1959 Aston Martin DB4 Series I Sports Saloon  Chassis no. DB4/148/R Engine no. 370/158

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Lot 210
1959 Aston Martin DB4 Series I Sports Saloon
Registration no. XLE 46 Chassis no. DB4/148/R Engine no. 370/158

Sold for £ 276,000 (US$ 356,903) inc. premium
1959 Aston Martin DB4 Series I Sports Saloon
Registration no. XLE 46
Chassis no. DB4/148/R
Engine no. 370/158
*Rare 'first of the breed' Series 1 example
*Celebrated first owner and continuous provenance
*Matching chassis and engine numbers
*Original registration number and colour scheme
*Offered at No Reserve


A much sought-after 'Series 1' example, chassis number '148/R' was sold new to Richard Gordon Ltd of South Audley St, London finished in Pacific Blue with Blue Grey Connolly leather interior. Richard Gordon was the pen name of Gordon Ostlere, a noted surgeon and anaesthetist, who also wrote the immensely popular 'Doctor...' series of comic novels and their television, movie and stage adaptations, commencing with 'Doctor in the House' (1952). Registered 'XLE 46', the DB4 was delivered to Gordon Ostlere on 26th September 1959 from Brooklands Garage, London. In an accompanying letter he recalls 'showing it off' at Pinewood Studios. Unfortunately, nothing is known of the second owner, Mrs B J Smith of Burgess Hill, Sussex.

In 1967 the Aston was bought by its third owner, Mr Robin C McKinney of Lisburn, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, who was President of the Ulster Automobile Club for many years. Fourth owner Mr Malcolm MacGregor of Belfast, Northern Ireland bought the car in 1968. A long time AMOC and Ulster Automobile Club member, Malcolm MacGregor competed with the DB4 in numerous events, including the Spelga Pass Hill Climb (2nd) and the Soyn Fin Hill Climb (1st), both in 1968. As the period photograph on file shows, this also included 'XLE 46' being used as the course car for the Circuit of Ireland Rally.

In the early 1970s the Aston was bought by its fifth owner, Mr Roy Jones of Wickham Bishops, Essex, who had worked for the Aston Martin works racing team (article on file). Roy Jones was an engine builder working on the very successful DB3S and DBR1 racing engines, and later put his knowledge and expertise to good use when rebuilding and tuning the DB4's engine, which he describes in an accompanying letter.

Joint sixth owners brothers Stephen and Jeffery Archer (sons of much loved AMOC stalwart Alan) bought the DB4 in 1978 and kept the car for some three years before it was sold in August 1981 to Julian Rosser, a keen Aston Martin enthusiast and for many years the AMOC area representative for South Wales. He had a considerable amount of restoration work carried out on the car, the majority of which was undertaken by Jack Moss of Four Ashes Garage (invoices and correspondence are on file). The next (eighth) owner (a Mr Sparkes) bought 'XLE 46' in September 1994 and would become its custodian of longest standing, cherishing the Aston until 2019, a period of 25 years. The accompanying history file contains the purchase agreement from when Mr Sparkes bought the car in 1994 together with his correspondence with previous owners.

Undertaken by 22GT Racing in December 2019 and R S Williams in March 2020, the most recent works included extensive servicing; new front and rear windscreens and associated trim; miscellaneous chassis work; boot trim; cosmetic enhancement; and a gearbox rebuild, collectively totalling a little under £17,000.

The current odometer reading is 36,603 miles, representing a total of circa 136,603 covered from new. Its last serious restoration having been undertaken some 30 years ago, 'XLE 46' naturally shows some signs of age, with some external marks and a delightfully patinated interior.

'XLE 46' is offered with a very comprehensive and well-ordered lever-arch file containing the instruction book; the V5C registration document; a copy of the original build sheet; assorted correspondence; current MoT (expires March 2021); many past MoTs (earliest 1981); many invoices mostly covering servicing and parts supply (chiefly from the Rosser/Sparkes ownership period 1981-2019, but the earliest dated 1978).

In full roadworthy condition, this is a car that can be used and enjoyed 'as is', or improved upon as and when the fortunate buyer chooses. It is also one of the rarest of Aston Martin's Touring-styled Superleggera sports saloons, being the 48th of only 150 'Series 1' DB4s built.

