THE 1962 ROAD AND TRACK COVER CAR
1962 ASTON MARTIN DB4 SERIES IV
COACHWORK BY TOURING
Chassis No. DB4/801/L
Engine No. 370/842
Black with red leather interior
Engine: 3.7 litre, twin overhead camshaft in-line six cylinder, 3.670cc (224ci.), 240bhp at 5,000rpm; Gearbox: four speed manual with electronic overdrive; Suspension: front by unequal transverse wishbones and telescopic shock absorbers with coil springs, rear by coil springs with shock absorbers and live axle; Brakes: four wheel discs. Left hand drive.
At its unveiling in 1958, the Aston Martin DB4 was met by the discerning London Motor Show attendees with avid enthusiasm. The car combined handsome styling with the newly designed Tadek Marek twin overhead camshaft 3.7 litre engine. The sleek body was crafted by Touring of Milan and utilized the Superleggera method of panel attachment, which provided for the lightweight body's union with the steel tube frame. Overall performance was impressive and the in-line six cylinder proved light enough to help the DB4 race to 60 mph in under ten seconds. Series IV DB4s exemplified the concept of high speed Grand Touring as the comforts for the driver had come to include an optional electronic overdrive. Other features included a wider ratio gearbox, twin plate Borg Beck clutch and an improved suspension system.
The car on offer is documented as first having been delivered to British Motor Car Distributors in San Francisco, California where it was to be used as a demonstrator and press car. Before being sold to San Rafael resident, Mr. Nakamura, chassis number 801L was loaned to the Road and Track editorial staff for a feature article in the April, 1962 issue. The staff members were so impressed with the car that they chose to feature the Aston as the cover car for the April issue. After spending many years in Southern California and appearing in regional concours as early as 1973, it was sold to the present owner, an East Coast collector in early 1990. He then embarked on a devoted, careful and correct restoration at Autosport Specialists of New Jersey that spanned over four years. By its close, the restoration costs alone totaled over $60,000 for which complete documentation and photographs are available for inspection.
The restoration aimed at retaining the car's originality, therefore parts were replaced only as necessary and even those that were replaced were done so with the correct, original, stock items. Restoration costs for the motor and engine bay, which is reported to be in excellent overall condition, amounted to nearly $18,000 alone. Since the engine rebuild the car has logged less than 4,000 miles and has been regularly maintained to keep it in proper running order. Both the front and rear suspension were completely rebuilt, as were the fuel pump and ignition system. The underbody was also completely resprayed and re-undersealed. All rubber, including seals, tubes and tires were replaced, as were all gaskets. The car was completely stripped and all panels were removed, allowing for a thorough respray of the DB4's original black color at a cost of over $10,000. The interior and trunk were also completely refurbished. The headliner was redyed, while the dashboard cover, which had begun to show its age, was replaced. New Connolly leather hides were used on the front seats and door panels. A new carpet was matched to the original grey Wilton wool and was finished with matching leather piping. Brightwork on the Aston was rechromed only as necessary as the owner reports it was in very good condition when he first took delivery of the car. Overall, the owner reports this DB4 to be in truly impressive, excellent running condition, a result of the lengthy, no expense spared, correct restoration.
Following the completion of the restoration in 1995, the vendor entered the Aston Martin in the AMOC Lime Rock, Connecticut Concours. In 1995 chassis 801L received a First in Class, and the following year the car was awarded with Elite Class status at the Aston Martin Owners' Club event. In 1997 the car was again awarded with Elite Class status by the AMOC judges. The vendor also reported finishing a very impressive Second Place for all Astons at the New Hope, Pennsylvania Concours in 1995 and then again in 1997. The car currently shows approximately 83,500 miles, which is believed to be from new. Lending support to the long and distinguished Aston Martin heritage, this DB4 is an exceptional example and we highly recommend close inspection.