<b>1960 Aston Martin DB4 Series II Sports Saloon</b><br />  Chassis no. DB4/305/R<br /> Engine no. 370/339

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Lot 43
1960 Aston Martin DB4 Series II Sports Saloon
Coachwork by Touring

Sold

Quail Motorcar Auction

14 Aug 2020, 11:00 PDT

Los Angeles

1960 Aston Martin DB4 SERIES II SPORTS SALOON
Coachwork by Touring

Chassis no. DB4/305/R
Engine no. 370/339

4.2-Liter DOHC Inline 6-Cylinder Engine
Triple SU Carburetors
287bhp at 5,500rpm
5-Speed Manual Transmission
Front Independent Suspension - Live Rear Axle
4-Wheel Disk Brakes

*Upgraded to Vantage-specifications
*Retains the original, matching numbers engine
*Thorough mechanical restoration by Kevin Kay
*Successfully completed many prominent road rallies


To view a YouTube walkaround of this lot please click here

Previewing at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, California by appointment. Please contact [email protected] for scheduling.


THE ASTON MARTIN 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

Classically proportioned and instantly recognizable from the moment of its introduction, the Touring-styled Aston Martin DB4 established a look that would survive, with only minor revisions, until 1970. 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 at Lagonda under the auspices of 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.'

First seen at Le Mans the previous year in the DBR2, the 3.7-litre, six-cylinder, double-overhead camshaft engine was the work of Tadek Marek, formerly with Austin, 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. The first 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. The fourth series was readily distinguishable by its new grille (with seven vertical bars), shallower bonnet intake, and recessed rear lights, while the final (fifth) series manufactured between September 1962 and June 1963 was built on a 3.5" longer wheelbase (allowing for increased leg room and a larger trunk) and gained 15" wheels, an electric radiator fan and the DB4GT-type instrument panel.

One of the most notable developments had 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 carburetors.


THE MOTORCAR OFFERED

According to a copy of the original factory build record on file, DB4 chassis number DB4/305/R was delivered new to the UK market in early-1960, finished in Peony Red. By the 1970s, the Aston Martin had found its way to California, where it resided in the mild climates of Beverly Hills and Palm Springs, where at some point during the 1980s it was repainted a Dark Blue Metallic color. A previous owner purchased the Series II DB4 in 1980, and the car would remain in his ownership for 20 years, while treated to diligent mechanical and cosmetic refurbishments and upkeep.

The most recent owner purchased the Aston Martin DB4 in Southern California in 2007, and soon after exported it to his native Australia. The Series II DB4 would soon after be enjoyed on the open roads, and was reported to run "soft, loud and satisfying". Seeking to bring the Aston Martin back to its best cosmetic and mechanical condition while not erasing the originality and patina, he commissioned a sympathetic restoration by the noted Hills & Company restoration shop in Taree, New South Wales. Carried out during 2010 and 2011, the specialist work included a repaint of the original Touring Superleggera bodywork in the appropriate Silver Birch Aston Martin color. The full strip to bare metal revealed only light age and electrolysis to the aluminum bodywork, as would be expected from a car which lived much of its life in the hands of enthusiasts in the mild Southern California climate. The interior was carefully removed, evaluated, and only replaced in areas where needed, while delicate sound insulation material was fitted underneath. Mechanical work performed at work at Hills & Company included attention to the original matching-numbers engine and driveline, while - to ensure reliability - appropiate upgrades were done to the electrical system, including a negative ground conversion, and fitment of a more reliable alternator and starter motor.

The Silver Birch Aston Martin would later migrate back to Southern California, where it was sold to the consignor in 2013, a long-time devoted collector and connoisseur of exceptional European sports cars. The car has since formed part of his impressive collection, while receiving devoted service and maintenance. Soon after acquiring the rare Series II DB4, the consignor entrusted the car to noted Aston Martin specialist Kevin Kay of Redding, California, who would treat the car to a thorough mechanical refurbishment. The work included installing a 5-speed transmission (a common and desirable upgrade which is carried out without chassis modifications), upgrade of the original engine to Vantage specifications and suspension upgrade with Steel Wings products, while fuel and electrical systems received refurbishments as well. Additionally, the engine was fitted with forged pistons and 9mm liners by British Motors of Orange, California. The car has subsequently been toured on prominent North American Classic Car Rallies, including the Going to the Sun Rally in Montana, and the Copperstate 1000 Rally in Arizona.

Today this spectacular 1960 Aston Martin DB4 Series II Sports Saloon presents beautifully throughout, and as importantly is a tried and tested strong performer. The car has a genuine feel and appears to never have been neglected or fully 'ripped-apart' for restoration. The chassis and body plates are original, and the original, matching-numbers engine remains in the car. The car is offered with a comprehensive history file containing an abundance of refurbishment, maintenance and service receipts, and the aforementioned copy of the factory build sheet. The DB4 Series II remains one of the most desirable iterations of the celebrated Aston Martin model, featuring the 'cathedral style' taillights, tall bonnet scoop and original front grill design, and this stunning example offers the next owner a proven performer, which would make its mark on both the concours field or open road.

