Tractor tycoon David Brown bought the ailing sports car maker Aston Martin in 1947, but had something of false start with under powered four cylinders Aston Martin DB1 of 1948. He more than redeemed himself, however, with the DB2 of 1950, a car that set the pace for all subsequent Astons. Here was a luxurious upper crust coupe with modern performance and old world charm. It used a smooth, powerful, six cylinder, twin cam 116 bhp engine courtesy of its sister the Lagando 2.6 saloon, Brown had bought Lagando as well in 1947. Clothed in handsome alloy bodywork, these cars could reach more than 120 mph (192 km/h) in high compression Vantage form. Underneath, the cruciform chassis blessed the cars with thoroughbred handling of the highest order. Coil sprung, the live rear axle was located by trailing links, with a Panhard rod for the high side loads the car capable of generating and damped by Armstrong lever arms. The front suspension was unusual: a trailing link design with the main lower locating member running across the front of the car. For the DB2/4, the fast back shape was made more potential but not so pretty, by the addition of rear seats and a side hinged rear hatchback door. By the time evolved into a mouth, and small fins had sprouted on the rear wings.
David Brown supplied the gearbox on all models. This had the option of overdrive on the top gear on the 178 bhp MKIII, giving 28.4 mph (45.4 km/h) per 1000 rpm. Grilling front disc brakes were another innovation on the MKIII. The DB MKIII was replaced by the touring styled DB4 in 1958.