1961 Aston Martin DB4 Series II Sport Saloon Registration no. Not UK Registered Chassis no. DB4/527/R Engine no. 370/538
This DB4 is a right-hand drive example incorporating the advances introduced on the Series 2 version (chassis numbers 'DB4/251-600' inclusive) in January 1960. These included a front-hinged bonnet, radiator blind, bigger front brake calipers and an enlarged sump.
James Forshaw of Aston Service Dorset has kindly provided a copy of the original build sheet for DB4/527/R, which confirms that it was originally built as it is today and had matched engine number 370/528. Aston Martin issued its guarantee on January 1, 1961 and it was sold through agents Century Motors, to W.J.F. Tillyard of Manchester Street, London, finished in Peony Dark Red livery and with a black Connolly leather interior.
Mr. Tillyard had his Aston Martin registered with a 'personal' license plate 'T 999' a number that dated from the very early 1900s, so may well have passed down within his family and graced other generations of sports cars in his family, or perhaps was purchased to grace this car, either way it would certainly have been distinctive in the 'Swinging Sixties' in London! Servicing was carried out by the works through to 1963, by which time its mileage had risen to 22,520, and a change of ownership is recorded on the factory sheet to E.E. Lazarus of London EC1, but this is not dated. From the 1992 Aston Martin Owner's Club Register, a later owner was A.E. Saunders to 1984, Mr. Tillyard clearing retaining his plate as it was then registered 'XNJ 998'.
We understand that shortly after this the car left the UK for Japan, where it would remain for the next 2 decades and was for some time owned by an Aston Martin mechanic there. During its Japanese tenure, the car was restored cosmetically, as it was already restored when it arrived in America in the mid-2000s. The car was purchased by the current owner at a Bonhams US auction in August 2006 and has remained in the US until recent repatriation this year.
Cosmetically, 'DB4/527/R' makes a strong impression. It is finished in a non-original but extremely attractive metallic grey that suits it admirably and is complemented by a black leather interior. The interior presents itself very nicely: dashboard, gauges and steering wheel are excellent, while the carpets have been renewed in grey wool and are exceptional. The leather upholstery is generally clean, though it was noted that at some point the interior seems to have been lightly customized with sewn in panels on the headrests, which have now been removed, leaving light blemishes. The headliner and rear parcel shelf have been re-covered in a suede-like material. Structurally, the car appears sound, but it was noted that there is some corrosion evident beneath the car, which may require attention in due course. It is reported to be in good mechanical condition, driving well with regulation oil pressure, good gearbox and brakes, and no smoke.
A benchmark example of the model, it is in pleasing cosmetic order, but not too nice to use regularly. Please note, the car will be subject to import tax of 5% if remaining in the EU.