Left-hand drive 1962 Aston Martin DB4 Series IV Vantage Convertible Chassis no. DB4C/1068/L Engine no. 370/1018/SS
'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...' Motors, 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'.
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. With the introduction of the Series IV, a 'Special Series' or 'Vantage' engine producing 266bhp was offered as an option. Including Vantage and convertible models, approximately 1,100 DB4s were produced between 1958 and 1963.
Originally owned by the legendary Academy Award-winning actor, playwright and diplomat Sir Peter Ustinov, this ultra-rare DB4 Vantage Convertible was delivered to him at the Montreux Palace Hotel in Switzerland on 27th July 1962. The car carried the UK registration '911 CGT' and, being intended for use on the Continent, had been ordered with left-hand drive. Mr Ustinov also specified the recently introduced 'Special Series' (Vantage) engine. The accompanying copy build sheet records the original finish as Desert White with red Connolly hide trim, and the DB4 also came equipped with such desirable items as overdrive, an oil cooler, chrome wire wheels and a detachable hardtop. Servicing is recorded on four occasions between 1962 and 1968, while a note dated September 1979 records a colour change to the present Royal Claret.
The next owner recorded is Major E L Peel of Broadway Art Gallery, Worcestershire followed by David Fyfe Jamieson of London SW6, though neither change is dated. In 1984, '1068/L' was purchased by the immediately preceding owner from famous racing driver David Piper, who had it serviced, a new hood fitted and the interior re-trimmed. Following acquisition the Aston was driven from the UK to Switzerland to join the owner's private collection, since when it has seen very little use. Careful re-commissioning will be required prior to road use.
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. Furthermore, '1068/L' represents possibly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire a left-hand drive example of this exceedingly rare model in Vantage specification.
Should the vehicle remain in the UK, local import taxes of 5% will be applied to the hammer price.