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1963 Aston Martin DB4 SS Engine Convertible

RM Sotheby's

1963 Aston Martin DB4 SS Engine Convertible
RM Sotheby's
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SH ID

24-0226006

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FEATURED BY SPEEDHOLICS

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In Stock

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United Kingdom

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Dealer

Engine number 370/1051/SS

 

Among the rarest of all Aston Martins

 

Displayed at the 1963 Los Angeles International Motor Show

 

Equipped with its numbers-matching SS “Special Series” engine

 

One of only eight left-hand-drive DB4 Series V convertibles built to this specification

 

Finished in its factory-correct livery of metallic Black Pearl over Red Connolly hide with Black mohair convertible top

 

Fresh concours-quality restoration by UK specialists with oversight by noted Aston Martin expert and author Stephen Archer


Description

With its introduction in 1958, the DB4 model advanced Aston Martin into the future. Entirely new from the ground-up, a rigid steel platform chassis was created and fitted with all-around disc brakes, rack-and-pinion steering, and independent front suspension. Celebrated engineer Tadek Marek conceived an all-new inline six-cylinder twin-cam engine with aluminum block and head. All this was clad with a striking fastback body fabricated in aluminum alloy and designed by Carrozzeria Touring of Milan using their vaunted Superleggera (super light) principle of wrapping lightweight panels around a taut, small-diameter steel tube skeleton—imbuing the Superleggera package with remarkable rigidity—while the sensational styling would set the tone for Aston Martin for many years to come. Over its five-year production run, Aston Martin continuously refined the DB4, with the Aston Martin Owners Club now separating the model into five distinct series. Upgrades to successive series included subtle body modifications such as round, recessed rear lights, a flatter bonnet scoop, and a new, slatted grille, in addition to many mechanical refinements. Perhaps the most notable evolution occurred in 1961, when Aston Martin allowed customers to specify the Special Series, or “SS,” engine. This engine, as offered with the DB4 Vantage, was fitted with triple SU carburetors, larger valves, and a compression ratio of 9:1, among other high-performance, race-proven modifications. The resulting SS engine was quoted as developing 266 brake horsepower at 5,750 rpm, a useful increase compared to the standard engine output of 240 brake horsepower at 5,500 rpm. Later in 1961, Aston Martin unveiled their elegant convertible version of the DB4. Just 70 examples of the DB4 convertible would ultimately be produced, making it one of the rarest production cars in Aston Martin’s history. The high-specification DB4 convertible on offer here, chassis number DB4C/1082/L, certainly stands out as a special outlier among these already-exclusive vehicles. Built 21 September 1962 and dispatched a few days later to California Aston Martin distributor Peter Satori of Los Angeles, this DB4 Convertible is one of 33 examples equipped with the uprated SS engine—but one of just eight Series V examples with left-hand drive, and the only one to be finished in the stunning livery of Black Pearl over Red leather. Following its arrival in the US, DB4C/1082/L was displayed at the 1963 Los Angeles International Motor Show before being sold to its first owner, listed as the Wheeldex Simpla Corporation of Los Angeles. (Wheeldex Simpla is perhaps best known as inventors of the Simplawheel, a precursor to the Rolodex.) The car is believed to have remained in California through its next recorded owner, Forrest Moore of Aptos, California, who acquired it in the late 1970s. In the mid-1990s Moore commissioned a restoration by award-winning Aston Martin specialist Kevin Kay of Redding, California, during which the car was refinished in green. Photo documentation of this work is available. Shortly after completion, the DB4 was brokered by Aston Martin collector Eric Jeffries of Cincinnati, Ohio who sold it via Bob Fountain of The Aston Workshop in the United Kingdom at the Techno Classica Essen Exhibition. The next recorded owners were T.J. Bahr, followed by Wolfgang G. Koehne, both of Germany. In 2008, the car was acquired by a prominent collection in the Middle East; next, in early 2022, it was purchased by the consignor, who commissioned a full restoration with the noted firm Classic Motor Cars of Shropshire, UK. The fresh restoration (also photo-documented) commenced with stripping the car to its bare shell and refinishing the chassis in correct red oxide before beginning an exhaustive refurbishing and reassembly process. This work included new suspension components, brakes, and complete electrical renewal. Marque specialists Oselli Ltd. of Milton Keynes, UK were tasked with rebuilding the car’s numbers-matching Special Series engine. During the rebuild, the cylinders were bored to accommodate larger pistons, increasing the engine’s displacement to 4.2-liters, a popular upgrade delivering increased power. And finally, the DB4’s body was finished in its-factory correct Black Pearl, while the interior was trimmed with genuine Red Connolly Vaumol leather hides and grey Wilton wool carpets. The Borrani-style wheels have been shod with new Avon Turbosteel tires. The sale is accompanied by a copy of its factory build sheet, tool roll with period tools, jack and hammer, plus a rare leather-bound owner’s manual with both convertible and Special Series supplemental pages. In addition, a factory sales brochure and event program from the 1963 Los Angeles Motor Show are included. With its impressive performance and stunning Touring-designed coachwork, the Aston Martin DB4 is among the most coveted of all British sports and GT cars, held by many aficionados to be the “connoisseur’s choice” within the DB4/5/6 lineage. This superb example wears a concours-quality restoration and is powered by its number-matching Special Series engine. As such this rare and highly specified convertible offers a truly unrepeatable opportunity to acquire and enjoy what is certainly among the finest specimens available in the world today.
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