Aston Martin DB2/4 MKII Supersonic by Ghia

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Aston Martin


DB2/4 MKII Supersonic by Ghia





Coachbuilt sports cars of this period were, of course, not entirely uncommon, but there were relatively few Aston Martins of the period that were constructed with non-factory bodywork. Unfortunately, very little reliable documentation exists regarding the finer details of the Supersonic production run, as recordkeeping at Aston Martin and Ghia was lamentably vague. The first known photograph of this extraordinary Aston Martin Supersonic was taken at the car’s show debut at the Turin Auto Salon on April 21, 1956. The car was displayed there alongside one of the first examples of the Dual-Ghia, the exclusive American luxury car that was just entering production. It is believed that Harry Schell was subsequently presented with the car on loan directly from Aston Martin, with the intention of engendering additional publicity, particularly since he was a racing driver of some renown.

In execution, it is interesting to note how successfully the Supersonic coachwork was grafted to Aston’s powerful but roomier DB2/4, which substituted a 2+2 seating arrangement for the prior DB2’s smaller two-seat interior. Provided with a slightly longer chassis than the Otto Vu Fiats with which Ghia had surely grown comfortable, the coachbuilders were able to endow Savonuzzi’s design with a slightly taller profile in the characteristic lightweight aluminum. (Early press descriptions of the Aston being bodied in fiberglass are actually incorrect.) Furthermore, the Aston Supersonic’s body is distinguished from its siblings by the presence of a unique front bumper—a delicately curved piece that seems to serve as a more sculptural form than safety function.
The next known photograph of this Supersonic was taken at Spa, during the week of the Belgian Grand Prix, which took place on June 3, 1956. Harry Schell took 4th place while competing for Vanwal that weekend, but it would appear that his personal transport to the race was the new Aston Martin. As detailed in the June 15, 1956, issue of Autosport magazine, Schell’s car was parked on the streets of Spa, with a second close-up photo and caption focusing on the unusual front bumper.
The following October, the Supersonic was depicted in the October 1956 issue of Quattroruote, the Italian motoring magazine. In an article regarding the personal cars of Formula One drivers, including Juan Manual Fangio and Peter Collins, Harry Schell is seen stepping out of the Aston Supersonic with the door open, further demonstrating his early connection with the car.

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