1962 Aston Martin DB4
Year of manufacture1962
Number of seats2
1962 Aston Martin DB4 4.0-Litre Series IV Convertible
Chassis no. DB4C/1061/R
Engine no. 370/948
'The Aston Martin DB4 was perhaps the finest compromise which the David Brown-owned company ever achieved between exceptionally high-quality, exceptionally high-performance, exceptionally lavish finishing and yet properly contained overall size and weight a great British product, benefiting from the styling input of Touring of Milan...' Motor, 1965.
Classically proportioned and instantly recognisable from the moment of its introduction in 1958, the Touring-styled Aston Martin DB4 established a look that would survive, with only minor revisions, until 1970. 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.
Designed by Tadek Marek and already proven in racing, the DB4's new twin-cam six-cylinder engine displaced 3,670cc while the gearbox was a new David Brown four-speed all-synchromesh unit. An immensely strong platform-type chassis, designed by Harold Beach, replaced the preceding DB2/4's multi-tubular spaceframe, the latter being considered incompatible with Touring's Superleggera body construction. The DB2/4's trailing-link independent front suspension gave way to unequal-length wishbones while at the rear the DB4 sported a live axle located by a Watts linkage instead of its predecessor's Panhard rod. Boasting disc brakes all round and with 240bhp on tap, the DB4 was the first production car capable of accelerating from a standing start to 100mph and back to rest again in under 30 seconds. At a time when few family saloons were capable of exceeding 70mph and took an age to get there, this staggering performance made the DB4 just about the fastest thing on the road, easily the equal of its Italian rivals. The DB4 was available only as a closed sports saloon until September 1961 when the convertible version was unveiled at that year's Motor Show. Priced at £4,449, it was £250 more expensive than the saloon. Passenger space was little changed, though there was more headroom than the saloon could offer.
Manufactured between October 1958 and June 1963, the DB4 developed through no fewer than five series. The first cars had already undergone a number of improvements, including the fitting of heavy-duty bumpers after the first 50 had been made, before the 2nd 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 3rd series featured separate rear lights, two bonnet stays and a host of improvements to the interior fittings. The 4th series was readily distinguishable by its new grille, with seven vertical bars, shallower bonnet intake and recessed rear lights, while the final (5th) series manufactured between September 1962 and June 1963 was built on a 3½" longer wheelbase (allowing for increased leg room 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 DB4s were produced between 1958 and 1963.
Its accompanying copy guarantee form shows that this Aston Martin DB4 Convertible, 'DB4C/1061/R', was sold new in July 1962 via agent Charles Sidney to a Mrs Winifred Owthwaite of Thackley, West Yorkshire and carried her personal registration 'WO 1'. The car was finished in Tudor Grey with red Connolly hide interior trim, and equipped with upgraded C18 horns, overdrive, and a gear lever cranked towards the driver. Wife of the chairman of a large warehouse company, Mrs Outhwaite kept her Aston Martin for 32 years before offering it for sale at auction in the early/mid-1990s. The AMOC Register (published 2000) records '1061/R' as carrying the registration 'PFF 326' and owned by one J M Bibby, who had purchased it in 1998.
Finished in Silver Sand with Burgundy leather trim, this DB4 convertible has been the subject of a complete 'body off' restoration undertaken by recognised marque specialists Bodylines and Spraytec. At the same time various upgrades were sympathetically incorporated to make the car more capable in today's busy traffic conditions. These included enlarging the engine to 4.0-litres, converting the cylinder head to accept unleaded fuel, and fitting a modified DB6 Mk2 Adwest power assisted steering rack. In addition, apertures were cut in the front foot-well kick panels to accommodate discreet modern audio speakers; fixings built into the passenger floor to enable Aston Martin V8-type footrests to be fitted; and padded headrests fitted to the front seats.
Combining Aston Martin's traditional virtues of style and performance with the joys of open-air motoring, the DB4 Convertible is most sought after and highly prized today. With the exception of the Zagato, the DB4 Convertible is the rarest Aston Martin road car of the David Brown era with a total of only 70 built, six less than the legendary DB4 GT.
Should the vehicle remain in the UK, local import taxes of 5% will be applied to the hammer price.