founded in 1860 to manufacture gears and gearboxes in Huddersfield, by 1898 the company was specialising in machine cut gears. Percy and Frank Brown took over the business when their father died in 1903 and expanded production to include bearings, and worm gears. During the 1914-’18 war they also built propulsion units for warships.
In 1931 (later Sir) David Brown became managing director after his father died and in 1936 the company entered into a partnership with Harry Ferguson to build agricultural tractors. By the end of the thirties Brown and Ferguson parted ways and Brown launched a new tractor design in 1939 of which over 7,000 would be built.
In 1947 after seeing an advertisement in The Times offering a “High Class Motor Business” David Brown bought Aston Martin, then Lagonda the following year and the Tickford coachbuilder, in to whose premises Aston Martin production would be moved, in 1955.
David Browns ownership of Aston Martin led to the DB prefix for models, a 2 litre sports car manufactured from 1948 to 1950 was retrospectively known as the DB1. The Aston Martin DB2 replaced the 2 litre using a upgraded DB 1 chassis to take a 2.6 litre / 158 cui development of the twin overhead cam straight six engine which W O Bentley and William (Willie) Watson had originally designed for Lagonda.
Three Aston Martin DB2’s were sent to Le Mans in 1950, George Abecassis and Lance Macklin finished fifth overall ahead of Charles Brackenbury and Reg Parnell to score a one – two class victory.
A car tested with the Frank Feeley designed coupé body was tested in 1950 and shown to be capable of reaching 60 mph from rest in 11.2 seconds with a top speed of 116 mph. In all 411 DB2’s were built between 1950 and 1953.
Today’s featured 1952 DB2 is seen at an Avenue Drivers Club meeting earlier this year.
Thanks for joining me on this “High Class Motor Business” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now.