Aston Martin DBR4

Aston Martin DBR4

Year of production 1959 - 1959


Category: Post-War Racing




Publicly unveiled in April 1959, the Aston Martin Grand Prix Car, DBR4, had been under development for the previous four years. In its debut race at Silverstone, one month later, one car came in second and also broke the lap record; it was to be the cars best result. It became less and less competitive against the new breed of rear-engined cars. In total, four DBR4's were built, all but one still survive.

 The photographs here are of the last car, DBR4/4, photographed at Coys festival, Silverstone, 1998 and 1999.

Aston Martin DBR4

Production Dates: October 1958 - June 1963

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.

Work on the DB4 started 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 design by Carrozzeria Touring of Milan, using their 'Superleggera' system by which alloy panels are fixed to a tubular frame built onto the very strong platform chassis.

The entirely 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 to capable of 0-100-0 mph in under 30 sec. claiming to reach the 100 mph mark in 21 seconds. A very impressive car that put Aston Martin back in competition with other Mediterranean sports car manufacturers.

A four-seater convertible was announced at the London Motor Show in 1961.

By the time that the DB4 ended it's production run, there were five distinct series.


Price New: £ 3,976 (Saloon), £ 4,194 (Convertible)
Engine: all dohc I-6, 3670 cc, 240 bhp @ 5500 rpm, 240 lbs-ft @4250 rpm; Vantage: 266 bhp @5750 rpm
Transmission: 4-speed manual with optional overdrive or optional Borg-Warner 3-speed automatic
Suspension: Front: upper-and-lower A-arms, coil springs, anti-roll bar Rear: live axle, Watt linkage, trailing links, coil springs
Brakes: Servo assisted front/rear discs
Length: 14'9"
Width: 5'6"
Height: 4'4"
Wheelbase: 8'4"
Weight: 1308kg
Top Speed: 140 mph 
0-60 mph: 9 sec.


Over the winter of 1957-58, Aston Martin's racing department developed a new Formula One car to run alongside their successful DBR1 sports racer. Four of these DBR4/250 cars were built with names such as Roy Salvadori and Carroll Shelby piloting them during the 1959 season. Salvadori achieved a notable second place in the B.R.D.C. International Trophy Race at Silverstone, but the programme was cut short to finance and focus on the Sports Car World Championship.

When the surviving DBR4 cars eventually found their way into historic racing, chassis number DBR4/1 passed into the ownership of renowned Aston Martin collector, Geoffrey Marsh, whose Marsh Plant company supported its highly successful appearances at historic level driven by Gerry Marshall. At the same time, the Specialist Car Division of Marsh Plant also owned the 1959 Le Mans-winning DBR1 and after it was sold, Geoffrey Marsh discussed with the Vintage Sports Car Club a new project. He wanted to recreate DBR4/2, which had been broken up by the factory in period. His company had a myriad of original components, including a 2½-litre Formula One engine, 95-degree cylinder head and David Brown transaxle, collected during Marsh Plant's campaigning of both DBR1/300 and DBR4/1. This is that car.

When first completed, it fired into life in Marsh Plant's Havant workshop in 1982, and the V.S.C.C. accepted it as a Group IV Historic Racing Car that September. Later that year the Aston was test run at Goodwood with good results.

On Sunday 14th October 1984, this Aston ran in the 'Streets of Birmingham' historic event alongside its older sister, DBR4/1, the exceedingly handsome pair of front-engined Aston Martin Formula One cars driven, respectively, by the former works team's 1959 Le Mans-winning drivers Roy Salvadori and Carroll Shelby. Soon after, the car was sold to John Pearson from whom it passed to the previous owner and in whose hands it was preserved and dismantled.

This single-seater was acquired by the current owner as a complete, disassembled project. All the significant mechanical components were present, as well as the multi-tubular spaceframe chassis and body. The principal engine components, including the crankcase/block, cylinder heads, pistons, con-rods, cam covers, etc., accompanied the project. Also included the rare DBR1 and DBR4-type David Brown transaxle gearbox, suspension wishbones, links, uprights, anti-roll bars, De Dion tube and even the fully-instrumented dash panel, wood-rimmed steering wheel and fuel and oil tanks, Borrani wire-spoked lightweight racing wheels, centre-lock knock-ons plus a large quantity of small detail fittings and fixtures. It is believed that a significant proportion of the body panels forward of the cockpit are period Aston Martin originals, acquired via former owner the Hon. Patrick Lindsay.

Forum Tech corner New topic

Classifieds / Advertisement Insert new advert

Photo gallery Aston Martin DBR4

1959 Aston Martin DBR4
1280 x 855 ... 142 KB
2017-03-01  Matrix
1959 Aston Martin DBR4
1280 x 814 ... 175 KB
2016-12-15  Matrix
1959 Aston Martin DBR4
398 x 245 ... 22 KB
2014-03-26  Matrix
1959 Aston Martin DBR4
400 x 311 ... 22 KB
2014-03-26  Matrix

Our vehicles Add a vehicle