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1953 Alpine rally plate - not MYT
Jack, Michael, Jean & Ian Moss collected the car from Plymouth in 1969,
here is an excerpt from Jean's AMOC talk 'A DB2 with Attitude' about that epic journey.
A SHORT TALK BY JEAN MOSS
please note all of these pages on this website are copyrighted.

FOR THE ASTON MARTIN OWNERS CLUB AREA 5, MAY 2002 MEETING

THIS EVENING’s TALK CENTRES ON A DB2 REGISTERED ‘MYT 625’

To put a bit of background to the talk I will start the story in 1963 when my late husband Mike bought his 1st Aston.

This was also a DB2, a convertible that had been lying in a scrapyard for some time with a cracked block when Mike found it.

As it happened, Mike had just received the insurance money on a policy which his Grandma had set up for him when he was a baby.

So for the princely sum of  Ł165 the DB2 was purchased  & delivered to Mike’s father’s garage in Dorridge, Solihull  (Four Ashes Garage –so began the Moss / Four Ashes association with Aston Martin cars)

At the time Four Ashes Garage was a Rootes  agent selling Hillman Imps, Hillman Minx’s, Alpines & Tigers, after 1966 Hunter’s  (& variants of all these cars) to local families.

Mike’s father, Jack Moss, had a love of Lagonda’s (of which there were several about the garage), so with dad’s help & encouragement the DB2 engine was rebuilt using one of the spare Lagonda engine blocks (which is the same as an Aston DB2 block)

The performance of the DB2 was all Mick had hoped it would be, this because of it being so much lighter than the Lagonda.

Also the handling & cornering was better, the car must have been wonderful, up until then Mike’s cars had been the usual well worn s/h cars that most mechanics at that time came by, Morris Minor’s, Austin Healey Sprite’s & an MG J2 (pre war sports car).

The Aston was Mike’s pride & joy but before long disaster struck while overtaking an Austin 7 on the A34 , without indicating the Austin 7 turned right straight into the path of the DB2.

Luckily no one was hurt but the bonnet of the DB2 was written off by the insurance, the factory were still making the bonnet’s though so one was duly ordered & supplied.

This was then fitted, painted, etc. to the DB2 & all was well again.   

When Mike & I were married in 1967 the DB2 was sold to a Mr Herbert of Solihull.

He enjoyed the car very much but in 1969 (fairly sure it was 1969 !)  he also had a similar accident, the car was returned to Four Ashes but by now the bonnet’s were no longer made.

The insurance company OK’ed a good S/H replacement so a search was mounted for suitable replacement bonnet, eventually it was decided that the only way to get a good bonnet was to buy a complete donor car.

Exchange & Mart eventually came up trumps with a ‘for sale’ advert, ‘DB2 HAVING BEEN GARAGED FOR SOME TIME, WILL RUN BUT IN NEED OF CONSIDERABLE WORK TO MAKE ROAD WORTHY’.

 A phone call to the owner, a Derek Oades of Plymouth & the deal was done, the insurance company were willing to pay the price of the car to obtain the bonnet.

But how do we get the car from Plymouth to Solihull, Four Ashes had no trailer & even anything with a tow ball,  . Derek confirmed that the car would run but it also had seized brakes, flat tyres & several other faults.

 My run about car at the time was a black Humber Hawk affectionately known as the ‘Tank’ !!

She was the only car we had big enough to carry everything necessary to get that Aston  back plus enough drivers , Mike, Jack, myself & my brother in law Ian who was only 15 at the time but was coming along for the ride.

 On the night before our ‘big trip’ (remember the M5 didn’t go all the way to Exeter then) our baby daughter, Marion, was left with my mum so we could have an early start.

The ‘Tank’ was checked over & filled with petrol & loaded up with hopefully enough tools & spares to get the Aston roadworthy enough to drive home, also packed into the ‘Tank’ were 4 wheels with good tyres.

The next morning dawned bright & dry, being up before the milkman had arrived, but  you don’t start that sort of journey without so much as a cup of coffee & a bowl of cereals, so while I got ready Mike set off for the dairy, which was at the bottom of our road about a 1/4mile away.

I got ready, made some sandwiches, read war & peace then started to get worried when he didn’t return after about 1/2hr, so as I was about to go & look for him he returned looking very odd & his hand wrapped up with lots of bandages.

He had fallen over with a bottle of milk & badly cut the palm of his left hand, so after a quick cup of coffee we went to pick up Jack & Ian.

We were one driver down to start with, the idea being we could take it in turns to drive down & back, but now Jack & I would take turns on the way down but have to drive all the way back on mainly the old A38 down to Exeter & then on to Plymouth via smaller roads, this used to take all day to get to Plymouth !

We made good time & the sandwiches I made while waiting for Mike helped us on our way, I think we arrived about 2pm, found the house without too much trouble.

Looking at the car, garaged for some time was a bit over the top, the building in which it stood was on the top of a cliff with an open front facing out to the sea, the area was also heavily populated with seagulls.

At 1st we thought the car was white but after much soaking & scrubbing it turned out that the car was Blue.

Jack, Ian & a frustrated Mike giving advice wherever needed worked very hard to get the car running & the brakes working but they couldn’t get the dynamo to charge, by this time the light was beginning to go & we had to decide whether or not to try & get the car home.

After a short discussion it was decided that having got this far we would try it, otherwise we would have to the whole trip again.

We had taken a spare battery with us for the Aston so we set off home, Jack driving the Aston with Mike as passenger, the Humber with me driving & Ian navigating, as it got dark Jack drove the Aston with just side lights trying to conserve what power the battery had.

When the battery was nearly flat we would put the battery from the Humber on the Aston & the Aston battery on the Humber so as to charge the flat battery.

It was a very hard & tiring journey & by the time we were halfway home we were all dog tired, coming down the hill in Northleach towards the set of traffic lights, Ian apparently said to me ‘Jean, the lights are on Red’.

He soon realised that I hadn’t noticed & shouted again ‘Jean, the lights are on Red’ but louder, then ‘Jean, the f-----g lights are on Red’ very loudly just in time for me to stop.

We were both rather shocked & we all decide it was time for a rest, after a stop for a cup of coffee, something to eat  & something a little stronger than coffee we carried on but it was a marathon task.

After the DB2 DHC was repaired & had been returned to its delighted owner MYT was forgotten for a while, but eventually we started to wonder what to do with it & took a closer look at it.

See next page entitled  'Special car'





from 20/09/10

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