As we know from several James Bond movies, Aston Martin has a long history of combining luxury and power in their sports cars. Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford founded the British company in 1913, and it has become something of a British cultural icon. One of their most popular production cars is the DB4 series. The Aston Martin DB4 GT and the DB4 GT Zagato have especially shaped the brand’s image to what it is now known as today.
London Motor Show 1959
Aston Martin unveiled the DB4 GT in October 1959 at the London Motor Show as an exciting new development of the standard DB4. It was 85 kg lighter than the regular version, and it was raced extensively with success by many famous drivers.
Also, the British decided to shorten the chassis compared to the regular DB4, to add new headlamps and to equip the GT with an upgraded engine. The car was a pure two-seater with doors that were significantly shortened. The side windows and the rear window were made of lightweight Plexiglas. Various technical components that were primarily for comfort were removed to demonstrate the car’s superb racing capabilities.
According to Aston Martin, the engine’s power output was 302 PS (222 kW). However, this figure is generally doubted by experts who quote the output was more likely 270 PS. The car reached a top speed of 246 km/h and accelerated from zero to 100 km/h in around 6.2 seconds. When released, the DB4 GT was the fastest production car in the UK. But the DB4 GT was also one of the first cars to go from standstill to 100mph and then brake to a dead stop in under 20 seconds – a pretty impressive performance back then.
Some examples by John Ogier’s Essex Racing Stable and his team enjoyed numerous victories over Ferraris, vying over the prevailing dominance of the Italians in GT racing.
State Of The Art Interior
However, the GT didn’t lack in any way in terms of luxury comfort. Despite being designed and produced for wealthy businesses, who searched for the ultimate driving experience, the DB4 GT retained all the features of a top-notch luxury car. The sports car offered leather seats, deep-pile carpeting, a wooden steering wheel and a well-designed instrument panel.
Price & Collectability
The whole DB4 series was very popular among collectors. Its body was designed in Milan and regarded as a successful synthesis of British technology and Italian style. Still today, many Aston Martin enthusiasts celebrate the DB4 series as one the best post-war cars. Previous vehicles were lacking in power while the later DB5 and DB6 put on weight and were not providing the same driving experience as the DB4 series. But collectors especially appreciated the GT version as a symbiosis of road and track cars.
Limited to only 75 units, the British supercar was available only for the brand’s best clients. Even rarer still was the DB4 GT Zagato, limited to only 25 cars (incl. 4 Sanction II and 2 Sanction III vehicles). Nowadays, both cars fetch very attractive prices at auction, with the DB4 GT having a market price of around USD 1.5 to 3.5 million (depending on the condition and history of the car) and the DB4 GT Zagato up to USD 10 million. Impressive, if you imagine the initial selling price in 1959 was around GBP 4’670.
Original selling price started at GBP 4’670 (in 1959), but the current market price is notably higher at around USD 1’500’000 to 3’500’000 (depending on the condition and history of the car)
Limited to only 75 vehicles
When to drive:
This historic track-focused Aston Martin is fun to go anywhere you can. Take a spin through the city center or corner around a racing track. Either way, I am sure you will make some heads turn.
What we love about the car:
The Aston Martin DB4 GT is a historic proof that a British manufacturer could beat Italian brands at their own game by constructing the ultimate Gran Turismo.
Photography: Blerim Rafuna IG: @blekoshots