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Aston Martin History

1959 Aston Martin DB4 GT

Chassis number : DP199/1

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Sold for $6,765,000 at 2017 RM Sothebys : Monterey.
This particular example the prototype car, chassis number DP199/1 (there was never a /2). It was first used in March of 1959 and then taken to LeMans for the annual test on April 26 of 1959 in preparation of the 24-hour race that June. During the test session, Hubert Patthey drove the car to a best time of 4 minutes and 38 seconds.

Four months before its official launch, DB199 made its first public showing at Silverstone. Stirling Moss and Reg Parnell drove the car in a 12-lap GT race at the May 2nd International Trophy meeting. Moss qualified the car on pole position and went on to win the race, selling a lap record along the way.

Perhaps due to nervousness about using the untested GT engine, the car ran with a single plug engine (most likely a 3.7-liter DBR2 engine) at the LeMans test session and Silverstone.

In June of that year DB199 was entered at LeMans under the banner of 'Ecurie Trois Chevrons' and driven by Aston's Swiss distributor Hubert Patthey with co-driver Renaud Calderari. During this race, it was powered by a 3.0-liter engine, the same type as was used in the DBR3 engine that made a one-off appearance a year earlier. The engine number for Le Mans was RDP 5066-2. The records say that it was RDP 5066-1, but the photographic evidence says otherwise, unless engine 2 was only used in practice. This marked the first time the twin-plug head had been used.

After LeMans, the car returned to Feltham, where it was converted into (what would become) road specification and prepared for its public show tour. The single oil cooler scoop was replaced by two smaller scoops that were standard on the first 23 DB4GTs. DB199, then registered 845 XMV, was shown in London in October of 1959 at the launch of the DB4GT. DB199 would go on to perform press car duties and would serve as a development and test vehicle.

Aston Martin would go on to build 75 DB4GTs plus 20 Zagatos.

Provenance
In June of 1961, DP199 was sold to Hon Gerald Lascelles, the Queen's cousin. Although this was the first DB4GT car built, it was also the 59th DB4GT to be delivered. When it came into the care of Mr. Lascelles, it was with at least the third engine, number 370/0184/GT (the same engine currently in its bay). It was commissioned in July of 1959 and was numbered 184. In April of 1960, Aston Martin switched all DB4GT engine numbering to four digits being prefixed with a zero – hence 0184. Later in 1961, the DB4GT Zagato '0184' appeared with engine number 0184, but Works records show the two separate engines with different block and head numbers.

Mr. Lascelles kept the car at Fort Belvedere. In 1965, it was sold to Mike Salmon and stayed in his care until 1971. It then entered the care of several enthusiasts such as Chris Stewart, John Norrington, David Preece, Anthony Mayman, and Jimmy Wilson.

The current owner acquired the car in 1986. In 1989, Aston Martin was commissioned to restore the car. The work returned the car back to its LeMans 1959 guise but kept the 3.7-liter engine.

After the restoration, the car appeared at the Aston Martin festival at Monterey in 1989 and went on to win its class at Pebble Beach in the same year.

The car was later sold and had two other owners' including Rowan Atkinson, before returning to the current owner, who restored the car in 1989.


By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2017

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2017 RM Sothebys : Monterey

Pre-Auction Estimates :
USD $6,000,000-USD $8,000,000 
Sale Price :
USD $6,765,000

1959 Aston Martin DB4 GT Auction Sales

Recent Sales of the Aston Martin DB4 GT

(Data based on Model Year 1959 sales)
1959 Aston Martin DB4GT Lightweight
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1959 Aston Martin DB4 GT Profiles

1959 Aston Martin DB4 GT vehicle information
Coupe
Coachwork: Touring
Chassis #: DB4GT/0168/L
Engine #: 370/0168/GT
Gearbox #: S.432/3/500
1959 Aston Martin DB4 GT vehicle information
Coupe
Coachwork: Touring
Chassis #: DB4GT/0151/R
1959 Aston Martin DB4 GT vehicle information
Coupe
Coachwork: Touring
1959 Aston Martin DB4 GT vehicle information
Coupe
Coachwork: Touring
Chassis #: DP199/1
Engine #: 370/0184/GT