This 1959 Aston Martin DB4 might look like it’s ready for the scrapheap, but it’s expected to fetch £180,000 when it goes under the hammer next month.
The DB4 was the first car of the David Brown era that was built solely using his designs. Up until that point, Aston had used the chassis of its 1939 Atom model and engines designed by W. O. Bentley.
The bodywork wasn’t just a beautiful shape; it was also the first time Aston Martin used a then-new lightweight construction from Italian coachbuilder Corrozzeria Touring. Dubbed ‘Superleggerra’, which translates as ‘super light’, its panels were beaten into shape by Aston’s own engineers at its Newport Pagnell factory.
To back up its sporting credentials, the DB4 was fitted with a motorsport-tested engine. Making its debut in the DBR2 race car at the 1957 Le Mans 24-hour race, the 3.7-litre six-cylinder unit didn’t make it to the finish of the 24-hour race.
Following that disappointment, two DBR2 racers competed using prototype DB4 engines. They achieved 1st and 3rd at Silverstone in 1957 and 2nd and 3rd at the Spa GP in 1958, as well as a number of other high finishing results across two seasons.
This particular Aston Martin DB4 is a ‘Series I’ car and was the 78th to be built. As such, it has the heavy-duty front and rear bumpers fitted to all cars after the first 50 left the factory.
It was bought by its current owner in 1986, but when they moved overseas it was placed in dry storage where it has been for the last 30 years. It goes under the hammer at the Beaulieu Sale on September 3 with an estimate of £150,000 and £180,000.