1962 Aston Martin DB4 Series 4 'Special Series' Engine,
Lot 319
1962 Aston Martin DB4 Series IV Vantage 4.2-Litre Sports Saloon Chassis no. DB4/940/R Engine no. 370/985/SS
Sold for £188,500 (US$ 230,271) inc. premium

Simon Clay

Lot Details
1962 Aston Martin DB4 Series 4 'Special Series' Engine, 1962 Aston Martin DB4 Series 4 'Special Series' Engine, 1962 Aston Martin DB4 Series 4 'Special Series' Engine, 1962 Aston Martin DB4 Series 4 'Special Series' Engine, 1962 Aston Martin DB4 Series 4 'Special Series' Engine, 1962 Aston Martin DB4 Series 4 'Special Series' Engine, 1962 Aston Martin DB4 Series 4 'Special Series' Engine, 1962 Aston Martin DB4 Series 4 'Special Series' Engine, 1962 Aston Martin DB4 Series 4 'Special Series' Engine, 1962 Aston Martin DB4 Series 4 'Special Series' Engine,
1962 Aston Martin DB4 Series IV Vantage 4.2-Litre Sports Saloon
Registration no. 6292 KC
Chassis no. DB4/940/R
Engine no. 370/985/SS


  • 'The best all round car, however, is probably the Series IV Vantage with the Special Series engine before the car put on weight to become the Series V.' – Robert Edwards, 'Aston Martin – Ever The Thoroughbred'.
    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. 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.
    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. One of the most notable developments arrived with the introduction of the 'Series IV' 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.
    Chassis number 'DB4/940/R' was fitted from new with the 'SS' engine but unlike most DB4 Vantages, which featured the DB4GT's cowled headlamps (standardised on the DB5) it retains the model's original front end. Registered '6292 KC', the car was sold new to Mr George Hooton of Chesterfield through agents J Blake on 13th April 1962, subsequent owners being a Mr J Prow and Mr A Ramsay. Service work carried out at the factory is listed up until March 1966. According to the AMOC Register, '940/R' came second at the Knebworth Concours (Stone) in both 1976 and 1978.
    The current owner bought the car in 2001 through the AMOC monthly magazine. The previous owner had carried out major works upon purchasing the car in 1995 but had largely not used it since then. Some work was necessary at time of acquisition in 2001, which is listed in the accompanying documentation. Since then the owner has maintained the car fastidiously, embarking on a programme of sympathetic upgrading and improvement. Most recent major works include completely overhauling the engine, enlarging it to 4.2 litres capacity and converting the cylinder head to unleaded compatibility. The gearbox and overdrive were completely overhauled at the same time. Other noteworthy improvements include alternator electrics and a new aluminium high-flow radiator with integral thermostatic electric fan.
    While the engine and gearbox were out the entire engine bay was restored and painted (see accompanying photographs). The front and rear suspension, including shock absorbers, has been replaced and an up-rated anti-roll bar installed, all the foregoing work being undertaken by marque specialist Alan Smith. New stainless steel wire wheels were fitted in 2005 and in 2007 a new exhaust was installed together with replacement exhaust manifold.
    In the last ten years the current owner has enjoyed driving the Aston to numerous events including the Goodwood Revival and Le Mans 24-hour Race, as well as trips within the UK and abroad. The car comes complete with jack, operator's manual (including 'Special Series' engine supplement) and heritage tool roll. Also included are copies of the original build sheet, a news sheet detailing the launch of the DB4 Vantage and period Autocar road tests, all courtesy of Aston Service Dorset.
    Described by the private vendor as in generally excellent condition, this much-improved DB4 is offered with invoices relating to the aforementioned work, a quantity of MoT certificates dating back to 2001, Swansea V5 registration document and current MoT/tax.
Auction information

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A successful bidder at this sale will be required to pay Bonhams 1793 Limited ("Bonhams") a premium calculated as follows:

25% on the first £50,000 of the Hammer Price
20% from £50,001 to £1,000,000 the Hammer Price
12% from £1,000,001 of the Hammer Price

VAT at 20% will be payable on the amount of the premium.

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  1. Tim Schofield
    Specialist - Motor Cars
    101 New Bond Street
    London, United Kingdom W1S 1SR
    Work +44 20 7468 5804
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