Monday, March 28, 2011

AUCTION: 1954 Aston Martin DB2/4 Competition Spider by Bertone

Looking at the upcoming RM Auctions, this interesting 1954 Aston Martin DB2/4 Competition Spider by Bertone is up for auction at the May 11, 2011 auction at Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in Italy.

Details are thin at this point, but it would appear that this is the same car that Gooding and Company previously sold on August 16, 2009 for $950,000 at the Pebble Beach Auction. See the auction video below:

$950k is a strong result for this car, I would be skeptical that the owner would make much of a profit reselling it into this market. We will be here to cover the results. More images from the current RM Auctions listing:

Thursday, March 24, 2011

For Sale: 1965 Aston Martin DB5 £279,950

Details are a bit sketchy - read nonexistent on this car - but it looks right and has a full restoration. Most likely the buyer will be paying a premium for this car over an auction car since it is coming from a dealership.

It definitely looks right - and that interior is a benchmark for restoration.

See more details at Aston Sales Kensignton's website.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

1959 Aston Martin DB4GT Convertible rebuild

Dutch restoration shop Zwakman Motors recently posted this intriguing project to their website about a restoration project on a DB4GT convertible. Unfortunately there were no pictures of the project in its current state. I can't recall seeing a convertible version of this car before.

If we were able to see some current pictures, that would probably help to drive interest, also for us to help determine the time frame of the rebuild. Zwakman does have an impressive history of Jag restorations, so they will definitely be one to watch as this project progresses.

DB4GT cars were the shortened version of the DB4 and equipped with the powerful GT engine which were also fitted in the famous DB4 Zagato cars, they were handling much better and were much more powerful as the standard & vantage cars, unfortunately this fantastic specification was never available for the DB4 Convertible however there is just 1 exception on the rule and well this car.

The project was started back in 1964 and a DB4 car as many new parts were bought to build a proper DB4 Convertible GT and so the start being made, unfortunately some time later the owner went into liquidation with his company and did hide all his private possessions to avoid it of sale and did succeed to keep all of his car.

His situation took many years to come back in better shape but as he was unfortunate he never returned to a situation of wealth as the rich days he was in before and so been unable to finish his much loved project.

The amount of brand new DB4GT factory parts including the necessarily brand new bodywork to alter the DB4 into Convertible present with the project is just amazing.

Now we have taken over the project progress being made to start up the work to finish this ultimate spec DB4 which will be the greatest of all DB cars as the combination of the so admired performance of the GT & the rich pleasure of the Convertible at a sunny day in the country roads been a dream of many real Aston Martin and Motoring enthusiasts.

The work would be carried out to the absolute highest possible standards.

A one and only chance to own and enjoy a DB4 Convertible GT fabricated out of all genuine & brand new parts.

Planned for spring 2013, stage payment possible after required deposit.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

SOLD: 1966 Aston Martin DB6 Barn Find 64,200 GBP

Following up again on some prior auction results, the very intriguing 1966 Aston Martin DB6 we talked about HERE sold for 64,200 GBP. The proud new owner has a very long road ahead. We'll keep an eye out for when this car resurfaces.

Monday, March 21, 2011

FOR SALE: 1961 Aston Martin DB4 GT $2 Million

Wow, that is all I can say when seeing this car. I have been looking around for GT's for a while and they rarely surface. This car ain't cheap with a $2 million listing, but it does buy you into the upper atmosphere of car collecting.

I remember seeing a $1million valuation on the V8 version featured in the Shaken and Stirred video

With collectible autos becoming a portfolio item, it will be curious to see if this one can garner the type of interest for someone to pay the asking price. Read more HERE

A year after the arrival of the DB4, Aston Martin announced the DB4GT at the London Motor Show in 1959. Outwardly very similar in looks, the differences were substantial, the wheelbase and body were shorter with the rear seat being replaced with a simple parcel shelf and using 18 gauge magnesium aluminium for the body panels mean the car weighed in 85 kilograms lighter than its big brother.

The sporting pedigree was reinforced with lightweight centre-lock Borrani wire wheels made more distinctive with three rather than two knock-off spinners. The engine shared the same bore and stroke as the standard 3.7 but the head and block were lighter being made of RR50 alloy, twin spark plugs per cylinder were ignited by two distributors driven at right angles from the rear of the camshafts.

Out went the standard twin SU carburettors to be replaced by three Weber DCO E4 twin choke units. The twin camshafts were special high lift units and the compression ratio for the engine was up to 9.0:1. The extra power demanded a 9 inch twin rather than 10 inch single plate clutch, while the David Brown 4 speed gearbox was close ratio all synchromesh unit and a Salisbury Powr-Lock limited slip differential was standard.

For stopping power, in place of the Dunlop discs on the standard DB4, large diameter Girling units derived from competition were used with no servo unit fitted. The 30 gallon light alloy fuel tank took most of the space in the boot but the interior of the car was trimmed and finished to Aston Martin's normal exacting standards. In similarly cavalier fashion to the headline grabbing headlines at the DB4 launch, the DB4GT was claimed to achieve 0-100 mph and back to standstill in 20 seconds. This was achieved, just, at MIRA with a driver and observer on board.

