Fitted with the special series Vantage engine with 9.01 compression ratio, larger valves and triple SU HDs carburettors providing 266 BHP, 26 more BHP than the standard engine. mated with the 4 speed with overdrive manual gearbox.
Other noteworthy features included chrome wheels, a Motorola radio, has had extensive restoration and was 1 of only 70 built.
This Aston was also displayed on the Aston Martin stand at the 1962 Earls Court motor show. A well known car amassing an impressive concours record within the AMOC events and is pictured in three books: ‘1001 Images of Cars’ (Tiger Books), ‘Aston Martin -The Complete Car’ (Palawan) and ‘Aston Martin Heritage’ (Nixon & Newton).
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 announced.
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 2, 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 built on a 3½” longer wheelbase (allowing for increased leg room and a larger boot) and gained 15″ wheels, an electric radiator fan and the DB4GT-type instrument panel.
One of the most notable developments had arrived with the introduction of the ‘Series 4’ in September 1961, when a ‘Special Series’ (SS) or ‘Vantage’ engine became available as an option. The ‘SS’ incorporated a 9.0:1 compression ratio, larger valves and triple SU HD8 carburettors, producing 266bhp at 5,750rpm, a gain of 26 horsepower over the standard unit.
Coincidentally with the Series 4’s introduction, the DB4 became available in convertible form. Unveiled at the 1961 Motor Show and priced at £4,449, it was £250 more expensive than the coupé. Passenger space was little changed, though there was more headroom than the coupé could offer. 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.