Aston Martin DB4 GT1959 - 1963
Model: DB4 (1958 - 1963)
Wikipedia (DB4): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aston_Martin_DB4
(1959 - 1963)
To the uninitiated, the DB4GT was very similar to the regular DB4. But since values of GT's are currently about five times that of the standard cars, we should expect a very different package indeed. The DB4GT was introduced in September 1959 at the London Motor Show, based on the race winning prototype, DP199/1. The car featured faired in headlamps with domed covers which continued to be seen through the range right upto the DB6 Mark 2 in 1970. The theme continues to this day with both the DB9 and V8 Vantage having headlights enclosed by a transparent cover.
In order to save weight, the bodywork was made of thinner 18 gauge aluminium, the wheelbase was reduced by 13cm, the engine was tuned and the rear seats were deleted on all but a small number of cars. Maximum speeds during testing was found to be 153 mph with a 0 to 60 time of 6.1 seconds. It was also one of the first cars that could go from standstill to 100 mph and then brake to a halt in under 30 seconds.
Here is one of the most famous GT’s with long histories on the racing circuit, Chassis DB4GT/151/R, 17TVX. After all, that’s what the GT was designed for. The car on the left is a lightweight and was owned and raced from 1960 by John Ogier’s Essex Racing Stable. Driven by the likes of Roy Salvadori, Sterling Moss, Jim Clark and Innes Ireland, the GT was regularly competing against the Ferrari 250GT. It can still be seen on the race track to this day.
The engine of the GT still with a capacity of 3670 cc (though some had 3750cc), was otherwise extensively modified. It featured twin plugs heads using two distributors (that’s twelve sparkplugs in total) and triple twin choke 45 DCOE4 or 9 Weber carburettors plus a raised compression ratio of 9:1. Power output was claimed at 302 bhp at 6000 rpm, a useful increase from the claimed 240 bhp of the standard car.
A single large fuel tank was fitted (although some cars had twin tanks in the wings) and quick release filler caps are situated on each side. GT’s were fitted with spectacular lightweight Italian Borrani wheels; 42 spokes with light alloy rims.
This 1960 car is very special as it is one of only a very few lightweight GT’s; this one was a factory demonstration and experimental car. This car is fitted with a Zagato specification engine claimed to give 314bhp. You may notice that the car has a later DB4 grille and lower bonnet scoop and I think it has the later tail lights too. Cosmetic changes within the standard cars were also made to the GT although the GT’s are not split into series as such.
Despite their tremendous rarity and value, the GT is still a popular race car at major historic racing events such as the Coys and Bonham’s festivals, Goodwood Revival, Classic Le Mans and occasionally at AMOC events throughout the season.
Below is perhaps the most original DB4GT of the 75 Tickford bodied cars. Chassis number DB4GT/0123/R was kept by the same owner for over 40 years which explains it’s wonderful origonal unmolested condition. For many years it was thought to be lost but it resurfaced in 2004 as the star lot in the AM/Bonham’s auction in May 2004.
The true track ready GT model started and stopped with the DB4 GT; the 5 and 6 were never tweaked and lightened for the race track. The DB7 GT i6 made a brief appearance although never made production: the DB7V12 GT is a different beast altogether. It could be argued that the current model that most reflects the line of the DB4 GT is the V8 Vantage N24 / GT4.
The Aston Martin DB4 GT made its premiere at the 1959 London Motor Show. The car was designed by Aston Martin and used the Superleggera body frame system - aluminium panels on tubular support frames - produced by Carrozzeria Touring of Milan. Although similar to the Aston Martin DB4, the differences added up to a very different motor car.
Five inches were chopped off the original Aston Martin DB4 wheelbase, making the GT easier to handle on a race track and reducing the overall weight; the engine was equipped with new twin-plug head and 45 DCO Webers, which increase power output to an impressive 302 bhp. The Aston Martin DB4 GT was the first of many Aston Martin's to use the cowled headlights.
