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1961 ASTON MARTIN DB4 - £430,000

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Background:; When the single pale primrose DB4 was launched at the Paris Salon in October 1958, Marcel Blondeau, the French distributor for Aston Martin approached John Wyer on the stand with tears in his eyes 'This is not a car, it is a folly, but I can sell as many as you can supply.'; With a top speed of 140 mph, it was one of the fastest four seaters in the world and was on a par with the best of Italian Grand Turismos. Not wholly surprising, given the decision to have this distillation of years of Feltham ideas designed by Touring of Milan using their 'Superleggera' system. The body consisted entirely of aluminium mounted on a trellis of small diameter steel tubes welded together. Body panels were attached to the trellis and clinched around angle plates which were welded to the members with graphite pads. Items like windscreen, rear window frames an angle sections for the door hinges were attached directly to the frame. The design delivered slim proportions and outstanding all-round visibility. With the body mounted on a platform chassis, the seats could be set low without resorting to deep sills. The doors, which undercut the windscreen, were wide with frameless windows - no quarter lights - and the rear windows opened hingeing on their forward edges. Easier access to the rear with its new full width rear seat, past hinged and adjustable front seats from Reutter. The wide parcel shelf concealed the presence of a 19 gallon petrol tank while at the back of the car, the boot lid opened to floor level. The battery, with its own master switch was behind a panel in the right hand wing and the spare wheel was in a separate contained under the boot floor. Power came from the all new Tadek Marek twin overhead cam aluminium engine that weighed in 22Kg less than its predecessor. The twin cam shafts operated the valves directly through inverted steel tappets while those valves were splayed at an 80 degree angle - the seats all had inserts and the exhaust guides were all in direct contact with cooling water. The block followed the contour of the liners which combined to save weight and strengthen the structure. The crankshaft was a nitirided steel forging which ran in seven bronze bearings - the connecting rods were polished and weight graded while the pistons each had two compression rings, the top one being chrome faced. Driving through a four speed, all synchromesh gearbox and a 10 inch single, dry plate Borg and Beck clutch - the engine was quoted as developing 240 bhp, although this was, in truth, probably nearer 208 bhp. Marek had, at John Wyer's suggestion, researched horsepower claims on American engines and had found a mean discrepancy of 32 per cent - John Wyer's reaction was 'We can't lie that much, we can only lie 15 per cent'. Ride and handling came courtesy of Harold Beach designed coil and wishbone front suspension and a rear set up of trailing arm and coil spring incorporating a Watts linkage. The brakes were all wound discs from Dunlop with a Lockheed servo fitted. Wire wheels with Dunlop centre locks and 16 inch Avon Turbospeed tyres as standard fitment. At launch, Aston Martin only had two pre-production models and with one used to promote the new car, they were reluctant to entrust the other, untried and untested model to the motoring press so definitive road tests were not available, just the enthusiastic hyperbole of John Wyer. His claim, made before launch, that the car could go from a standing start to 100 mph and back to standstill in 30 seconds was faithfully reproduced in advertising material. It was on October 2nd, the day of the car's launch in Paris that tests at MIRA proved him correct with mean times set of the feat at 27.2 seconds. The Series IV was introduced in September 1961 - a lower bonnet scoop was introduced as well as a new grille with 7 vertical bars and internally, the ashtray was moved from the top of the dash to the gearbox cover. The GT instrument panel with separate gauges was fitted to most cars . Summary:; The Touring Superleggera designed Aston Martins are still considered by many to be Newport Pagnell's finest and, as the first example, the Aston Martin DB4 is considered by many to be the purest form of this automotive classic. DB4/818/L is a superlative example - with a clear and recorded ownership history, the car has been cherished by successive owners. Not least the current owner who has had the car lovingly restored to originality and to the very highest standards. This left hand drive Series IV is rare, highly sought after and, most importantly, in original specification. Roos have ensured that the drive is superb and, even on country roads, there is barely a rattle. It is a car for the collector, the purist and someone who enjoys Superleggera as it was designed. Vehicle History; A copy of the original build sheet for the car notes the car's delivery to the original keeper, M. Spyridion Metaxas of Avenue Foch in Paris on 29th November 1961. The same sheet notes early service work on the gearbox and replacement of the clutch and hydraulics. The car then found its way to Switzerland where it had two registered keepers - the first was a Mr Kurt Mittner, the second a Mr Alec Wittmer who was a long term owner keeping the car from 1972 to 2000. While under his stewardship, the car went to Varese in Italy where, between 1979 and 1984, a full restoration was carried out by Officina Scapini & Brutto-Meso, a licensed Ferrari dealership. In December 2000, the car was taken to the US by Belgian dealer M. Ooms of Overpelt and sold through RM Auctions to Autosport Designs who in turn sold it to its fourth private owner, Ms Eaton of Greenwich, Connecticut. The current owner, only the fifth in the car's lifetime, acquired the car in Boston Massachusetts from the Secretary of the East Coast USA AMOC and brought the car back to France in 2003. Sharing a garage with other classics, the car has enjoyed outings for pleasure and on classic rallies. Then in 2014, the owner commissioned Swiss Aston Martin specialist and Heritage dealer, Roos Engineering, to undertake a year long restoration to close to its original condition. The interior remains as completely original, while the chassis and body were thoroughly refurbished and the engine rebuilt. Roos provided a comprehensive photographic record of the restoration together with a detailed invoice for the engine rebuild. However, the owner has reached a point in life where he feels that it is time to take a more leisurely approach and has asked Byron International to offer this wonderful car to the market. Prior to delivering the car to our storage facility previously, the owner elected to enjoy one last 'fling' in his restored car and participated in a Classic Car Rally in the Dolomites. After the event, it was returned to Roos Engineering for a complete check over and, 1000km engine check. The details of that work has been provided together with the Roos invoice demonstrating the willingness of the owner to invest in the best right up to the point of sale. But the vagaries of the market persuaded the owner that Astons are there to be enjoyed and most recently the owner has been back on the road enjoying his DB4 but brought the car back to the UK to test the market at a revised and lower price. Whilst he still seeks a buyer, he still wants to improve the car and, if the summer comes round without a new owner, he will be back on the road so he commissioned Vantage Engineering to undertake some important improvements to the car - he felt that the longer drives needed to be more comfortable and asked them to overhaul the gearbox and differential. On the latter that meant a new crown wheel & pinion and revised final drive ratio. At the same time, they counselled that such a lovely car would benefit from some work on the under bonnet area and the photos give some idea of the detail that has been applied. All designed for his pleasure but a hell of a benefit to a purchaser - 20,000 + of improvements and a realistic price. They have made a very good car, a great one!

  • 77098 Miles
  • Transmission 69197354786223e29b85070a0695cc247a4c2b215c743673c2d02e864b4cd687 Manual
  • Steering ca68a9643bbb915d30839040f432af59e679db8cf98e23a4378cbef2ed805059 RHD
  • RefCode: TA1183123

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