1960 Aston Martin DB4 Series II Sports Saloon Registration no. 2581 K Chassis no. DB4/331/R Engine no. 370/347
Classically proportioned and instantly recognisable from the moment of its introduction in 1958, the Touring-styled DB4 established a look that would survive, with only minor revisions, until 1970. A new design by Tadek Marek, the DB4's all-alloy, twin-overhead-camshaft six-cylinder engine featured 'square' bore and stroke dimensions of 92mm for a displacement of 3,670cc and developed its maximum output of 240bhp at 5,500rpm. The David Brown gearbox was a new four-speed all-synchromesh unit. An immensely strong platform-type chassis replaced the DB2/4's multi-tubular spaceframe, the latter being considered incompatible with Touring's Superleggera body construction which employed its own lightweight tubular structure to support the aluminium-alloy body panels. The DB2/4's trailing-link independent front suspension gave way to unequal-length wishbones while at the rear the DB4 sported a well-located live axle equipped with Watts linkage location instead of its predecessor's Panhard rod.
The DB4's peerless credentials as a Grand Routier were summed up thus by The Motor: 'Performance, controllability and comfort have been combined in the Aston Martin DB4 to make it a highly desirable car: one in which long journeys can be completed very quickly indeed with the minimum of risk or discomfort and the maximum of pleasure.'
Manufactured between October 1958 and June 1963, the DB4 developed through no fewer than five series as the model gradually metamorphosed into the DB5. However, it should be made clear that the cars were not thus designated by the factory, this nomenclature having been suggested subsequently by the Aston Martin Owners Club to aid identification as the model evolved. The first series had already undergone a number of improvements, including the fitting of heavy-duty bumpers after the first 50 cars, before the second series arrived in January 1960 boasting a front-hinged bonnet, bigger brake callipers and an enlarged sump.
The current vendor purchased this Series II DB4 at Bonhams' sale at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu in September 2010 (Lot 558) but has done little to its since. At that time were we advised by the then owner that he started stripping down the car some 30 years ago but then got side-tracked by less important matters: marriage, house building, etc. From 1979 to October 2009 the car was stored on chocks in a dry garage before being moved to the owner's new home in Devon. The engine last ran in 1980. Offered for restoration and sold strictly as viewed, '2581 K' represents an exciting opportunity for the dedicated Aston enthusiast to breathe life back into a long-neglected DB4. The car comes with a UK V5 registration document.