1961 Aston Martin DB4 Series IV Saloon Registration no. 173 JWN Chassis no. DB4/760/R Engine no. 370/631
Aston Martin DB4 chassis number 760/R was purchased by the current owners father in 1987. The previous keeper, Mrs Forbes, acquired the car in 1973 and a copy of a continuation logbook indicates that there were five previous owners. Its original built sheet indicates that this car, registered 4 DLB was first owned by one N Lonsdale, of London SW3 and later sold to Lanmere Limited, of Essex. Details of the three intermediate owners are unknown, as only a continuation log book is available, though the cars build sheet/service records indicate that it returned to the factory as late as 1968 for service work and repair, by which time it had covered 42,000 miles. The car had six owners prior to coming into the current owners family, within which it has been greatly enjoyed for the past 21 years. A quantity of old tax discs and MoTs is available dating back to 1986, when the mileage was recorded as 17,260. The current figure is approximately 33,500 miles. According to established records, 760/R is classed as a Series 3 car, but the factory build sheet (copy included) indicates that it was built to Series 4 specification; indeed, there is a small metal plate by the chassis plate stamped S4, presumably added by the factory as a reminder to the coachbuilders. As a result, the car benefits from the styling improvements made to the Series 4 model, having the revised grill, bonnet scoop and rear lights (amongst other details). When purchased, the car was in exceptional structural condition, being totally rot-free, and had never been subject to any chassis welding. However, the engine was tired and the gearbox all but unusable. Consequently the original four-speed gearbox was replaced with an excellent second-hand overdrive box, the engine being rejuvenated at the same time and an oil cooler, 15 wheels and a stainless-steel exhaust system fitted. The car then enjoyed regular use throughout the late 1980s and early 90s, and was entered by the owners family in the AMOC Curborough sprint on several occasions between 1989 and 1991. In 1991 the car won the event on handicap and received the Breck Coram trophy. A selection of invoices documents the various running repairs and work carried out during this period. The car was laid up in 1994 while other projects intervened. It was later re-commissioned and put back on the road in 2000 after refurbishment of the brakes and minor chassis repairs, the rear jacking points, door bottoms and front near-side outrigger being replaced. Other than these repairs, the chassis remains totally original and in exceptional condition - particularly for a right-hand drive UK model retaining its original sills, floors and engine bay side panels by way of example. The car was thoroughly rust-proofed after completion of the work. At the same time, the brake caliper pistons were replaced together with all pipework, and new fuel pumps fitted. After returning to the road in 2000 the car was used sparingly until 2004 when a full mechanical rebuild and cosmetic renovation were commissioned. These later works commenced by stripping the body to bare metal, fitting new aluminium outer sills and undertaking minor localised repairs to the rear valance and front near-side wing. The remainder of the bodywork was, and remains, in excellent condition. The car was re-sprayed in its original colour of pale green metallic (Californian Sage) as at some stage it had been repainted in Dubonnet Rosso. Bills are available to support this work, totalling approximately £6,500. The engine was fully stripped, the cylinder liners removed and the block thoroughly cleaned before the original liners were refitted and re-bored. The bottom end of the engine was then assembled with new oversize Venolia pistons/rings, new torsional vibration damper, new timing chains and tensioner, and new genuine Aston Martin graded bearings (standard size). A later cylinder head was acquired (with the larger valves used in the Special Series and 4.0-litre cars) and rebuilt to unleaded compatibility by Motorman Engineering. A set of triple SUs was added to bring the engine up to Special Series (Vantage) specification. It was noted at this time that the block was free from cracks and any significant corrosion. The vendor informs us the engine remains in excellent condition (having done approximately 4,000 miles since being rebuilt) with plenty of power, regulation oil pressure and negligible oil consumption. The interior has been professionally re-trimmed in Connolly leather in its original fawn colour, and the headlining replaced together with the interior and boot carpeting. All chrome work has been renovated by Derby Plating Services at a cost approaching £4,000. New chromed wire wheels (6x15 AC Cobra style), a set of new Avon 185/15 radial tyres and new windscreen have been fitted also. At the same time the front and rear suspension was stripped, cleaned, refinished and reassembled with new bushes. The brake system was comprehensively rebuilt with reconditioned caliper pistons (sleeved with stainless steel), reconditioned servo, new handbrake cables and refaced brake discs. Supertorque Transmissions fully rebuilt the rear axle, altering the final drive ratio to 3.77:1 to suit the overdrive gearbox. Assorted invoices for parts from marque specialist Aston Service Dorset and other specialist suppliers are provided evidencing further expenditure. Although thoroughly refurbished, 760/R retains much of its originality including its original and attractive colour scheme. It also benefits from desirable mechanical upgrades such as the overdrive gearbox, conversion to Special Series specification and addition of an oil cooler and Kenlowe radiator cooling fans, all of which make it a pleasure to drive. The car also benefits from a Webasto Roof, making it particularly pleasant for summer use. Offered with copy old-style logbook, current road fund licence, MoT to March 2009 and Swansea V5, this reluctantly-sold DB4 represents a rare opportunity to purchase an example that has been in long term ownership, is in restored condition and possesses a comprehensive and interesting history.