Monterey | Lot 161
1961 Aston Martin DB4 Series III
$527,500 USD | Sold
| Monterey, California
24 August 2018
- One of only 165 Series III DB4s; built only during 1961
- Delivered new to U.S. diplomat Henry L.T. Koren
- Offered with factory owner’s manual, tool roll, and original jack
- Retains its original matching-numbers engine
By the time the DB4 was announced in 1958, Aston Martin had already built an enviable reputation for combining power, beauty, and that indefinable “something” that makes truly great automobiles – and all this before James Bond arrived on the scene. An all-new design with an Italian-styled body by Touring of Milan, the DB4 was an instant success.
Over a five-year production run, the DB4 went through several modifications; these changes led enthusiasts to separate the production run into five “series.” In all of the series was Tadek Marek’s all-new straight-six twin carburetor engine which produced a reported 240 bhp. The third series, as offered here, can be identified by the change in rear light design – the previous cathedral lights were now replaced with individual indicator, brake light, and reflector lenses. Other changes included twin bonnet stays and an electric tachometer. Only produced in 1961, the Series III is one of the rarest standard DB4s one can buy, even rarer in left-hand-drive configuration.
Chassis DB4/664/L is one such rare, original left-hand-drive, U.S.-supplied DB4 from the third series. Although Astons that arrived in the U.S. were usually supplied through a main agent, this DB4’s build sheet records show that it was sold directly to first owner H.L.T. Koren, care of the Department of State in Washington, D.C. – more than likely because of Mr. Koren’s role in U.S. government. In 1961, Mr. Henry L.T. Koren was the Director of the Office of Southeast Asian Affairs and would continue his career with positions as Ambassador to the Republic of the Congo, Deputy Director for Coordination, Bureau of Intelligence and Research, Department of State, and perhaps most importantly, as Deputy with the rank of minister to the Deputy Ambassador to Vietnam from July 1966 – February 1968. At the time of the Aston’s acquisition, Mr. Koren was clearly important enough to have his new Aston Martin delivered directly to him!
Although it is unknown how long Mr. Koren retained the car, it may have been traded in or stored during any of the above postings. Originally finished in the attractive and appropriate scheme of Goodwood Green with a red Connolly interior and shod with Firestone Sports tires, the DB4 would have made for a beautiful sight wherever it was stationed.
Known to well-known Aston Martin specialists Autosport Designs since 1999 when DB4/664/L was sold to a new owner in Washington State. The DB4 remained there for a decade before moving to the East Coast where it was subject to a full strip down and detail of the undercarriage, engine bay, and trunk as well as an extensive servicing by Carriage House Motor Cars in Greenwich, Connecticut. The DB4 has been with its most recent owner for five years, where it was lovingly maintained and used only in the fine weather. It was most recently shown at the 2017 Aston Martin Owners Club Lime Rock concours where it placed 2nd in the DB4 class.
In fine order both mechanically and cosmetically, DB4/664/L is ready for immediate use by its next caretaker, wherever they may be stationed.