* Summary

When values soar, too many classic cars spend time as museum pieces.

The DB4GT was bred for competition and DB4GT/0142/L offers a rare opportunity to acquire an original left hand drive car that has been prepared and maintained for competition in Classic Rallies and has achieved the success it was created for.

* Vehicle History

A copy of the original build sheet for this lovely car shows that the car was shipped to North America on 13th January 1961 to the Aston Martin Agent, B.M.C.D. who delivered it to the first owner, James H Clapp of Seattle, Washington on 29th August the same year.

The original colour of the car was Caribbean Pearl with Dark Blue interior and it was later sold to S A Considas.

The AMOC Register records the last US owner as Donald M Baldocchi of Mountain Gate California. We have spoken with Mr Baldocchi who told us that when he purchased the car it was in Maroon and that it was a non runner as the carburettors were missing.

He said that he purchased it from Charlie Turner in 1978 at Aston Martin Lagonda Inc, in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. Charlie Turner was well known in the Aston Martin world in the USA, a leading light of the AMOC, Byron International dealt with him in the 1980's when he had a garage in Atlanta Georgia.

In 1997 was sold and the car returned to the United Kingdom where it went through a total restoration in the hands of specialists the Aston Workshop during which, we understand from the owner, included an upgrade of the engine to 4.2 litre. It was bought by Comte Alexandre de Lesseps.

Comte de Lesseps is a Gentleman racer who competed in the International GT Endurance Series with a Porsche 911 Carrera and the Venturi Gentleman Drivers Trophy 1993-95. The older brother of Ferdinand Lesseps who won the 1992 World Sports Car Championship FIA Cup in a Spice, he collects Aston Martins and has participated in many rallies, Classic du Maroc, Slovenia, Tour Auto and Tour Brittania. He is a founding member of the Gstaad Automobile Club.

In his hands, the car was entered for Tour Auto and the 2001 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este.

In 2004, the car was returned to the UK for refurbishment by RS Williams and the history file records that this involved thorough overhaul of the mechanical side of the car as well as a full repaint

Count Alexandre continued his involvement in Tour Auto and the car's record in the event is outstanding, only twice not placed in the top ten, the car achieved two third places, three fifth places and on the 2005 event was the outright winner of the Regularity Class.

Fitted with a special competition fuel tank, the car is offered with its original tank as a spare, and its front and rear bumpers.

This car is being offered for sale by Byron Garage:

Byron Garage

Phone: +44 (0) 1737 244567
Fax: +44 (0) 1737 226224

Buckland Heights, Walton Heath,
Tadworth, Surrey, KT20 7HZ. United Kingdom

REVIEW: 1958-63 Aston Martin DB4

For a great read check out Dan Jedlicka's excellent review of the DB4 model range.

James Bond drove a 1964-65 Aston Martin DB5 in the first Bond movies and acquainted most Americans with England’s Aston Martin. But the 1958-63 Aston DB4, which the DB5 strongly resembled, was the first all-new Aston since industrialist David Brown bought and saved the revered automaker in 1947.

Ian Fleming, author of the James Bond novels, never owned an Aston Martin, but he sure knew about classy cars. He owned a mid-1950s Ford Thunderbird two-seater and a rakish, early 1960s Studebaker Avanti, which he shipped to various countries to drive whenever he left England. Fleming’s wife was so jealous of his affection for the Avanti that she reportedly put sugar in its gas tank to gum up its engine.

But the Bond movie producers knew James Bond would have to drive an Aston Martin in the movie because it was the sleekest, fastest, most prestigious British sports car.

Most Astons have had a “DB” prefix because those, of course were David Brown’s initials. He sold the automaker in 1972 just before the big American fuel crunch and before new government regulations nearly caused the crash of the exotic sports car market in this country.

Aston Martin’s history actually dates back to 1917. Auto racing enthusiast Brown bought the financially troubled Aston Martin company to have, as he lightheartedly put it, “a lot o’ fun.”

The first prototype Aston Martin was partly developed by Lionel Martin, and the Aston part of the company’s name was derived from England’s rugged Aston Clinton auto competition event.

Brown made his fortune in farm tractors and transmissions and proceeded to build a long, famous Aston Martin sports car line, starting with the 1948-50 Aston DB1. However, the DB1 was just a low-volume interim car, and Brown began producing really serious Aston Martin sports cars with the faster, sleeker 1950-53 DB2 model. It was a race winner trimmed like a Rolls-Royce, as were subsequent Astons.

Aston Martins were expensive cars for mainly gentlemen, not for kids, although young rock star Mick Jagger owned one in the 1960s.

The DB2 and its descendants led Aston to considerable success, and Brown would have marveled at how far the automaker has come.

The fast, pretty 1953-57 Aston DB2/4 preceded the DB4. There was a 1957-59 Aston DB Mark III. But it couldn’t be called the DB3 because that designation had been used on an Aston sports/racing model in the early 1950s.

