Launched in 1958, the Aston Martin DB4 was the front runner of a new wave of models released by the company which had been acquired by David Brown nine years previously and would go onto by " icons" of the Sixties.
The DB4 was launched by Aston Martin at the 1958 London Motor Show where its "Continental" styling, creating something of a sensation.
The car was the subject of much attention as it was making its initial mark in motoring history by being the first car to be produced at Aston Martin’s new factory in Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire.
While final assembly of the DB4 was focused there, although platforms, engines and transmissions were manufactured by other companies in the David Brown group.
During the five years that the DB4 was in production, five different "Series" were produced, while the car’s design would later go on to form the basis for later Aston Martin classics to come during the Sixties. These included the DB4 GT Zagato, the Lagonda Rapide 4-door saloon, and most prominently its ultimate replacement, the Aston Martin DB5.
The body style and design, which ran on a 98-inch wheelbase, was farmed out to Touring of Milan, followed the "Superleggera" construction method. In this method the vehicle "skin" was gradually built up upon a tubular network. During its production run of five years, Aston Martin released a total of five "series" of DB4s, each one more appealing than the model that preceded it. The Aston Martin DB4 and its spinoff the DB4GT was an undoubted un-"English" sports car with a distinctive European flair.
With its body designed by Carrozzeria Touring of Milan, using Superleggera (super-light) tube frame technology pioneered by the company, together with a rack and pinion steering and a powerful new 3.7 litre engine designed by Polish engineer Tadek Marek, the Aston Martin DB4 was regarded as a landmark car in terms of both design and performance.Capable of reaching 0-100 mph (161 km/hour) in a mere 21 seconds, the DB4 was the first UK production car to achieve this level of performance.
For the Series 2 version of the DB 4, released in 1960, Aston Martin provided modifications that included fitting a front-hinged bonnet to the four-seater, with chrome window frames brightening the appearance, while a new-style front bumper was also added.
From a technical viewpoint, the DB4’s front brakes were increased to 12i-inch diameter, with 111-inch rears.
Altogether 1,110 DB4s were produced, in five distinct 'series' with various style changes and improvements throughout its five-year run.
Proving its status as frontrunner, built around the more than ten years of experience and development of the DB 2 series in its various formats, every car in the DB4 to DB6 Mk II range used the same basic pressed steel platform chassis.
Though there were several different wheelbases, each combination also came fitted with a version of the straight-six all-alloy twin-cam engine designed by Tadek Marek for Aston Martin.
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A guide to acquiring, restoring and maintaining UK or European Classic Cars of the Fifties and Sixties- as well as a recollection of the iconic cars of the era and the visionaries that produced them.
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