Aston Martin DB4




Aston Martin DB4

Year of production 1958 - 1963

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aston_Martin_DB4

Category: David Brown era

Aston Martin DB4

Aston Martin always made luxury sports cars. The DB4 was built from 1958-63 and was completely different to the DB Mk III it replaced, it got a lightweight tube frame, 240hp 3670cc DOHC aluminium 6 cyl with twin SUs.

  • In 1959 saw the introduction of the lightweight, enclosed headlight DB4GT. The 302hp hipo engine had twin sparkplugs per cylinder with two distributors and three twin-choke Weber carburettors
  • In 1960 the grille changed from eggcrate to bars.
  • In 1961 the Vantage was available with enclosed headlights, 266hp with three SU carbs and special cylinder heads
  • In 1962 the body became taller and longer with a new front and a convertible was now available.

(1958 - 1960)

The DB4 was unveiled at the 1958 Paris Motor Show although many books quote the slightly later London show which was actually the UK debut. It was a totally new car which was quite an achievement for a highly regarded but small British manufacturer. With a completely new platform chassis,  disc brakes all round and a completely new 3.7 litre straight six cylinder engine, it was topped by an wonderful fastback body styled by Touring of Milan. A masterpiece of British engineering skill with Italian styling flair.

The brand new platform chassis was engineered under the watchful eye of Harold Beech. Topping this, the body frame is made up of a cage of small diameter tubes which is covered by hand made aluminium body panels. This method of construction is known as ‘Superleggera’ (Italian for super light) and was used under license by AML from Touring.

The DB4 was powered by an aluminium straight six cylinder 3670 cc engine; the work of Aston Martin’s Polish designer, Tadek Marek. When fitted with the standard twin SU HD8 carburettors, the engine was said to produce 240bhp at 5,500 rpm, sufficient for a dash to 60 mph in 9 seconds and a maximum speed of 140 mph. Nowadays, the declared power outputs from the 1960′s are considered a little inflated and it was probably closer to 200 of todays variety. This was mated to a 4 speed manual gearbox made by the gearbox division of the David Brown Corporation.

These early and desirable Series 1 DB4′s are characterised by simple bumpers without over-riders and a rear hinged, front opening bonnet. The first 50 cars also had no window frames on the side windows (frameless coupe style). This caused whistling at speed and so frames were added on later cars to combat this. Unfortunately for a GT designed for high speed continental cruising, early cars suffered from overheating, a problem not fully sorted until much later in the production run. This problem was eventually cured in much later examples with the fitting of an oil cooler and a much enlarged sump. The Series 1 DB4 was in production from October 1958 to January 1960 (chassis numbers DB4/101/R to DB4/249/L) with a total of just 149 cars completed. Of these 149 cars, 73 were built with left hand drive for export. The improved Series 2 became available from January 1960. Despite the early problems associated with introducing such a revolutionary new car, around 100 examples are thought to still exist with maybe a few more awaiting to be discovered having been locked away in barns and garages for many years.

DB4

Aston Martin started work on the DB4 in 1956, at the same time as the DB Mark III. The key people involved in the development of the DB4 were General Manager John Wyer, Chassis Designer Harold Beach, and Engine Designer Tadek Marek. Every major component in the DB4 was new. The four-seater body was designed by Carrozzeria Touring of Milan, using their 'Superleggera' construction method in which aluminium panels are fixed to a tubular frame built onto a substantial platform chassis.

Tadek Marek's new 3.7 litre, six-cylinder twin overhead camshaft, all alloy engine first ran in 1956 and was raced in the DBR2 in 1957.

A NEW ERA

The new car was shown at the London Motor show in 1958, sharing a stand with the DB Mark III which was to continue in production for almost a year. The DB4 was the first production car capable of 0-100-0 mph in under 30 sec. claiming to reach the 100 mph mark in 21 seconds. The iconic DB4 heralded a new era for Aston Martin and put the company back in competition with other high performance sports car manufacturers.

A DB4 convertible was announced at the London Motor Show in 1961. Throughout its production life the DB4 range was gradually developed, adding a GT version and some significant model year changes (often referred to as series 2, 3, 4 and 5) before finally being replaced by the DB5.

