The first Aston Martin DB4 ever shown to the public has been offered for sale and could be yours for around $1.5 million…
As we all know, anything remotely linked with Aston Martin’s DB series is sure to light the auctioneers touchpaper but this is something rather special.
Prior to the 1958 Paris Auto Show, Marcel Blondeau of Garage Mirabeau threw a private party for his well-heeled clientele and gave them an automotive treat by introducing Aston Martin’s brand-new offering – the all-new DB4. Days later, this very DB4 would take centre stage at the 1958 Paris Auto Show – becoming the first DB4 to be presented to the general public.
More importantly, this particular Aston Martin DB4 is an early Series 1 model, one of only 50 ever produced and the first left-hand-drive DB4 ever built, making it extremely rare and highly desirable
Aston Martin DB4
The British marque had been working on the DB4 since 1956 and started from scratch in a bid to create something that was visionary and well ahead of its time – every single major component in the DB4 was brand new.
Times were changing and General Manager John Wyer approached Touring of Milan in a bid to design the successor to the DB2/4, alongside Aston Martin’s internal engineers – Chassis Designer Harold Beach, and Engine Designer Tadek Marek.
Sitting alongside the DB2/4 Mark III on the Aston Martin stand, this was a car that looked almost ahead of its time and Harold Beach was determined to create something that would hold their patented Superleggera body system.
Not only did the DB4 look stunningly different, but there were also major engineering changes including a sturdy platform chassis on which a framework of light-gauge tubes were welded – these supported the aluminium body panels designed by Touring. Surprisingly, Federico Formenti, Touring’s designer and Beach penned the beautiful silhouette that was to become a global icon in just six weeks.
I can sell as many as you can supply
Blondeau wasn’t wrong and this particular example, chassis 102/L, comes with ‘matching-numbers’ engine/gearbox and is dressed in original Dessert White with original black leather upholstery. Adding to the rarity factor, the car was one of only 50 produced without bumper over-riders or door window frames and also features a rear-hinged front opening bonnet hiding one of the very first production engines built by Tadek Marek.
The all-new Marek DB4 engine was a complete redesign and was 22 kg (48.5 lbs) lighter than the previous cast-iron block, thanks to its all-alloy construction. Bore and stroke were squared at 92-mm, and displacement rose to 3670-cc. Twin SU HD8 carburettors were fitted, and compression was increased from 8.2 to 8.25:1.
A David Brown four-speed manual gearbox was fitted as standard, with a single dry plate Borg & Beck clutch. All told, 102/L was quoted as having a peak output of 240 bhp – an astounding 78 bhp over the DB2/4 Mark III that shared its stage.
Without a doubt, this is one of the most significant Aston Martins to be offered for private sale by RM Sotheby’s and is priced accordingly at €925,000…
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