1960 Aston Martin DB4
Year of manufacture1960
By order of the executors of the late David J Picking
1960 Aston Martin DB4GT Coupé
Registration no. 36 HYL
Chassis no. DB4GT/0113/R
Engine no. 370/113/GT
"The Aston Martin DB4GT is a stupendous high-performance car which is yet sufficiently tractable for everyday use even in the thick of city traffic. It looks the thoroughbred that it is, and must be placed high on the list of the world's most desirable Grand Touring cars." John Bolster, Autosport.
The Aston Martin DB4GT offered here, chassis number '0113/R', was sold new to Gilby Engineering and acquired by the late David Picking in November 1966 from a Mr J J Evans of Wembley (bill of sale on file and illustrated here).
Gilby Engineering was a renowned British general engineering company owned by Syd Greene. Partially disabled (he had one arm) Greene fed his passion for motor racing by founding a team, which later constructed the Gilby racing car for Syd's son Keith to drive. The team made its debut in the 1954 French Grand Prix at Reims with a Maserati 250F driven by Roy Salvadori, who also drove for Gilby in 1955 and 1956. Gilby Engineering entered 12 Formula 1 World Championship Grands Prix, including six with cars of their own construction. The team's last outing was the 1962 Italian Grand Prix at Monza.
This car's entry in the large format and exquisitely presented book 'The Aston Martin DB4GT' published by Palawan Press (compiled and researched by Stephen Archer and Richard A Candee) lists a further five owners including David Picking, although the noted date of his acquisition is incorrect. The entry goes on to state: "The GT is most likely to have been the road car of founder Syd Greene or his son Keith".
'0113/R' retains its original gearbox and engine block with correct numbers visible. The factory's DB4 engine ledger states engine 0113 as having block no. 433 and this is clearly visible on the rear elevation of the engine block. The motor car is offered in a semi-restored and dismantled state, having been off the road since the 1980s. The chassis and body were restored by noted marque specialists Bodylines in 2010 and now finished in the original colour of Snow Shadow Grey. The original red-leather seats were sent to The Leather Conservation Centre based at Northampton University Campus around the same time for restorative conservation. The engine would appear to have been rebuilt in 1983, by David Picking himself, and the car has been off the road since then, as demonstrated by correspondence on file regarding insurance and the engine rebuild. The intention was for David Picking to reassemble the car.
It is not possible to definitively determine the completeness of the car, although in our opinion we believe it is near complete and aware there is no windscreen. Early and private viewing is available to fully inspect '0113' and interested parties are welcome to contact the department to arrange an appointment.
David Picking used his 'GT' very much as the company's marketing department envisaged: as a Gran Turismo. He undertook numerous trips across Europe, to the Alps and Mediterranean Coast, including an AMOC trip to the Continent in 1975. A keen restorer of classic cars when not touring, David was a dedicated engineer with extensive design experience in precision machine tools, aircraft structures, and production facilities, as well as having wide planning experience in oil and gas, biogas, pharmaceutical, rail and defence industries. David was also passionate about flying gliders and powered aircraft, owning his own Beagle and being a member of the Civilian Technical Instructor Air Training Corps. Interestingly, the rear screen of the DB4GT has an affixed CUGC sticker (Cambridge University Gliding Club) where he was a member for a number of years from the 1970s. He built his own workshop, carrying out the design and manufacture of prototype equipment for the MoD and manufacturing specialised parts for British aircraft.
This almost forgotten DB4GT comes with an extensive file containing assorted correspondence; copy guarantee form; photographs from the 1960s-1980s; receipts for parts acquired from Aston Services Dorset and the factory at Newport Pagnell; and other paperwork including the V5 registration document, old MoTs (1966 and 1968) and the coveted acquisition bill of sale from 1966 for the then princely sum of £825... That may seem modest today but in 1966 the average salary was £798 and a house £2,000.
David Picking passed away earlier in 2020 and, having been in the family for some 54 years and off the road for over 30 years, his much-loved DB4GT now comes to market by order of the executors.
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