Arizona | Lot 234

1962 Aston Martin DB4



$440,000 USD | Sold

United States | Phoenix, Arizona

29 January 2016

Chassis No.
Engine No.
  • Matching-numbers engine
  • Professionally converted to LHD; fitted with modern air conditioning
  • Refinished in original Aegean Blue with White Gold leather
  • Outstanding, faithfully maintained driver
  • Includes jack, tool roll, owner’s handbook, period brochure, and copy of the factory build sheet

240 bhp, 3,670 cc DOHC inline six-cylinder engine with dual SU carburetors, four-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with upper and lower control arms, coil springs, and an anti-roll bar, live rear axle with Watt’s linkage, trailing links, and coil springs, and four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 98 in.

The Aston Martin DB4 was five years in development and shared little with the Mark III that preceded it. Its profile is instantly recognizable; to many connoisseurs, it is a perfectly proportioned automobile, and it set the style template for the famous DB5 and later DB6 models that followed. The Mark III’s tube frame was abandoned for a steel platform, designed by Harold Beach, while the bodywork was styled by Touring of Milan, using their vaunted Superleggera construction process, with hand-formed aluminum alloy panels over small-diameter steel tubing.

Tadek Marek designed a new engine, said to be inspired by Jaguar’s DOHC XK engine, though cast from aluminum and more refined with prodigious torque. It was based on the DBR2 racing motor and was capable of propelling the DB4 to 141 mph, with four-wheel disc brakes to bring it down from speed. The prototype was taken to Brown’s farm for him to test in 1957, and, with typical understatement, he pronounced it “a very promising motor car.”

As the DB4 underwent numerous running changes throughout its five-year lifespan, the AMOC Register has separated DB4s into five series, which roughly correspond to the continuous running changes during production. To many, the most desirable was the Series IV. These were the last of the “original proportion” DB4s. They featured a new grille with seven vertical bars, and rear lights were recessed into the bodywork, while the car’s bonnet scoop was lowered, all features which survived through the DB5.

Registered new in 1962 in Birmingham, England as 484 FOJ, this Aston Martin was finished in Aegean Sea Blue with White Gold Connolly leather interior. It was bought by the Dunnett family, who owned a respected bakeware company. Early maintenance records from Aston Service of Dorset extend to 1968, with a new clutch fitted at 56,195 miles. The second owner of record was Mr. Gee of High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, after which the DB4 was believed to have been sold to Northern Europe and subsequently converted to left-hand drive.

In 2006, Alex von Mozer of Sassenheim, The Netherlands, shipped the car to Autosport Designs in New York to have it serviced prior to sale to an American customer. The odometer indicated 77,575 miles at the time and still retained its numbers-matching drivetrain. The DB4 was then acquired by Michael Sanford of Montauk, New York, who acquired it in April of that year. He commissioned extensive improvements, including body and paintwork, wiring, steering and suspension, new brakes, and tires. A modern R134 air-conditioning system was fitted, along with an alarm system and fire extinguisher. Accompanying receipts for the work extend over three years and total just over $64,000. The odometer indicated 78,990 miles at completion.

The current consignor purchased this DB4 from Mr. Sanford in July 2011, after ordering a detailed pre-purchase examination by Aston Martin restoration specialists Steel Wings, then of Hopewell, New Jersey. The report described the car as a good unrestored driver with a pleasantly patinated interior. The suspension had already been upgraded to a Steel Wings handling package, and the engine ran well, pulling strongly through the rpm range, with no hint of overheating under extreme conditions, while the gearbox shifted smoothly. Additional work was recommended and performed, including a complete overhaul of the braking system, replacing numerous engine and gearbox seals, and repairs to the clutch and exhaust. Recent maintenance by Aston Martin of New England, a factory-designated Heritage service facility, in September 2015 included a complete mechanical service to the tune of $1,600, and the car is ready to be enjoyed with gusto. In addition, AMoNE has prepared a PPI, available to qualified parties upon request.

The DB4 is currently configured without its bumpers for an aggressive and purposeful look, a popular practice in the UK, although the pair is included with the car, FOB Massachusetts. The consignor drives it often and regularly between his home in Boston and his beach house on Cape Cod, with great satisfaction due to its sparkling performance (not to mention the air conditioning!), and he is selling reluctantly due to the recent acquisition of a DB5. The original jack, a correct reproduction tool roll, both owner’s and workshop manuals, a period brochure, and a copy of its original factory build sheet accompany the car, along with service invoices during its U.S. ownership over the past 10 years.

This is an exciting, well-maintained DB4, a proven reliable and sorted driver, very presentable in its attractive original colors and representing an estimable value in today’s market.

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