1962 Aston Martin DB4
Year of manufacture1962
Number of seats2
1962 Aston Martin DB4 Series IV 4.2-Litre Vantage Sports Saloon
Registration no. 874 YUC
Chassis no. DB4/982/R
'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.' - The Motor.
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. The fourth series was readily distinguishable by its new grille, with seven vertical bars, shallower bonnet intake, and recessed rear lights, while the final (fifth) series manufactured between September 1962 and June 1963 was 3½" longer (allowing for increased leg room and a larger boot) and gained 15" wheels, an electric radiator fan, and the DB4 GT-type instrument panel.
With the arrival of the Series IV, a Special Series Vantage engine became available as an option. This unit, equipped with larger valves, raised compression ratio and triple SU carburettors produced no less than 266bhp at 5,700rpm, an increase of 26bhp over standard. Almost all DB4 Vantages, around 45 in all, were built with the faired-in headlights of the iconic DB4 GT, a feature that would be carried over the DB5.
Its accompanying copy guarantee form reveals that this DB4 Vantage, chassis number '982/R', was built in right-hand drive configuration and left the factory equipped with overdrive, a 3.77:1 rear-axle ratio, and chrome wheels. It is also one of only seven Series IVs fitted with the DB4 GT instrument panel with its separate gauges.
The Vantage was delivered new via the Brooklands dealership to a Mr Paterson of London on 23rd October 1962. One Mr Butler of Denham is listed as owner from 18th June 1969, while an old-style green continuation logbook records a Mr Sheppard as a later owner, followed by a Mr Ifor of Connaghs Quay in 1975.
A (copy) registration document records one P Harbach as owner from October 2000. However, he must have already owned the car for some time, as the AMOC Register lists three concours events attended during Mr Harbach's ownership between 1997 and 1999, with a best award of 2nd in class. There are invoices on file for restoration work dating back to 1993.
Between 2005 and 2011, '982/R' was owned by a Mr R Dresner, who commissioned marque specialists to undertake further sympathetic improvements to the running gear and matching-numbers engine. Converted to run on unleaded fuel, the latter was also increased in capacity to 4.2 litres and fitted with Ross pistons; a nitrided EN40B crankshaft; crack-tested and shot-peened standard connecting rods; Kent 'fast road' camshafts; and a 123 electronic distributor. It is understood that the maximum power output was increased by approximately 75bhp over the standard Vantage.
To better exploit the engine's enhanced potential, a Tremec five-speed gearbox was fitted while other improvements to the drive train include a limited-slip differential; an up-rated clutch with a Tilton hydraulic release bearing, and a dynamically balanced prop-shaft. The original four-speed gearbox is included in the sale, buyer to collect from Aston Martin Works.
The upgraded suspension features Koni front shock absorbers; adjustable spring platforms; up-rated lever-arm rear shock absorbers; Harvey Bailey springs; and an anti-roll bar kit. DBS-specification twin-servo disc brakes have been fitted and the braking system further upgraded with EBC 'Green Stuff' brake pads and DOT 4 brake fluid. This car also benefits from the installation of air conditioning and power assisted steering, and is equipped with a sliding sunroof and period radio.
Retaining the proportions of the original DB4 while combining the attractive faired-in headlights and dashboard of the DB4 GT with the high-performance Special Series engine, the rare Series IV Vantage is considered by many aficionados to be among the most collectible of post-war Aston Martins. Offered fresh from servicing at Aston Martin Works (bill on file), this immaculate example is ready to be enjoyed.