|Aston Martin DB4GT |
|When the standard Aston Martin DB4 began manufacture in 1959 it was obvious to the company that lightened versions would be competitive in GT racing, so the factory built the DB4GT for competition-minded customers.
The Aston Martin DB4GT was a short wheelbase variant of the DB4. Only about eighty-five DB4GT’s were made. Of these, ten cars were fitted with either Zagato coachwork or were works project cars; leaving just seventy-five conventional DB4GT’s built.
Apart from the wheelbase of 7ft. 9ins. And a shorter overall length of 14ft. 3.375ins. the biggest changes were made to the engine. The DB4GT was given a twelve-plug, twin distributor (or magneto) head with triple 45DCOE Weber carburettors, it had a 9:1 compression ratio, large inlet valves, a high lift camshaft and higher compression pistons increased the power to a quoted 302 bhp at 6000 rpm. Bore and stroke was usually the same as the standard DB4, although in some cars the bore was increased to 93mm to give a capacity of 3,749cc. Oil coolers were normally fitted.
Sixteen-inch Borrani alloy-rimmed wire wheels – long beloved of Enzo Ferrari – were fitted with triple- eared hubcaps as standard. Girling rather than Dunlop, disc brakes were fitted to give a larger swept area. The Borg and Beck twin-plate clutch fitted to later DB4’s was standard with a David Brown close-ratio all-synchromesh four-speed gearbox and a Salisbury axle with Powr-Lok limited slip differential.
The two-seater bodywork was made from thinner than standard aluminium with cowled headlights for drag reduction; no over riders were fitted. A thirty-gallon tank filled most of the boot, with just room for the spare wheel. There were no rear seats and the overall weight was reduced by 1.5 cwt from that of the standard cars.
Contemporary road tests of the DB4GT were glowing. Dennis May in “Car and Driver” of June 1961 wrote: “If your veins contain anything more viscous than cold tea, the cars attraction is irresistible…Throw it at a long gradient in third and before you can say David Brown Esquire it’s slicing the horizon at 108 mph – with another cog still to come. Harden your heart and button your nose against the thought and smell of a clutch in thermal travail and you can gun ‘er from nothing to an authentic century in less than a quarter of a minute. Savour the car’s uncanny sidebite under-limit crowding lateral g…” The writer went on to describe the car as an “objet d’art in its own right.”
Roy Jackson-Moore described the DB4GT as “the Englishman’s car” and John Bolster, when he tested it in December 1961 admitted that it was faster than the single-seaters he raced in Grand Prix not so many years before. “Please may I use some superlatives?” he asked. “The clutch is absolutely splendid giving the smoothest possible engagement and yet gripping instantly for a full-bloodied racing gearchange. It handles 300 bhp with ease, and adds enormously to the pleasure of driving the car. The gearchange is excellent, being quite light in action though having powerful synchromesh…in top gear the acceleration just goes on going on, the car seeming to surge from 120 mph to 140mph in an incredible short distance. Even then there is no pause, and in a few seconds 150 mph comes up. When I timed the car at 152.5 mph, the rev counter was nudging the red line at 6000 rpm…with a longer run before the timed section one could certainly beat this speed…”
Jerry Titus in the American magazine “Sports Car Graphic” said that the car was not for the average driver, it was a high-speed touring car that could be raced. “Matter of fact, it isn’t a car for average transportation use either, unless you live in Arizona and commute daily to Texas…it is in almost every respect, a unique machine.” He described the car’s basic function as for racing; and that is exactly what Aston Martin did.
Works entries of DB4GT’s were quickly made at major events with legendary drivers such as Reg Parnell and Stirling Moss at the wheel; success was immediate. Apart from the Factory entries, John Ogier’s famous Essex Racing Stables campaigned the cars, along with Tommy Sopwith’s Equipe Endeavour, both teams winning many races with drivers such as Moss, Jack Sears, Roy Salvadori and Innes Ireland.
Aston Martin DB4GT 0137/R was sold and delivered new on 21st December 1960 by Brooklands (HWM) to Mr. W.B. Fowler from Nottingham in the UK. 0137/R was used as a road car until the mid-sixties when it was converted into complete racing spec. and entered into the first event of its extraordinary, thirty year racing history.
As one of the most well-known and successful Aston Martin competition GT cars in Europe, 0137/R has always been maintained regardless of cost and has a known and continuous ownership history and race history.
Today 0137/R is in superb, race ready condition. It is supplied complete with FIA papers and comprehensive documentation, including a file with original race results and programmes from many of the races that the car competed in, and the original handbook. 0137/R is eligible for all next season’s important events Worldwide, including: Silverstone’s Festival, The RAC TT race at Goodwood’s prestigious Revival meeting, and at AMOC events throughout the year.
Due to their tremendous rarity and value, the DB4GT is still a very well known and popular racing car, therefore, much sought after to attend the most prestigious events.
These highly desirable and very competent race cars are also perfect Grand Tourers in events such as the Tour de France Auto. DB4GT’s rarely reach the market place, and as such 0137/R, with its incredible racing history represents a fantastic opportunity. Where else can a potential investor acquire an exciting, competitive racing car, as well as a high performance road and touring car.
Rare Aston Martins have commanded strong prices for many years and have therefore made tremendous investment potential. Standard road going DB4GT’s are currently valued just shy of half a million pounds, reflecting a steep increase in value over the last few years. All mid-sixties competition GT cars are currently very buoyant in the market place and experts predict that this trend is likely to continue for some time to come.
Sold on the 19.07.2007
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|Formula I|| |