Left-hand drive,1959 Aston Martin DB4 Sports Saloon  Chassis no. DB4/144/L Engine no. 370/150
Lot 326
Left-hand drive,1959 Aston Martin DB4 Sports Saloon Chassis no. DB4/144/L Engine no. 370/150
Sold for £254,500 (US$ 435,704) inc. premium
Lot Details
Left-hand drive
1959 Aston Martin DB4 Sports Saloon
Registration no. 129 XUK
Chassis no. DB4/144/L
Engine no. 370/150

Footnotes

  • '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-litre, six-cylinder power unit was the work of Tadek Marek and had first been seen at Le Mans the previous year in the works DBR2 sports-racer.
    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 bonnet stays and a host of improvements to the interior fittings. Manufactured between September 1961 and October 1962, the fourth series was readily distinguishable by its shallower bonnet intake, recessed rear lights and new grille with seven vertical bars. The final, fifth, series was built on a 3.5" longer wheelbase (allowing for increased legroom and a larger boot) and gained 15" wheels, an electric radiator fan and the DB4GT-type instrument panel.
    Left-hand drive chassis number '144/L' is the 44th DB4 made and has the rear hinged bonnet that characterises these very early cars. Its accompanying copy chassis card states that the original purchaser was Huntingdon Hartford of Lexington Avenue, New York City, USA and lists fully chromed road wheels and a Motorola double transistor radio as items of non-standard equipment. The car was delivered finished in Desert White with black Connolly hide interior trim.
    The AMOC Register lists the DB4 as being with an owner in the USA in 1998, and since coming to the UK the car has been repainted and the engine rebuilt, both by Goodwood Green. Early in 2008 the Aston was purchased by the current vendor with a view to Works Service carrying out a complete 'ground upwards' restoration (see detailed estimate of costs on file). Kept in storage at AMWS ever since, it is offered for sale following a change of plan. '144/L' remains in generally good, presentable condition and although some refurbishment would be beneficial it is understood this need not entail a full restoration. It is hoped that the vehicle will be freshly MoT'd by time of sale.
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