Classic Car Catalogue

Aston Martin 1948 

Great Britain

Spa Replica sports - wb-9'0'' R4, ohv, 1970cc, 95bhp    
2 Litre Sports dhc - wb-9'0'' R4, ohv, 1970cc, 90bhp – new model  

Aston Martin 2-Litre Sports 2-4-seater is the first post-war Aston Martin to be offered to the public, at £2332 (October 1948). The prototype had run as a practice car at Spa. The 1970-cc (82.55 x 92 mm) four-cylinder pushrod OHV engine have a CR of 7. 25:1 and twin SU carburettors. The maximum power output is 90 bhp at 4750 rpm (95 bhp on the Spa Replica model). Both cars have a four-speed gearbox and 9 ft wheelbase. The Sports have 5.75-16 tyres, the Spa Replica 5,25-18, both on wire spoke wheels. They are produced at Feltham in Middlesex.

Aston Martin and Lagonda (q.v.) were taken over in 1947 by David Brown. At this time the tubular chassis and a new 1970-cc OHV engine were still under development. Shown is the first DB Aston Martin, the car that won the Spa 24-hour race in 1948. The picture shows the car as it was at the 1948 London Motor Show, with revised bodywork. A similar car, called the Spa Replica, was marketed during 1948/49 at £3110.


First offering post war have curvacious aluminium drop head body on separate chassis. Frontal appearance similar to Sunbeam Talbot with vertical grille flanked by separate side grilles. Power source is 1970cc push rod engine giving 90 bhp and 95 mph top speed. Coil spring ifs, and coil sprung rear axle gave good handling.
Brakes are Girling hydraulic.

At this time, the company were working on the first post war Aston Martin, based on the wartime Atom prototype with a chassis and 4 cylinder, 2 litre pushrod engine designed by Claude Hill. After thorough road testing of a virtually bare chassis by Claude Hill and AM test driver St John (Jock) Horsfall, it was decided that the best way to thoroughly evaluate the new car was to enter it into the 1948 Spa 24 hour race in the hands of Horsfall and Leslie Johnson.

David Brown must have been elated when the car came in 1st overall and it was quickly rebuilt for the 1948 London Motor Show and offered for sale as 'The Spa Replica'. Sadly in post-war Britain, money was in short supply and no-one placed orders since, with sales tax, the price was in excess of £3100.

Zwycięstwo (Horsfall/Johnson) w 24h Spa (B).