The competition variant of the Aston Martin DB4, the DB4 GT, was formally introduced in September 1959 at the London Motor Show. The new competition car was based on the race winning prototype DP199/1, and that same year Astons took the World Sportscar Championship title. The GT prototype won its first outing at Silverstone in May 1959 on the Bank Holiday weekend in the hands of Stirling Moss.
The GT was developed for increased performance by making it shorter, lighter and more powerful. In order to save weight, the wheelbase was reduced by 13 cm (approx. 5 inches). Altogether, weight was reduced by 91 kg (200 lbs), and the engine was extensively modified, featuring a higher compression (9:1) twin plug cylinder head and breathing through triple twin choke Weber 45 DCOE carburettors. Power output was outstanding: 302 bhp at 6000 rpm, a useful increase from the claimed 240 bhp of the standard car and qualifying the GT as the most powerful British car of its era.
Maximum speed was 153 mph with a zero-to-sixty time of 6.1 seconds. It was also one of the first cars that could go from standstill to 100 mph and then brake to a dead stop in under 20 seconds – a tribute, in part, to its upgraded Girling braking system, as used on Aston’s competition sports racers of the era. Outwardly, the GT is distinguished by fared-in headlamps, a feature which was later made standard for the DB5 model. The rear screen and quarter windows were made of plexi-glass on many examples, bumper overriders were deleted and the roll-down windows were frameless within the doors. Twin, competition-style, quick-release “Monza” fuel fillers were added atop each of the rear wings, leading to a high-capacity fuel tank mounted in the boot.
The immense performance and excellent road holding of the DB4 GT renders it an ideal car for the fast, long distance driver. The sheer sensation of unlimited “urge” under perfect control is one of motoring’s greatest pleasures. Unlike the Aston’s Italian arch-rival, the SWB 250 Berlinetta which had a rudimentary “race car” interior look, the DB4 GT’s cockpit was luxuriously appointed to Aston Martin road car specifications, including Connolly hides and Wilton wool carpeting. The dash binnacle on the GT cars benefited from the addition of an oil temperature gauge in addition to the standard array of instruments, which included an 8,000 RPM tachometer.
Our motorcar, Chassis No: DB4GT/0122/R was supplied on the 19th of August 1960 to Mr J B Swift of Trentham, Stoke on Trent. Mr Swift sold the motorcar in 1963 to Mr H Chambers & Mr Chambers was its custodian for the following year. In 1964 0122/R began its illustrious racing career under the stewardship of Mr R J Duncan, an Ulsterman who in that same year won the Kirkiston Ulster 500. The Aston returned to England in 1969 & was most successfully campaigned by well-known historic sportscar racer John Goate, notably winning numerous events held at Silverstone, Le Mans & Spa Francorchamps. In 1986 the Aston moved to the USA & under the auspices of Mr Murray Smith, it continued its winning ways, culminating in a 1st place at the Aston Martin Festival at Monterey in 1989. The second placed car, also a DB4GT was driven by none other than Stirling Moss! 0122/R returned home in 1993 & resumed its racing career in 2003 with Tarek Mahmoud, the motorcar having been maintained without regard to expense, by respected Aston Martin specialists, Goldsmith & Young.
The DB4GT is presented with the following documentation, held in two large files.
Hexagon Classics are now proud to present for sale this outstanding motorcar with its superb historic racing history which has now just completed (December 2015) an 18 month “No Expense Spared” 100 point Body Off restoration to the exact DB4 GT full road specification as originally manufactured together with the added benefits of a 4.7 Litre lead-free specification engine and electric power steering which has being undertaken by an official factory Aston Martin Heritage Centre.
A complete photographic record and detailed invoices of the restoration are also presented with the DB4GT’s two large historical chassis files.
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.
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|Year from-to||Engine code||Fuel||[ccm]||Cylinders||[kW]||[Nm]||No. of
|1959||1963||DB4 GT||gasoline||3 670||6 / In-Line||225||366||12|