SPECIFICATIONS

Price New:                          £ 3,976 (Saloon), £ 4,194 (Convertible)
Engine:                               DOHC Straight six, 3670 cc (223.957 cu in),
                                           179 kW (240 bhp; 243 PS) @ 5500 rpm, 
                                           325 Nm (240 lbs-ft ) @ 4250 rpm,
                                           2 valves pe cylinder
Compression ratio:             8.25.:1
Fuel system:                       2 SU carbs
Turns (lock-to-lock):           2.8
Turning cycle:                    10.4 m
                           
Transmission:                  4-speed manual with optional overdrive
                                              or optional Borg-Warner 3-speed automatic
Top gear ratio:                  1
Final drive ratio:                3.31
Suspension:                      Front: Telescopic shock absorbers
                              Rear: Lever arm shock absorbers
Brakes:                               Dunlop Servo assisted brakes with front and rear solid discs
Dimensions (LxWxH):        4480 x 1676 x 1321 mm (Saloon),
                                           4480 x 1676 x 1323 mm (Convertible)
Wheelbase:                        2489 mm
track/tread (front):              1372 mm
track/tread (rear):               1372 mm
Ground clearance:             178 mm
Weight:                              1308 kg
Wheel size front:               6J x 16 , tyre 6.00-16
Wheel size rear:                6J x 16 , tyre 6.00-16
Brake front:                      307 mm
Brake rear:                       282 mm
Brakes F/R:                       Di / Di-S
Top Speed:                       227 km/h (141 mph)
0 – 60 mph:                       8,5 sec
0 – 160 mph:                     21 sec
standing quarter-mile:       16,1 sec
Fuel tank capacity:            86,4 litres (19 UK Gal; 22,8 US Gal)
weight-to-power ratio:       7.31 kg/kW (12.21 lb/bhp)
  

 

Produced sub-models Models

(serie 1)
1958 - 1960
Saloon
1958 - 1963
GT
1959 - 1963
(series 2)
1960 - 1961
GT Zagato
1960 - 1963
(series 3)
1961
(series 4)
1961 - 1962
Convertible (series 4 & 5)
1961 - 1963
GT Bertone Jet
1961
Vantage
1961 - 1963
Vantage GT
1961 - 1963
(series 5)
1962 - 1963
Lightweight
1963
GT Zagato Sanction II & III
1991 - 2000

Timeline

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Articles

Aston Martin DB4 buying guide (1958-1963)

It’s a tragedy that the Aston Martin DB4 – as well as its DB5 and DB6 successors – have now become so valuable that generally the only people buying them are collectors who have no intention of using them. Beautiful, superb to drive and genuinely usable grand tourers in the classic mould, it’s easy to see why the DB4 is so highly revered.

Featuring an elegant Touring-designed coupé bodyshell, S...

Incredible restoration Aston Martin Zagato

1960 Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato

Incredible restoration 1960 Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato 5 speed air conditioned

Hand-crafted aluminum body built supercharged DB7 motor.

When the sultan of Brunei and his brother prince Jeffri were buying any and everything they wanted, their automotive collection was grouping together the best cars from every performance brand. This included several custom built ...

3D printing Aston Martin

A New Zealand Aston Martin fan is 3D printing his own replica 1961 Aston Martin DB4.

We’ve seen some clever 3D printed things, but so far they’ve all been small items – and some of them smaller than small, such as themicroscopic 3D printed race car.

But a New Zealand 3D fan is thinking big. Car-sized big, and a 1961 Series II Aston Martin DB4 to boot. Auckland-based computer programmer Ivan Sent...

Aston Martin DB4GT & DB4GT Zagato

Aston Martin reached the pinnacle of sports-car racing in 1959. Helped by victory in that year’s Le Mans 24 Hours, it won the World Manufacturer’s Championship with the very special DBR 1/2. Of course, ordinary folk couldn’t buy a DBR 1/2, but they continually asked for faster and more specialized DB4s. Aston Martin responded between 1959 and 1963 with two distinctly different cars: the DB4GT and ...

