- 1960 Aston Martin DB4 Series II
- Presented in original Wedgewood Blue
- 52nd Series II off the production line
- Fully restored between 2013 and 2015
First registered on 20 May 1960, this Aston Martin DB4 is chassis number DB4/303/R. It left the Newport Pagnell factory finished in Wedgewood Blue, with Off White leather trim, and the logbook records that it was delivered new to Alfresco Garage in Bradford.
The DB4 subsequently spent most of its life in the north of England. In November 1960, it was acquired by Mr Moore-Cartwright in County Durham, before passing to Mr Wesley Oliver in Newcastle six months later.
On 5 May 1964, the Aston was registered in the name of Peter Brewer in Cheshire. Brewer owned the ex-Pat Fairfield ERA R4A at that time, and apparently used the DB4 to tow the pre-war voiturette single-seater to race meetings.
Macclesfield-based John Nicol bought the Aston Martin in November 1965 and it remained in his family until 2006, when it was offered for sale at the Bonhams Goodwood Festival of Speed auction. By that time, it had covered only 57,000 miles from new and was noted as being a highly original, unrestored and well cared-for example. The engine – number 370/318 – had been rebuilt to ‘big valve specification’ by Headshop in Warrington less than 1000 miles before it was sold, having previously been rebuilt by Oselli in 1997.
The DB4 remained unrestored with its next custodian, who enjoyed a trip down to Monaco with it for the Historic Grand Prix. The car was then sold again in late 2012, and a pre-purchase inspection by a marque specialist noted that, while it could be used as an ‘everyday DB4’, it would soon be in need of cosmetic and mechanical attention. He noted that it ‘would make a very good car to restore as it is complete and shows no sign of poor repairs so often carried out in the past when the cars were not so valuable’.
The decision was made by the new owner to treat the Aston Martin to a complete restoration, which was carried out between 2013 and 2015. Parts were sourced from Aston Martin Dorset, while the rechroming, bodywork and respray were carried out by XK Engineering in Coventry. Mike Thomas did the trim work, and the car’s history file documents each stage of the project in painstaking detail. There is also a CD containing photographs taken during the restoration.
Presented in its original shade of Wedgewood Blue, with a blue interior, this Aston Martin DB4 is in immaculate concours-ready condition and is now being offered for sale by the Classic Motor Hub. As well as all paperwork relating to the restoration, its history file includes the original log book and build sheet, plus early servicing work carried out between 1960 and 1963, and MoT certificates dating back to 1967.
When the Aston Martin DB4 was launched in 1958, it marked the beginning of a new era for the British marque. John Wyer was dissatisfied with the styling of an initial 1956 prototype for the proposed ‘next generation’ of Aston Martin, and insisted that the company should turn to an Italian design house.
After brief overtures to Pinin Farina, a deal was done with Touring of Milan – from which Aston Martin also licensed the Superleggera method of lightweight construction, which involved using a framework of small tubes on a rigid platform chassis. Touring’s crisp, clean shape was fitted around a new 3.7-litre six-cylinder engine that had been designed by Tadek Marek. The twin-cam unit featured an aluminium block for the sole reason that Aston Martin’s favoured iron foundry had no capacity for 18 months, but one of its related companies – Birmingham Aluminium – could start straight away.
Suspension was via coil springs and wishbones at the front, with a live axle at the rear plus coil springs and lever-arm dampers. Rack-and-pinion steering was fitted in place of the steering box used on the earlier DB2 series, while Dunlop disc brakes were used all round.
When it was launched, the DB4 cost the same as two Jaguar XK 150s but offered near-140mph performance and fabulous looks. It was regularly updated throughout its production run, from the 1958 Series I to the Series V of late 1962. From 1961 onwards, there were also the options of a convertible body style and the more powerful Vantage model. In addition, there was the short-wheelbase, competition-focused DB4 GT.
Just over 1000 DB4s were built before the model was replaced by the updated DB5 at the 1963 Frankfurt Motor Show.