Portola Hotel & Spa
18 - 19 August 2017
Lot 163

1961 Aston Martin DB4 Series II


$748,000 USD | Sold

United States | Monterey, California



Chassis No.
Engine No.
  • Original California-delivery, factory left-hand-drive example
  • Matching-numbers engine; BMIHT Certificate included
  • Exceedingly faithful to factory build sheet, including original colors
  • Very well maintained since major mechanical overhaul by marque experts
  • Includes original jack, owner’s handbook, tool roll, and sales brochure

An original factory left-hand-drive car, chassis DB4/580/L was delivered new by Southern California distributor Charles Hornburg to its original Los Angeles-based owner, who is thought to be a Mr. J.A. Rogers. Mr. Rogers was quite the Aston enthusiast, as he also owned one of the rare Bertone-bodied DB2/4s (LML/550). He traded both to Oregon-based dealer Ron Tonkin for a Ferrari in the mid-’70s. Ultimately, the DB4 was acquired in British Columbia, Canada, by its previous U.S. owner, with known past owners (four in all) residing on the West Coast. An impressively solid example that retains its original color of Caribbean Pearl, it completed a 1,200-mile Canadian rally, The Spring Thaw, in April 2014.

The car was imported and delivered to marque specialists Kevin Kay Restorations in Redding, California, for a thorough appraisal of its condition. The underside was found to be remarkably clean, still with its original red oxide primer finish, and free of the masking undercoating that can be a troublesome trap for moisture. Although it was a strong runner with clearly well-maintained mechanicals, a not atypical leak was found at the rear main seal area. To repair this properly, removal of the engine was required, and the updated Steel Wings-developed sealing kit was installed. With the engine casing apart, the crankshaft was examined, and it was recommended that a regrind would be beneficial, as well as replacement of the main bearings. In addition, a new clutch disk, pressure plate, and clutch slave cylinder were installed. With the motor out, the engine bay was detailed, as was the engine overall (utilizing proper Jubilee hose clamps, etc.), prior to reinstallation once its bottom-end rebuild was completed, as specified above.

With its excellent body and paint, all noted surface imperfections were attended to and the bumpers were re-plated for good measure. Now complemented with a sparkling engine bay, the decision was made to complete a total re-trim, including full upholstery using the finest Connolly-type hides (in the original Dark Blue) with contrasting grey Wilton wool carpets. A new headliner and a refinished dashboard were done as well. The current owner modified the seats slightly by removing some of the padding, so that taller drivers can comfortably fit.

Already as handsome as one may find, the car is set apart by its set of rare factory-optional Borrani wire wheels (including the spare wheel), which are shod in Vredestein Sprint Classic radial tires. The DB4 is also equipped with its original Motorola radio, as well as a lovely pair of authentic Marchal driving lamps. A full complement of sought-after extras are included: the original jack, leather-bound owner’s handbook, and tool roll; a series-correct original color sales brochure; its British Motor Industry Heritage Trust Certificate; a copy of its original factory build sheet; restoration invoices; and correspondence between prior owners. The odometer shows just over 62,000 miles today, which are believed original due to its structural integrity and well-preserved undercarriage.

Very well maintained in its present ownership, this Aston Martin DB4 is certainly among the finest available anywhere, and it invites close inspection.