Image credits: © Aston Martin.

Coachwork: Touring
Chassis Num: DB4GT0168L
Sold for $1,650,000 at 2007 RM Sothebys.
1959 Aston Martin DB4 GT Factory Lightweight has chassis number DB4GT0168L and is one of two factory lightweight DB4 GTs with left hand drive. It was ordered by Rex Woodgate of Aston Martin's North American operations. He was a man of many talents, including in business and as a racing team manager. He had this car entered in the 1961 Sebring 12 Hours Endurance Race. It was the third car in his DB4 GT racing team and was completed just a short time prior to the race. It left the factory with 11 days to make the start of the race. It was sent as airfreight cargo and when it reached US soil, it went through a lengthy inspection process that delayed its arrival to the track. Ultimately, the car would never race at Sebring in 1961, as it was not released from customs until the Monday after the race.

The car was then sold through Inskip's in New York as a Grand Tourer, which shielded it from the abuses of racing and competition. From there the car would pass through several owners throughout the years. By 1988 it had traveled 54,945 and the decision was made to perform a total restoration. The process was started, but never fully completed as the owner passed away. All that had been completed to this point was a body paint finished in its original color of Peony Red. The chassis and suspension had been restored by the powertrain was not yet installed. In 2001 through 2002 the entire car was restored with a few performance, reliability, and safety features incorporated. After the restoration it was brought to Lime Rock Park where it achieved a lap record for 'standard DB4 GTs' at 1:08. The odometer reads just 56,547, having traveled less than 2,000 miles since the restoration, it was brought to the 2007 Monterey Sports & Classic Car Auction presented by RM Auctions, where it had an estimated value of $1,650,000 - $1,850,000. The estimates proved accurate as the lot was sold for $1,650,000 including buyer's premium.
By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2007
Coachwork: Touring
This Aston Martin DB4 is a GT Zagato Replica 'Continuation Car.' It used a donor DB4 which was then shorted five inches to the correct 93-inch wheelbase, and a new Zagato body using the original buck, was hand formed in alloy. The steering, suspension and braking systems were rebuilt and installed by the Derby, England based firm of Aston Engineering.
By Daniel Vaughan | Jul 2010
Aston Martin unveiled their DB4 at the 1958 Paris Salon. This was a big achievement for the small British manufacturer as it was a totally new car on a completely new steel platform chassis and disc brakes on all four corners. It was powered by an alloy twin-cam 3.7-liter straight six engine and bodied by Touring of Milan in an elegant fastback aluminum body. This combination was performance oriented with all the necessary criteria such as potent engine, lightweight body, excellent stopping power provided by the disc brakes, and finished in an attractive and elegant fastback configuration. It was state-of-the-art at the time, a modern masterpiece of British engineering and Italian styling.

Harold Beech was involved with the engineering of the chassis, including the fitting of an independent front suspension and a live rear axle located by trailing arms and a Watt's linkage. The coachwork was constructed by Aston Martin under license from Touring

At the September 1959 London Motor Show, Aston Martin introduced their competition variant dubbed the DB4 GT. It was based on the race-winning prototype SP199/1. In the very capable hands of Sterling Moss, the GT prototype had won its first outing in May 1959 at Silverstone.

The Aston Martin DB4 GT sat on a shortened wheelbase, made lighter, and given a more powerful engine. The engine was given a higher compression ratio, twin plug cylinder heads, and triple dual-throat Weber 45 DCOE carburetors. Weight was reduced by 91 kg overall, partly by reducing the wheelbase by around 5 inches. The Standard DB4 produced 240 horsepower while the DB4GT produced 302 BHP making it the most powerful British car of its era. Top speed was achieved at just over 150 mph and zero-to-sixty took a mere 6.1 seconds.

