1961 Aston Martin DB4 Saloon  Chassis no. DB4/664/L Engine no. 370/669
Lot 319
Original U.S. Supply, factory left hand drive,1961 Aston Martin DB4 Series III Saloon Chassis no. DB4/664/L Engine no. 370/669
US$ 525,000 - 575,000
£320,000 - 350,000
Lot Details
Original U.S. Supply, factory left hand drive
1961 Aston Martin DB4 Series III Saloon
Chassis no. DB4/664/L
Engine no. 370/669
3,670cc DOHC aluminum inline 6-cylinder engine
Twin SU carburetors
240bhp at 5,500rpm
Four-speed manual transmission
Front A-arm coil spring suspension and rear rigid axle with coil spring suspension
Four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes

-One of 165 Series III DB4s built
-Delivered new to the U.S.
-Originally ordered by successful U.S. diplomat Henry L.T. Koren
-In largely original condition
-A rare and enjoyable left hand drive DB4

The DB4
"When the products which are raced bear such a close resemblance to those which can be bought by the public, as do those of Aston Martin, only the most biased can deny the value of racing in improving the breed. It should be no surprise (that the DB4) should be based on an engine which first appeared in experimental form in some of last year's races."
- The Autocar, 3rd October 1958

At its launch in October 1958, the DB4 marked a major turning point for Aston Martin as it was the first car of the David Brown era which neither used a chassis derived from the experimental Atom of 1939 nor an engine designed by W. O. Bentley. 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.' The 3.7-liter, six-cylinder power unit was the work of Tadek Marek, and had first been seen at Le Mans the previous year in the DBR2.

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 series had already undergone a number of improvements, including the fitting of heavy-duty bumpers after the first 50 cars, before the second series arrived in January 1960. A front-hinged bonnet, bigger brake calipers and an enlarged sump were the major changes made on the Series II, while the third series featured separate rear lights, two hood stays and a host of improvements to the interior fittings.

By definition left hand drive examples of the DB4 were rarer as sales in the home market accounted for the lion's share of those built, although precise statistics on the ratio are not documented. The total of Series III cars, left and right hand drive is known to have accounted for just 165 units total.

The Motorcar Offered

This car is a rare, original U.S. supplied DB4 from the third Series. Cars that arrived in the U.S. new were usually supplied through a main agent, which makes this car all the more unusual in that its build sheet records that it was to be 'sold direct' to first owner H.L.T. Koren, c/o Department of State in Washington D.C. Our research finds that Mr. Henry Koren was the Director of the Office of Southeast Asian Affairs at this time in the early 1960s and would continue a career with positions as Ambassador to the Republic of the Congo, Deputy Director for Coordination, Bureau of Intelligence and Research, Department of State, and as Deputy with the rank of minister to the Deputy Ambassador to Vietnam from July 1966 - February 1968. At the time of the Aston's acquisition, his role was clearly important enough to have his new sportscar arrive directly with him!

Quite how long Mr. Koren retained the car is not known at this time, it may well have been traded in or stored during any of the above postings. As new, Mr. Koren's luxury British sports car would certainly have stood out in D.C., being originally finished in the attractive and appropriate scheme of Goodwood Green and with a red Connolly interior. It was also shod with Firestone Sports tires.

The car would later migrate to Washington State, where it has been stored for approximately the last decade. Today the DB4 remains in its original livery, albeit with a replaced interior in tan Connolly hide. For the true collector of Aston Martins, this car is set off well with chrome wires. It has benefit from a full strip down and detail of the undercarriage, engine bay and trunk – the result of considerable time and expense – all of which places this Aston in very fine order cosmetically.
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