1958 Aston Martin DB4



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French title

- Stunning, powerful, sophisticated and one of 75 examples built
- Eligible for the most prestigious events worldwide
- In the hands of the current owner for the last 25 years
- Ex Peter Livanos

In 1959, racing was going well for Aston Martin, with a notable one-two finish in the Le Mans 24 Hours with Shelby/Salvadori Trintignant/Frère. The discipline was expensive however and David Brown took the decision to withdraw and leave private teams to defend the marque's colours with the DBR1. Aston's competitions manager John Wyer decided to launch the DB4 GT to maintain a presence in GT. The prototype made its first appearance in May 1959 at Silverstone, in the hands of Stirling Moss who enjoyed an easy victory, finishing ahead of the John Coombs-prepared Jaguar 3.4-litre of Roy Salvadori. The celebrated British driver later acknowledged: " The DB4 GT was really well balanced and powerful. "

The new car was officially unveiled at the London Motor Show at the end of that year. Aimed at wealthy amateur drivers, the DB4 GT weighed less and had a more powerful engine that the standard DB4, making it the fastest production car in the UK. Based on a DB4 platform shortened by almost 13cm, it was a strict two-seater fitted with Touring bodywork built to the Italian coachbuilder's " Superleggera " specification, with plexiglass rear quarter-lights and magnesium alloy panels. The mesh grille had a large air intake at the bottom for the oil radiator (not on the standard version) and the faired-in headlights would later appear on the DB5. The car, with fuel fillers atop each rear wing, rested on 16-inch Borrani wheels. The generous 136-litre fuel tank used all available space in the boot. On the mechanical side, the 6-cylinder, 3.7-litre twin-cam DB4 engine, designed by Tadek Marek, was upgraded to include twin-ignition, three large Weber carburettors and modified valve gear, increasing the power to over 300 bhp at 6 000 rpm, almost 1 000 revs up on the standard version.
Despite being destined for competition, the DB4 GT retained all the features of a top-of-the-range model, its interior as luxurious as the DB4, with leather seats and impressive instrument panel echoing the shape of the front grille. Between 1959 and 1963, just 75 examples of this exceptional machine were produced, making it one of the most exclusive road-going Aston Martins, just behind the Zagato version of this model.

According to the factory build sheet, the DB4 GT on offer was delivered new on 21 April 1961 to Mr Grant of Hitchin, England. Initially right-hand drive and presented in peony red with grey upholstery, the car was re-liveried on 4 April 1961, before being delivered and probably at the request of the first owner, in pale primrose with black Connolly leather upholstery.
In May 1962, not unusually for high performance GT cars at that time, records indicate, amongst many interventions listed between 1961 and 1966, that the factory replaced engine n°370/0154GT with n°370/0210GT, the engine that remains in the car today. At the end of the 1960s, while in the hands of the fourth owner, a certain Mr Fletcher, a 5-speed ZF box was fitted. The subsequent owner, Mr M.K. Morris, took part in a number of road and track events, such as the Pomeroy Trophy in 1970 and enjoyed a class win in 1975 in a VSCC race at Silverstone.
The car went on to enjoy a successful sporting career in the United States in the hands of Mr Soprano. Following an accident at Lime Rock circuit in the early 1980s, the car was completely rebuilt. Between 1984 and 1988, this DB4 GT was owned by Peter Livanos, the Greek shipping tycoon, during the period he acquired shares in Aston Martin, with Victor Gauntlett. The next owner was Mr Fergus, who distinguished himself competing in various US race events. A collision with a Corvette in 1989 prompted repair work once again, at which point the car became left-hand drive. Acquired from Mr Fergus by the current owner in 1994, the car was then imported into France. Used very little between 2012 and 2020, his DB4 GT was entrusted to an Aston specialist for routine maintenance.
Today, this left-hand drive car with Smiths gauges calibrated in kilometres is presented in elegant Aston racing green livery, with a high-quality black interior. Well documented in the excellent book by Stephen Archer and Richard A. Candee, this DB4 GT will be welcomed at all the best events worldwide. Attractively presented, lightweight and sophisticated, this is a superb tribute to what remains one of the most prestigious " competition-client " machines ever built.

Full set of pictures available on our online catalogue: https://www.artcurial.com/fr/lot-1959-aston-martin-db4-gt-4058-27