The DB4 and DB4GT were visually distinguishable by the faired in headlamps, a feature that was later made standard on the DB5. The DB4 GT had a quick-release 'Monza' fuel fillers on each of the rear wings, bumper overrider deletes, and frameless roll-down windows within the doors. The interior of the DB4 GT was rather luxurious with Connolly hides and Wilton wool carpeting. An oil temperature gauge was added to the array of instrumentation, along with an 8000 RPM tachometer.

The Ferrari SWB 250 Berlinetta was a very dominate and competitive car in FIA racing, but the DB4 GTs were able to mount a strong challenge in 1959 by both the Works team and Jon Ogier's Essex Racing stable. Individuals usually found behind the wheel included Stirling Moss, Jim Clark, Roy Salvadori and Innes Ireland.

Production of the Aston Martin DB4 GT lasted from 1959 through 1963 with a total of 75 examples produced, plus an additional 19 created by Zagato in various configuration. 45 of the 75 were right hand drive with the other 30 having left hand drive. Six of the 75 are known to have full Factory lightweight construction details. These six are further divided into two additional categories. The first group consisting of four examples were originally ordered as 'Build Sheet GTs' meaning they were ordered with this lightweight specification. Two were Right Hand Drive and the other two were Left Hand Drive. The other lightweight group is referred to as 'BESPOKE' or Service Department created GTs. Meaning they were modified to the lightweight specification after the factory had performed the original build.

Thus, most of the DB4 GTs created were suitable for competition or Grand Touring, for road or track.
By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2007
The Aston Martin DB4 was first introduced to the public at the 1958 Paris Salon and powered by a 3.7-liter straight eight and clothed in an aluminum body. Touring of Milan was tasked with creating the design. The Aston Martin DB4 GT was introduced a year later at the London Motor Show and was based on the race winning prototype SP199/1. 1959 was a great year for Aston martin as they had won the World Sportscar Championship title. The GT prototype inaugural race was in May of 1959 at Silverstone where it finished in first place at the hands of Stirling Moss.

The Aston Martin DB4 GT was lighter, shorter, and more powerful than the base DB4. In an effort to reduce the weight of the vehicle the bodywork was made thinner using 18 gauge alloy. The wheelbase was reduced by 13cm which made the rear seats obsolete. In total, 200 pounds had been shed. Under the graceful hood was the six-cylinder engine modified with twin plug cylinder heads and triple dual-throat Weber 45 DCOE carburetors. Horsepower was raised to over 300, bettering the standard DB4 engine by 60 horsepower, and making it the most powerful British sports car of its era.

Most of the DB4 GT's had Plexiglas rear screen and quarter windows. Disc brakes could be found on all four corners, as could the alloy Boranni wire wheels. The roll-down windows were frameless within the doors. A high-capacity fuel tank could be found in the rear. Quick-release 'Monza' fuel fillers were placed atop of the rear wings. All of this equated to a car that had a top speed over 150 mph and could race from zero-to-sixty in just over 6 seconds. Visually, in comparison to the DB4, the GT has cowled headlights and a very prominent hood scoop.

The interior of the cars were race inspired but still filled with luxurious amenities.

The DB4 GT was produced from 1959 through 1963 with only 75 examples being produced plus another 19 examples bodied by Zagato. 45 were right-hand drive and 30 were left hand drive. The Zagato bodied cars were necessary to keep pace with Ferrari's 250 GT machines. Zagato was legendary in the world or automotive weight reduction and their skills were in high demand. Ercole Spada of Zagato was given the task of performing the necessary modifications. Even after Zagato worked his magic, the Ferrari's proved to competitive for the DB4 GT's. Though the DB4 GT's suffered from oversteer and and low rigidity, its Achilles' heal was the fact that it was born from a road going car.

The final DB4 GT constructed was sent to Bertone who fitted it with a body and had it sent to the 1961 Geneva and Turin Motorshows. It was styled by Giorgietto Giugiaro who was in the infancy of his career. This, the 76th and final DB4 GT produced, was given an attractive steel body.
By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2007
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