1963 Aston Martin DB4
Year of manufacture1963
Number of seats2
Certified with Aston Martin Assured Provenance Gold Standard
1963 Aston Martin DB4 Series V Convertible
Registration no. 376 PE
Chassis no. DB4C/1092/R
'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'.
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. 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 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 3½" longer (as would be the forthcoming DB5). This extension allowed for increased leg room and a larger boot, while the Series V also 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.
This Aston Martin DB4 Convertible, 'DB4C/1092/R', was sold new via Aston Martin agents, Brooklands, to Sefton Myers, the successful London-based property developer and theatrical agent. Father of singer Judie Tzuke, Myers co-managed and financially supported Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice while they wrote the musical 'Jesus Christ Superstar'.
Originally registered as 'JM 115', this DB4 was owned only briefly by Sefton Myers, passing one year later to a Mr G Speckley, who reregistered the car as '376 PE'. Next owned by Mr Howard Parsons and dealer Michael Moss (Paradise Garage) respectively, the Aston was sold in 1980 to former footballer Malcolm Finlayson. A goalkeeper, Finlayson had made his professional debut for Millwall in 1948 and would appear on over 200 occasions for the London cub before moving to Wolverhampton Wanderers. While at Wolves he featured in their League title-winning sides of 1958/59 and 1959/60, and also in their FA Cup-winning team of 1960. Malcolm Finlayson retired from football in 1964, going on to become a successful businessman in the steel stockholding industry. While owner of '1092/R', Finlayson had the Aston restored by Robin Hamilton (during 1980-1983) and kept the car until it was purchased by the current vendor in 2010. During Malcolm Finlayson's ownership the Aston covered only some 1,000 miles.
The car has been maintained by Aston Martin Works for the past 5 years and has recently had the engine removed, stripped and rebuilt at Works. Described by the private vendor as in very good condition throughout, '1092/R' is offered with restoration bills, an old-style logbook, current MoT, a V5C Registration Certificate, and the all-important Aston Martin Assured Provenance Gold Standard.
A recent introduction, Aston Martin Assured Provenance is a programme designed to assess the originality, condition, and historical significance of the company's Heritage cars. The process consists of a bumper-to-bumper inspection of the car; a 3D scan to assess its structural integrity; build specification comparison; road test and report to assess mechanical health; and a thorough assessment of the outcome of these inspections and the car's provenance records by a committee of Aston Martin experts. On approval, the client receives the Assured Provenance Package consisting of a richly illustrated record book; a USB containing records of all digital data collected; a pair of dash plaques; a pair of sill plaques; and the Heritage Assured Provenance certificate all contained in hand-crafted presentation box.
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.