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

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