Footnotes

  • Please note, the title will be in transit.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note, the title will be in transit.
Contacts
<b>1960 Aston Martin DB4 Series II Sports Saloon</b><br />  Chassis no. DB4/305/R<br /> Engine no. 370/339
<b>1960 Aston Martin DB4 Series II Sports Saloon</b><br />  Chassis no. DB4/305/R<br /> Engine no. 370/339
<b>1960 Aston Martin DB4 Series II Sports Saloon</b><br />  Chassis no. DB4/305/R<br /> Engine no. 370/339
<b>1960 Aston Martin DB4 Series II Sports Saloon</b><br />  Chassis no. DB4/305/R<br /> Engine no. 370/339
<b>1960 Aston Martin DB4 Series II Sports Saloon</b><br />  Chassis no. DB4/305/R<br /> Engine no. 370/339
<b>1960 Aston Martin DB4 Series II Sports Saloon</b><br />  Chassis no. DB4/305/R<br /> Engine no. 370/339
<b>1960 Aston Martin DB4 Series II Sports Saloon</b><br />  Chassis no. DB4/305/R<br /> Engine no. 370/339
<b>1960 Aston Martin DB4 Series II Sports Saloon</b><br />  Chassis no. DB4/305/R<br /> Engine no. 370/339
<b>1960 Aston Martin DB4 Series II Sports Saloon</b><br />  Chassis no. DB4/305/R<br /> Engine no. 370/339
<b>1960 Aston Martin DB4 Series II Sports Saloon</b><br />  Chassis no. DB4/305/R<br /> Engine no. 370/339
<b>1960 Aston Martin DB4 Series II Sports Saloon</b><br />  Chassis no. DB4/305/R<br /> Engine no. 370/339
<b>1960 Aston Martin DB4 Series II Sports Saloon</b><br />  Chassis no. DB4/305/R<br /> Engine no. 370/339
<b>1960 Aston Martin DB4 Series II Sports Saloon</b><br />  Chassis no. DB4/305/R<br /> Engine no. 370/339
<b>1960 Aston Martin DB4 Series II Sports Saloon</b><br />  Chassis no. DB4/305/R<br /> Engine no. 370/339
<b>1960 Aston Martin DB4 Series II Sports Saloon</b><br />  Chassis no. DB4/305/R<br /> Engine no. 370/339
<b>1960 Aston Martin DB4 Series II Sports Saloon</b><br />  Chassis no. DB4/305/R<br /> Engine no. 370/339
<b>1960 Aston Martin DB4 Series II Sports Saloon</b><br />  Chassis no. DB4/305/R<br /> Engine no. 370/339
<b>1960 Aston Martin DB4 Series II Sports Saloon</b><br />  Chassis no. DB4/305/R<br /> Engine no. 370/339
<b>1960 Aston Martin DB4 Series II Sports Saloon</b><br />  Chassis no. DB4/305/R<br /> Engine no. 370/339
<b>1960 Aston Martin DB4 Series II Sports Saloon</b><br />  Chassis no. DB4/305/R<br /> Engine no. 370/339
<b>1960 Aston Martin DB4 Series II Sports Saloon</b><br />  Chassis no. DB4/305/R<br /> Engine no. 370/339
<b>1960 Aston Martin DB4 Series II Sports Saloon</b><br />  Chassis no. DB4/305/R<br /> Engine no. 370/339
<b>1960 Aston Martin DB4 Series II Sports Saloon</b><br />  Chassis no. DB4/305/R<br /> Engine no. 370/339
<b>1960 Aston Martin DB4 Series II Sports Saloon</b><br />  Chassis no. DB4/305/R<br /> Engine no. 370/339
<b>1960 Aston Martin DB4 Series II Sports Saloon</b><br />  Chassis no. DB4/305/R<br /> Engine no. 370/339
<b>1960 Aston Martin DB4 Series II Sports Saloon</b><br />  Chassis no. DB4/305/R<br /> Engine no. 370/339
<b>1960 Aston Martin DB4 Series II Sports Saloon</b><br />  Chassis no. DB4/305/R<br /> Engine no. 370/339
<b>1960 Aston Martin DB4 Series II Sports Saloon</b><br />  Chassis no. DB4/305/R<br /> Engine no. 370/339
<b>1960 Aston Martin DB4 Series II Sports Saloon</b><br />  Chassis no. DB4/305/R<br /> Engine no. 370/339
<b>1960 Aston Martin DB4 Series II Sports Saloon</b><br />  Chassis no. DB4/305/R<br /> Engine no. 370/339
<b>1960 Aston Martin DB4 Series II Sports Saloon</b><br />  Chassis no. DB4/305/R<br /> Engine no. 370/339
<b>1960 Aston Martin DB4 Series II Sports Saloon</b><br />  Chassis no. DB4/305/R<br /> Engine no. 370/339
<b>1960 Aston Martin DB4 Series II Sports Saloon</b><br />  Chassis no. DB4/305/R<br /> Engine no. 370/339
<b>1960 Aston Martin DB4 Series II Sports Saloon</b><br />  Chassis no. DB4/305/R<br /> Engine no. 370/339
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