Me and my motor - Alan Swaisland - Aston Martin 1958 DB 2/4 Mk3

The name's Swaisland, Alan Swaisland, and owning an Aston Martin is the culmination<br/>of a long-held dream

The print version of this article appeared in the October 2011 issue of Cheshire Life 

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Alan Swaisland had wanted an Aston Martin ever since he saw the Bond film Goldfinger when he was a teenager. He didn’t think it would ever happen until he answered an advert for a 1958 DB 2/4 Mk3.

The car was originally sold to a gentleman in Johannesburg, South Africa. After a few changes in ownership it had come back to the UK in the late 1990s bearing the scars of a full life.

Its condition meant that it was keenly priced and the deal was done. In November 2000 Alan and his wife Helen, who live near Sandbach, became the proud owners of ESL 236.

David Brown had bought Aston Martin in 1945 and set up a factory on a former airfield in Feltham, Middlesex. The DB2 was David Brown’s first production Aston Martin and, based on the same design, the DB2/4 Mk3 is the last of the “Feltham” Aston Martins built before the factory was moved to Newport Pagnell.

The car is powered by a 176bhp three litre DOHC straight six engine designed by WO Bentley when he was working at Lagonda. It was one of the first cars to be fitted with an opening tailgate and folding rear seats.

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The top speed is 120mph, which must have put it in the Supercar bracket in 1958.

A lot of work was needed to make ESL 236 roadworthy and reliable. This was approached as a “rolling restoration”, keeping the car on the road as much as possible. Alan made some improvements himself and the rest were carried out by marquee specialist Tim Stamper in Penrith.

After almost 10 years of mechanical improvement, Alan and Helen took the plunge and had the tired bodywork and interior trim tackled by local vintage restorer Trevor Farrington. The aluminium body was stripped back to bare metal, revealing evidence of many collisions. Once repaired, the car was painted Pacific Blue.

Inside the car, the existing ivory leather seats were cleaned and rejuvenated while the white headlining and blue carpets were replaced. The opportunity was also taken to return some details of the interior back to original specification.

Before the car could be put back on the road a few more mechanical woes, such as the steering mechanism, had to be corrected.

The car is now driveable and gains admiration wherever it goes. Like their other cars, Alan and Helen’s Aston Martin is used on classic rallies and as transport to historic race meetings and for weekends away with friends.

Since the restoration the car has also seen service giving Dream Rides with the Sporting Bears Motor Club, a nationwide charitable organisation with a base in Cheshire.

The club attend shows around the county where they accept donations to children’s charities in exchange for rides in cars such as Alan and Helen’s Aston Martin.

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