This delightful example is worthy of close inspection – not least as it is offered without reserve – and a welcome addition to any collection.
Contacts
1959 Aston Martin DB4 Series I Sports Saloon  Chassis no. DB4/148/R Engine no. 370/158
1959 Aston Martin DB4 Series I Sports Saloon  Chassis no. DB4/148/R Engine no. 370/158
1959 Aston Martin DB4 Series I Sports Saloon  Chassis no. DB4/148/R Engine no. 370/158
1959 Aston Martin DB4 Series I Sports Saloon  Chassis no. DB4/148/R Engine no. 370/158
1959 Aston Martin DB4 Series I Sports Saloon  Chassis no. DB4/148/R Engine no. 370/158
1959 Aston Martin DB4 Series I Sports Saloon  Chassis no. DB4/148/R Engine no. 370/158
1959 Aston Martin DB4 Series I Sports Saloon  Chassis no. DB4/148/R Engine no. 370/158
1959 Aston Martin DB4 Series I Sports Saloon  Chassis no. DB4/148/R Engine no. 370/158
1959 Aston Martin DB4 Series I Sports Saloon  Chassis no. DB4/148/R Engine no. 370/158
1959 Aston Martin DB4 Series I Sports Saloon  Chassis no. DB4/148/R Engine no. 370/158
1959 Aston Martin DB4 Series I Sports Saloon  Chassis no. DB4/148/R Engine no. 370/158
1959 Aston Martin DB4 Series I Sports Saloon  Chassis no. DB4/148/R Engine no. 370/158
1959 Aston Martin DB4 Series I Sports Saloon  Chassis no. DB4/148/R Engine no. 370/158
1959 Aston Martin DB4 Series I Sports Saloon  Chassis no. DB4/148/R Engine no. 370/158
1959 Aston Martin DB4 Series I Sports Saloon  Chassis no. DB4/148/R Engine no. 370/158
1959 Aston Martin DB4 Series I Sports Saloon  Chassis no. DB4/148/R Engine no. 370/158
1959 Aston Martin DB4 Series I Sports Saloon  Chassis no. DB4/148/R Engine no. 370/158
1959 Aston Martin DB4 Series I Sports Saloon  Chassis no. DB4/148/R Engine no. 370/158
1959 Aston Martin DB4 Series I Sports Saloon  Chassis no. DB4/148/R Engine no. 370/158
1959 Aston Martin DB4 Series I Sports Saloon  Chassis no. DB4/148/R Engine no. 370/158
1959 Aston Martin DB4 Series I Sports Saloon  Chassis no. DB4/148/R Engine no. 370/158
1959 Aston Martin DB4 Series I Sports Saloon  Chassis no. DB4/148/R Engine no. 370/158
1959 Aston Martin DB4 Series I Sports Saloon  Chassis no. DB4/148/R Engine no. 370/158
1959 Aston Martin DB4 Series I Sports Saloon  Chassis no. DB4/148/R Engine no. 370/158
1959 Aston Martin DB4 Series I Sports Saloon  Chassis no. DB4/148/R Engine no. 370/158
1959 Aston Martin DB4 Series I Sports Saloon  Chassis no. DB4/148/R Engine no. 370/158
1959 Aston Martin DB4 Series I Sports Saloon  Chassis no. DB4/148/R Engine no. 370/158
1959 Aston Martin DB4 Series I Sports Saloon  Chassis no. DB4/148/R Engine no. 370/158
1959 Aston Martin DB4 Series I Sports Saloon  Chassis no. DB4/148/R Engine no. 370/158
1959 Aston Martin DB4 Series I Sports Saloon  Chassis no. DB4/148/R Engine no. 370/158
1959 Aston Martin DB4 Series I Sports Saloon  Chassis no. DB4/148/R Engine no. 370/158
1959 Aston Martin DB4 Series I Sports Saloon  Chassis no. DB4/148/R Engine no. 370/158
1959 Aston Martin DB4 Series I Sports Saloon  Chassis no. DB4/148/R Engine no. 370/158
1959 Aston Martin DB4 Series I Sports Saloon  Chassis no. DB4/148/R Engine no. 370/158
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