Anyway, the 140-mph DB4 was the first truly modern Aston Martin. It arrived in late 1958 and was built in Aston’s modernized Newport Pagnell factory in England until June, 1963. It came as a coupe with two small rear seats and in late 1961 as a four-seat convertible.

The DB4 had Superleggera (superlight) construction by the prestigious Touring coachbulder firm of Milan, Italy.

Italian auto coachbuilders were masters at such construction, which used aluminum panels over a lattice of small tubes laid out to define the body shape. That was perfect for a small, exclusive automaker such as Aston. Touring also worked on exotic Italian sports cars, but, after all, who needed a Ferrari if you could have a fast Italian-style Aston DB4?

Every major part of the DB4 was new. Its new frame was designed in six weeks flat in 1957 and would be used at Aston through the 1960s and 1970s. The car also had a rugged 3.7-liter inline six-cylinder engine from brilliant designer Tadek Marek.

The visually beautiful dual-overhead-camshaft engine produced 240-266 horsepower, which was a lot for a car weighing only 2,885 pounds. The DB4 could do 0-100 mph and stop in 27 seconds—sensational for the late 1950s and early 1960s. No American car, regardless of power rating, could could match that feat, which Aston proudly advertised.

Aston had outstanding personnel, despite its small size. For example, a key person behind the DB4 was John Wyer, who also was behind the birth of the legendary Ford GT40 race car, which beat everything in sight in the mid-1960s, including the best race cars Ferrari offered.

A new David Brown four-speed manual transmission was used to handle the DB4’s power, which grew in future models. In fact, an Aston sports/racing car with the six-cylinder engine won the famous 24-hour race at Le Mans, France, in 1959 and also the World Manufacturer’s Championship that year, beating the world’s best..

The first DB4 had had clean, elegant styling fronted by a Mark III-style grille flanked by headlights on the corners of the front fenders.

There were no less than five distinct versions, or “series,” of the DB4. Each was faster, better equipped and more luxurious than the last.

For instance, rear-hinged hoods of Series 1 models changed to front-hinged ones on Series 2 models, as of January, 1960.

The Series 3 (built from April, 1961) had small cosmetic changes such as triple cluster taillights, and the Series 4, built from September of that year, had a thinner air opening on the hood and a new grille with seven vertical bars..

The Series 4 also was offered with a higher-powered (266 horsepower) “Vantage” six-cylinder. The DB4 Vantage had a restyled front end with recessed headlights behind sloping plexiglass covers. Like the special DB4GT, it’s occasionally confused with the DB5 used in the Bond movies, although it has a slightly shorter wheelbase and early DB4 grille.

In fact, a Series 5 DB4 Vantage was modified as a prototype DB5 and was the 1963 Earl’s Court (England) auto show car, and the following year was modified for the Bond film “Goldfinger.”

Finally, the Series 5, built from September 1962, was lengthened about 3 ½ inches to fifteen feet, which allowed additional leg room and trunk space. It also had a higher roofline. The DB4 fastback coupe was joined by a four-seat convertible in late 1961.

Running mechanical changes include an overdrive option, beginning with the Series 2, for smoother, quieter high-speed cruising. And by 1963, a five-speed manual and three-speed automatic transmission were offered.

The most desirable DB4s are the lightweight 1959-63 race-style 302-horsepower DB4GT, which is trimmer in size and weight with a shorter wheelbase than a regular DB4, and the 314-horsepower DB4GT Zagato.

The DB4GT Zagato has a completely different body than the DB4GT in style and construction. Its extremely light fastback coupe body has a sexy combination of curves and angles, making it look much like a show car.

Only 75 DB4GTs and 19 DB4GT Zagatos were made. The DB4GT arrived in the fall of 1959 and the DB4GT Zagato debuted in 1960. Prices vary, but collector car price guides value the DB4GT at $1.8 million, and the DB4GT Zagato at a cool $6 million. A regular DB4 coupe is valued at $240,000, with the convertible at $275,700.

Sports Car Market magazine quotes a DB4 owner as saying his car is “fast, beautiful and comfortable. What more could anyone want?”

David Brown surely would have agreed.

Only 1,110 DB4s were produced, helping make it one of the world’s most exclusive classic sports cars.

Friday, March 18, 2011

For Sale: 1961 Aston Martin DB4 RHD 189k Euro

Found at The Gallery Brummen in the Netherlands.

Aston Martin DB4 Coupe RHD in a stunning overall condition! Has been generaly restored a few years ago into a very high standard.Mechanically a complete rebuild for 1.5 years ago in England.Body very clean and straight,underneath clean as it should be.Very nice beige full leather interior.Perfect driving example in a great overall condition without any work to do! Of course Matching numbers and fully correct

Make Aston Martin
Model DB4 RHD
Price €189,500
(approx. £165,358 or $261,579)
Year 1961
Category Sports Coupe
Colour Silver
Transmission Manual
Convertible No
Location Netherlands
Private / Trade Trade
Car ID 128305
No of Views 77
Confirmed For Sale 19 hours ago