Rok 1958, targi London Motor Show, a tam – po raz pierwszy on, Aston Martin DB4. Wrażenie wywołał ogromne. Karoseria pochodziła z najwyższej półki – Carrozzeria Touring, silnik – niezwykła aluminiowa szóstka z podwójnym wałkiem rozrządu – to dzieło polskiego konstruktora, Tadeusza Marka (szkoda tylko, że oficjalny katalog RM Auctions z niewiadomych przyczyn uczynił go Czechem). Świeżo i pięknie odrestaurowany egzemplarz został sprzedany za 448000 euro (+ prowizja).
4 February 2015
1961 Aston Martin DB4
To be auctioned on Wednesday, February 4, 2015
Sold for €448.000
€380.000 – €440.000
Chassis no. DB4/398/L
Engine no. 370/427
240 bhp, 3,670 cc DOHC alloy inline six-cylinder engine with two HD/8 carburettors, four-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with upper and lower control arms and coil springs, live rear axle with Watt linkage, trailing arms, and coil springs, and four-wheel disc brakes. Wheelbase: 2,489 mm
Factory left-hand-drive car; matching-numbers example
Originally owned by American sportswoman Willametta Keck Day
Freshly restored in authentic factory colours
Accompanied by its original jack and workshop manual
It is easy to forget just how large a statement the Aston Martin DB4 made upon its introduction at the 1958 London Motor Show. In many ways, it was the car that told the world that the British motor industry was back, as this small British manufacturer was able to produce a wholly new, wholly modern grand tourer. Its rigid box-frame chassis, developed under Harold Beach, featured a coil-over A-arm front suspension with an anti-sway bar, as well as a live rear axle with trailing arms, proper Watts linkage, and, of course, coil springs. The coachwork was styled in Italy by Carrozzeria Touring, which used their patented Superleggera process to create a skeleton of small-diameter steel tubing to support the body panels that were made of light alloy. Yet, its sleek fastback lines were hammered out by Aston’s own highly skilled panel-beaters in Newport Pagnell.
At the heart of it all was the new DB4 engine, a rugged alloy, six-cylinder, twin-cam unit that was designed by a recently hired master engineer, Czech-born Tadek Marek. Marek’s name would become a legend to Aston enthusiasts, and this, his original creation for the company, would power a decade of DBs. The lightweight, alloy-cased, four-speed synchromesh gearbox was also an in-house design, one that was built by David Brown’s gear and machine tool division. Four-wheel disc brakes provided immediate stopping power, and they were considered innovative technology on production GTs of the day.
The original DB4 Astons were effortlessly modern and breezily international, and they hit the sweet spot between Crown and Continent. In its 3 October 1958 issue, Autocar explained, “When the products which are raced bear such a close resemblance to those which can be bought by the public, only the most biased can deny the value of racing in improving the breed. It is no surprise that the DB4 is based on an engine which first appeared in the DBR2 in some of last year’s races”.
CHASSIS NUMBER DB4/398/L
The DB4 offered here is documented by its Aston Martin Dorset build sheet as having been originally finished in Peony, with trimming in black Connolly leather upholstery, fully chromed road wheels, whitewall tyres, and one wing mirror on the driver’s side, as well as a Motorola radio. It was originally delivered to Willametta Keck Day, an heirless to the vast Superior Oil Company fortune which had been established by her father, as well as a well-known California sportswoman of her day, whose stable the Aston shared with a racing Ferrari. Amusingly, the Dorset paperwork recounts that the fastidious Ms Day returned the car to her dealer several times shortly after purchasing it, having flaws to the paintwork repaired and “stiffness” in one door rectified.
The car was sold in 1980 to a gentleman who, after only three years of ownership, permanently parked it in his garage. It was acquired after 30 years in the garage by its present European owner, and in his ownership, it has been carefully restored to the highest of standards. The paint was carefully stripped (with water) in Italy, and the original aluminium bodywork was cut off the frame and repaired with new metal where necessary, to eliminate corrosion along the lower panels. Under the bonnet the original engine can be found.
New colours were chosen from original factory materials, including the Light Metallic Green (1338) finish and White Gold (VM 3323) upholstery. The wheels were replaced with new ones, but the original chrome rims that were specified by Ms Day will be supplied with the car.
This freshly completed DB4 combines the desirable left-hand-drive layout with its original engine, exciting colours, and fascinating ownership, making it certainly one of the most outstanding examples available today.