1961 Aston Martin DB4
Year of manufacture1961
Number of seats2
1961 Aston Martin DB4 'Series II' Sports Saloon
Registration no. Dutch registered
Chassis no. DB4/571/R
Engine no. 370/563
'When the products which are raced bear such a close resemblance to those which can be bought by the public, as do those of Aston Martin, only the most biased can deny the value of racing in improving the breed. It should be no surprise (that the DB4) should be based on an engine which first appeared in experimental form in some of last year's races.' - The Autocar, 3rd October 1958.
At its launch in October 1958, the DB4 marked a major turning point for Aston Martin as it was the first car of the David Brown era which neither used a chassis derived from the experimental Atom of 1939 nor an engine designed by W O Bentley. Moreover, it was the first Aston Martin to carry Carrozzeria Touring's 'Superleggera' bodywork, in which light alloy panels were fixed to a framework of light-gauge steel tubes welded to a platform chassis. Although styled by Touring, the DB4's gorgeous fastback coachwork was built under license at Newport Pagnell by Aston Martin, which employed some of the finest panel beaters in the industry. The result was a car whose sleek lines were described as 'unmistakably Italian and yet... equally unmistakably Aston Martin.' The 3.7-litre, six-cylinder power unit was the work of Tadek Marek and had first been seen at Le Mans the previous year in the works DBR2 sports-racer.
Manufactured between October 1958 and June 1963, the DB4 developed through no fewer than five series. 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. A front-hinged bonnet, bigger brake callipers and an enlarged sump were the major changes made on the Series II, while the third series featured separate rear lights, two bonnet stays and a host of improvements to the interior fittings. Manufactured between September 1961 and October 1962, the fourth series was readily distinguishable by its shallower bonnet intake, recessed rear lights and new grille with seven vertical bars. The final, fifth, series was built on a 3.5" longer wheelbase (allowing for increased legroom and a larger boot) and gained 15" wheels, an electric radiator fan and the DB4GT-type instrument panel. Including Vantage and convertible models, approximately 1,100 of these iconic 'Gentleman's Express' sports saloons were produced between 1958 and 1963.
Chassis number '571/R' was sold new via agent J Blake to the Lees Brook Spinning Co (1920) Ltd of Oldham in January 1961 and first registered as 'XBU 400' (subsequently as '962 HWR'). The accompanying copy order form reveals that the car was originally finished in Caribbean Pearl with dark blue Connolly hide interior trim. A heated rear screen, fully chromed road wheels and self-cancelling indicators are the only items of non-standard equipment listed. There is only one additional owner shown: Eldert Kranendonk in Holland (1988).
Acquired by the vendor in 1993, this beautiful DB4 is offered fresh from a long-term full restoration and is presented in truly wonderful condition having covered only some 2,000 miles since the work's completion in 2014. We are advised that the car was completely taken apart and rebuilt, with not a single part that has not received attention (see digital photo book and invoices on file). Most of the work was done by Toncar Classics in Berkel-Rodenrijs, Netherlands. Many parts were purchased from Aston Service Dorset and the vendor has also done business with Bodylines through Aston Martin Works. The engine was completely overhauled by van Giersbergen Revisions in Silvolde, Netherlands. The DB4 has been refinished in Aqua Verde and re-trimmed in green leather, while factory fitted Armstrong Selectaride shock absorbers are the only other notified deviation from factory specification. Currently registered in the Netherlands, it comes with restoration invoices and an old-style logbook.