The ex-Rt Hon Viscount Downe 1962 Aston Martin DB4 'Series 3' Sports Saloon Registration no. 641 HAJ Chassis no. DB4/913/R Engine no. 400/1269
Chassis number '913/R' was ordered by the Hon John Dawnay, later Viscount Downe, and kept by him for the first 11 years of its life. His address is given on the order form as Redcliffe Square, London SW10 and in the accompanying original logbook as Wyreham Abbey, Scarborough, the Dawnays' peerage having been created in the North Riding of Yorkshire. Clearly not a man to stint on his car's specification, Dawnay ordered the DB4 with the Special Series (Vantage) engine and Thornton Powr Lok limited-slip differential, while other non-standard features listed on the (copy) order form include overdrive, heated rear screen, rear loudspeaker, Bray block heater, DB4GT instrument panel and map pockets to the front seat backs. The colour scheme is listed a 'sand and black' with red Connolly leather trim. Dawnay supplied his own air horns.
The Service Work sheet makes for equally interesting reading, revealing that as well as the horns, the car was fitted with wing mirrors and pairs of Bosch spot and fog lamps. Safety belts were installed later. Numerous visits to the factory for servicing and minor adjustments are listed, and in its first seven months the DB4 covered some 12,000 miles. From the accessories chosen: air horns, additional lighting and safety belts, it is reasonable to assume that many of them would have been covered at high speed.
In November 1973 the Aston passed to its second owner and family friend, Richard Barton of Randolph Crescent, London SW9. The original registration number 'VN 4' was retained and the car reregistered as '641 HAJ'. At around the same time the original 3.7-litre engine was replaced by the 4.0-litre unit from a DB5, which remains in the car today. These changes are recorded and stamped in the logbook and it should be noted that the chassis plate has been re-stamped with the replacement engine's number. There are bills on file issued by R S Williams relating to Mr Barton's period of ownership (1973-1983) and it is possible that the Aston then went overseas as there is evidence of it being inspected in 1989 to retain the registration number. The next recorded owner (from May 1989) is Mark Bennett of Mobberley, Cheshire. At the time of his acquisition the recorded mileage was circa 70,000.
The current owner acquired the car from Mark Bennett in February 1991 and initially had it routinely serviced by the Stratton Motor Company (see bills for the period 1991-1995 on file). Aston Martin Works Service then looked after the DB4 for the next few years, as evidenced by invoices of file for various works including paintwork refurbishment and converting the cylinder head to unleaded compatibility. More recently, the car has been routinely maintained by independent specialist David Wall of Hoveton, Norwich (bills available).
Since acquisition by the vendor, '641 HAJ' has taken part in various events including the Norwich Union Classic (twice), MSA Euro Classic (three times) and Les Trois Epis rally and hill climb (in 2010), finishing them all. Some 2,000 miles have been covered in the last three years and the current odometer reading is circa 85,000.
'641 HAJ' is finished in beige and still retains its original specification red leather interior while other noteworthy features include electronic ignition, electric windows, a Brantz rally timer and an electrical isolator switch (in boot). Described as in generally good condition, this comprehensively documented and well maintained DB4 is offered with the aforementioned history and service records, current road fund licence, MoT to March 2014 and Swansea V5 document.
This car is a 'Series 4' DB4 not a 'Series 3' DB4 as catalogued.