This beautifully presented, Jubilee Silver liveried, Aston Martin DB4GT is a very well known car within Aston Martin Owners Club circles and over many years has been raced regularly in all manner of competitive Historic and Vintage events in both the UK and Europe. Its present owner acquired the car from well-known Aston Martin dealer Nicholas Mee in 1995 and as an experienced Historic racing and rally competitor and confirmed Aston Martin aficionado he has since had the car maintained to the highest possible standards, completely regardless of cost, and has campaigned it very widely. During this period it has featured prominently several times here in the Goodwood Revival Meetings feature TT Celebration race, and in the Silverstone Historic Festival, Brands Hatch, Donington Park, Tour Auto, Nurburging and Historic Le Mans and in many other events of similar stature and prestige.
The car has been maintained, prepared and run day-to-day since 1995 by Ian Mason, while engineering work has been entrusted to R.S. Williams both highly-respected Aston Martin marque specialists. It was converted to FIA race car specification when first acquired by its present vendor in 1995 and is offered here in competitive circuit-racing trim, accompanied of course by full FIA Historic Vehicle Identity documentation.
The present owner has enabled many outstanding celebrity drivers to compete in recent Historic events behind the wheel of this wonderfully attractive DB4GT, the list of those who have competed in it including none other than those two revered racing Knights, Sir Stirling Moss and Sir Jack Brabham former Formula 1 driver and Le Mans winner Bertrand Gachot, and that great motor sporting enthusiast, Dire Straits rock guitarist Mark Knopfler. With Gachot driving, the Aston team shared 4th overall and won the Coup de Automobile Club France in 2002.
It was Stirling Moss, in fact, who gave the Aston Martin DB4GT works prototype DP199/1 car its public debut and first race win accompanied by a new lap record at Silverstone in 1959, and this new high-performance version of the established DB4 model was then launched at that years London Motor Show. The DB4GT was in fact a very different motor car from the standard production DB4 Coupe. Both wheelbase and body were shortened some 5-inches for this GT model, while Girling rather than Dunlop disc brakes were fitted as standard. The two-seater bodywork which was designed by the legendary Carrozzeria Touring of Milan establishment on their Superleggera super-lightweight principle was generally similar in style to that of the longer DB4, and was fashioned in 18-gauge magnesium-aluminium alloy panelling. This GT is also credited as having been the first model in the Aston Martin range to feature sloping headlight cowls.
Power was provided by the familiar 3,670cc 6-cylinder twin-overhead camshaft engine equipped with twin-plug per cylinder ignition. Its quoted power output peaked at a neck-bending 302bhp (331bhp SAE) at 6,000rpm. At the 1960 London Motor Show the subsequent Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato competition coupe was launched, using this same chassis and mechanical assembly, with slightly increased claimed power output rising just 13bhp.
When the standard Aston Martin DB4GT was road tested by the specialist press in the early 1960s, acceleration 0-60mph was reported to occupy little more than a starting 6 seconds, , 0-100mph was achieved in just over 14 seconds , the same amount of time it took to complete the standing-start quarter-mile, and a standard car was independently confirmed to achieve the still-prodigious maximum speed of 153mph. It was also the first car to achieve 0-100-0mph in less than 20 seconds.
In the UK market the DB4GT with Touring Superleggera bodywork was priced at £4,534 including tax upon its initial launch in 1959, rising to £4,676 by October 1962. David Brown owner of Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd was always adamant that these prices far undercut the actual cost price of such cars, lovingly hand-built with such peerless attention to quality and fine detail.
The extensive documentation file accompanying this competition-prepared DB4GT today includes paid bills and receipts for work carried out upon the car since 1995, and includes confirmation of a £26,000 rebuild upon its engine which was completed by R.S. Williams as recently as February this year.
The car is offered here in what is described by its highly experienced owner to be "ready-to-race" condition having zero race miles since the rebuild, and a considerable number of spares are also included with this Lot including many original components which were acquired with 0127/R offered here and which would enable it to be returned to road-going specification should such a re-conversion be preferred by a new owner.
Aston Martin DB4GTs of such high quality and in such painstakingly well-maintained condition very rarely come to auction, and we at Bonhams are delighted to be able to offer such an appealing and desirable veteran of recent Goodwood Revival race meetings here at this most appropriate Sale.