1963 Aston Martin DB4
Configuration: Longitudinal Front Engine, Rear Wheel Drive
Engine: 3670cc Inline 6
Horsepower: 350 @ 6000 RPM
Torque: 270 lb-ft @ 5000 RPM
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Top speed: 152 mph
Weight: 2870 lbs
While Aston Martin has long been well known for producing some of the world’s most desirable grand touring cars, behind the scenes their history has been anything but smooth. The brand has always strived to create the world’s most excellent and desirable automobiles using the highest levels of inventiveness, skill and determination. Aston Martins have always been known for their advanced engineering and subtle yet beautiful designs, though the cost of this was not cheap. Aston Martin struggled to stay afloat during the 20th century, partly due to high prices of their vehicles.
The DB4 was originally introduced in 1958 and represents the best of what the brand had to offer in the 20th century. Well known the 1960’s and beyond as James Bond’s car in Goldfinger, the DB4 has aged delightfully, representing the ultimate in athletic, elegant grand tourers.
Polish born racing driver Tadek Marek was Aston Martins lead engineer, heading the development of the DB4’s cast aluminum alloy 3.7 liter inline six. While typical DB4’s produced a hefty 240 horsepower in their time, the example on display has been bored and stroked to produce nearly 350 HP! Independent front suspension, coil springs and a rack & pinion steering rack compliments the DB4’s power plant.
Carrozzeria Touring in Milan produced the stunning tube frame Superleggera body for the DB4. Design elements changed slightly as the car matured. While the DB4 was produced from just 1958 – 1963, this ‘Series V’ example left the Newport Pagnell works facility in England in 1963, after DB5 production had already begun. DB5 features such as the radio and hood scoop are integrated into this DB4.
Aston Martin’s shaky history has not deterred them from designing and producing some of the most exquisite automobiles in history. In October during Audrain’s Newport Concours & Motor Week, Aston Martin held a global unveiling of two new and exclusive ‘Zagato Twins,’ the reproduced 1960’s DB4 GT Continuation and new DBS GT Zagato can only be sold as a multi-million-dollar pair, and only a few are being produced.
Aston Martin has always aimed to exhibit the best in engineering and design, though high prices have driven customers away in the past. Hypercars like the 1100+ horsepower Valkyrie are on the near horizon, giving fans and customers plenty to look forward to in the future. While the brand filed for bankruptcy seven times in its first century of existence, “The second century is about making sure that is not the case,” said newly appointed CEO Andy Palmer. The future is bright.