1962 Aston Martin Db4 Convertible
Chassis #: DB4C/1065/R
240 bhp, 3,670 cc inline six-cylinder engine with dual overhead camshafts, dual SU carburettors, four-speed manual gearbox, independent front suspension with helical coil springs, upper and lower wishbones, ball-jointed king pins and Telescopic shock absorbers, Live rear axle with trailing arms and transversely-mounted Watts linkage, helical coil springs and large double-action, lever-arm shock absorbers, and four-wheel, servo-assisted hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 98"
- One of only 70 DB4 Convertibles built
- Desirable, late-production Series IV example
- Complete with copy of original build sheet
- Offered with fresh MoT; well maintained and presented
Aston Martin’s first production car under David Brown’s guidance was the brilliant alloy-bodied, grand touring DB2. With a dual-cam Lagonda inline six-cylinder engine designed by W.O. Bentley under its bonnet (Lagonda was previously purchased by Brown for this very engine) and a tube-frame racing chassis developed initially for the DB1 two-litre sports racing car, the DB2 left a lasting impression on anyone fortunate enough to experience it.
In 1956, development on an all-new Aston Martin model began concurrently with the DB2-derived DB Mark III, which was produced into 1959. The resulting new car, named DB4, was introduced at the London Motor Show during the autumn of 1958. Not only did it set the tone of Aston Martin styling for years to come, it also introduced an all-new engine designed by Tadek Marek, the Polish-born engineer who became synonymous with Aston Martin engine design and engineering.
The DB4 engine, fitted with dual overhead camshafts, displacing 3,670 cc, was entirely constructed from aluminium and produced 240 bhp in standard tune with its dual SU carburettors. While its specifications were certainly impressive, it most importantly provided a platform for further development and continued, with various displacements and power ratings, through mid-1973.
Aston Martin turned to Milanese design firm Carrozzeria Touring for a fresh, Continental body, which was executed with Touring’s famed superleggera (super light) design, comprising a lightweight yet strong framework of small-diameter tubes cloaked in aluminium panels. The chassis, designed by Harold Beach, was both simpler in design and more rigid than its predecessors, using a new pressed-steel platform frame. Proficiency on the road was enhanced by four-wheel Dunlop (later Girling) disc brakes and, of course, the phenomenal Marek-designed dual overhead-cam straight six. Today, the DB4 continues to hold the distinction of being the first production car capable of travelling from 0-100-0 mph in less than 30 seconds. It is the car that squarely placed Aston Martin back on equal footing with its Italian archrivals, Ferrari and Maserati.
Indeed, Aston Martin had moved from strength to strength throughout the 1950s and the 1960s, and the DB4 played a crucial role in this success. In 1958, Britain’s Prince Philip awarded Aston Martin his Royal Warrant of Appointment, giving the marque the right to display his coat of arms on their cars and for its company letterheads to state “Motorcar Manufacturers by Appointment to His Royal Highness.” Under the guidance of famed “works” team manager John Wyer, Aston Martin took overall victory at Le Mans in 1959, with Carroll Shelby and Roy Salvadori driving the DBR1 sports racer.
Following on the success of the DB4 Coupé, the Convertible Coupé variant was announced at the 1961 London Motor Show. With its impeccable pedigree, it is little wonder that the DB4 was, and continues to be, the object of desire among fans of the world’s finest GT cars. While the phrases “Aston Martin” and “movie car” generally evoke images of 007’s famed DB5, the DB4 also graced the silver screen in the 1960s cult classic The Italian Job, in which Michael Caine drives a DB4 Convertible.
Although the factory did not distinguish between the various versions of the DB4, enthusiasts today group the cars into five series, each with similar basic specifications and subtle variations, reflecting the improvements and running changes made throughout production. The most obvious change of Series II was the switch to a front-hinged bonnet, as the car’s high-speed capabilities had on occasion caused the Series I rear-hinged bonnet to catch the wind, with predictable results. Other improvements included a two-pint increase in oil capacity to address high-speed overheating and enlarged brake callipers. Series III brought separate tail lamps on a polished aluminium plate, dual bonnet stays, an electric tachometer, and other interior improvements. Series IV cars are readily identifiable by their revised grille with seven fine vertical elements, a lower-profile hood scoop and a recessed tail lamp mounting. Combined, these changes allowed the DB4 to deliver on its promise of refined, long-distance motoring at previously unthinkable speeds.
The 1962 DB4 Convertible offered here, chassis DB4C/1065/R, is a handsome late-production example which incorporates the improvements of Series I through Series IV.
According to a copy of its original build sheet, one K. Motley, who lived at The Mill House in Kent, purchased the car new. The Aston Martin agent Brooklands delivered the car new on 19 September, 1962, with the car richly finished in Dubonnet (maroon) and Fawn Connolly trim. An original right-hand drive example, the only “non-standard” item fitted to DB4C/1065/R was an oil cooler. Although little is known of its subsequent history, owners include Manhatten Corp. Ltd in 1993. The present owner purchased the DB4 in August 2004 from one Mr. Howard of Derby, who had himself acquired the car in July 1995. Offered today complete with a fresh MoT certificate, DB4C/1065/R remains a wonderful example of just 70 DB4 Convertible Coupés originally built. It is ready to be enjoyed by a new enthusiast who is eager to sample the prodigious power and gorgeous style emblematic of Aston Martin.