Aston Martin DB4

The Aston Martin DB2 had been on sale five years before Aston Martin began contemplating a successor. Christened Aston Martin DB4, it was all-new, which helps explain why it took three years to be finalized, delaying its public launch until autumn 1958.

Key personalities behind the new Aston Martin DB model were general manager John Wyer (who would mastermind the birth of the Ford GT40 in the 196...

Aston Martin DB4 GT

One year after the DB4's debut, Aston Martin launched the DB4 GT competition version. Designed to break Ferrari's GT-racing stronghold, the DB4 GT was built for both the works teams and privateers. Outwardly, subtle changes distinguished the the GT from the standard DB4. Under the Touring styled body various modifications were carried through that really turned the DB4 into a racer.

Weight reduct...

Evanta Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato

Spend hundreds of thousands of pounds on a slice of classic automotive exotica and you can be sure of many things: rarity, raw simplicity and individuality. Unfortunately for many, lying on the hard shoulder of the M25, spanner in driving-glove-clad hand, is another unavoidable ingredient.

But before you resign yourself to a life of brand-new Ferraris and Porsches, a dinky workshop five minutes f...

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Photo gallery Aston Martin DB4

1963 Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato
1280 x 866 ... 171 KB
2016-11-23  Matrix
1960 Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato
1280 x 905 ... 160 KB
2016-11-23  Matrix
1961 Aston Martin DB4 GT
1280 x 852 ... 229 KB
2016-11-19  Matrix
1961 Aston Martin DB4 GT
1280 x 852 ... 213 KB
2016-11-19  Matrix


Manuals Aston Martin DB4 Upload new manual

Repair manuals (1) Add

Model Year Document Language Size Pages
DB4 1959 db4 saloon.pdf English 181 KB 1

Magazines (2) Add

Model Year Document Language Size Pages
DB4 1962 vantage point spring 2004.pdf English 518 KB 2
DB4 1962 1962 aston martin db4 series iv low res.pdf English 366 KB 1

Data sheets and catalogues (11) Add

Model Year Document Language Size Pages
DB4 (series 5) 1962 - 1963 db4 aston martin db4 series 5 brochure.pdf English 1.14 MB 4
DB4 Vantage 1962 db4 vantage.pdf English 284 KB 2
DB4 1962 db4conv.pdf English 796 KB 10
DB4 (series 4) 1961 db4 aston martin db4 series 4 brochure.pdf English 5.37 MB 2
DB4 Convertible (series 4 & 5) 1961 db4 conv.pdf English 343 KB 4
DB4 GT Zagato 1960 - 1963 aw zagato book.pdf English 2.02 MB 43
DB4 1960 db4c.pdf English 1.26 MB 12
DB4 GT 1959 - 1963 db4 aston martin db4 gt brochure.pdf English 908 KB 2
DB4 (series 2) 1959 db4b.pdf English 509 KB 4
DB4 1958 - 1963 db4.pdf English 10.6 MB 79
DB4 1958 db4a.pdf English 1.34 MB 10

Engines


Year Engine code Fuel [ccm] Cylinders [kW] [Nm] No. of
valves
1958 1963 DB4 gasoline 3 670 6 / In-Line 177 kW 325 Nm 12
1959 1963 GT DB4 GT gasoline 3 670 6 / In-Line 225 kW 366 Nm 12
1961 1961 GT Bertone Jet DB4 GT gasoline 3 670 6 / In-Line 225 kW 366 Nm 12
1960 1963 GT Zagato DB4 GT gasoline 3 670 6 / In-Line 225 kW 366 Nm 12
1960 1963 GT Zagato DB4 Zagato gasoline 3 670 6 / In-Line 234 kW 377 Nm 12
1961 1963 Vantage DB4 Vantage gasoline 3 670 6 / In-Line 198 kW 346 Nm 12

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Timeline

1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0
Aston Martin DB4 (serie 1)
Saloon
GT
(series 2)
GT Zagato
(series 3)
(series 4)
Convertible (series 4 & 5)
GT Bertone Jet
Vantage
Vantage GT
(series 5)
Lightweight
GT Zagato Sanction II & III
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0
1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000