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1963 ASTON MARTIN DB4 'SERIES 5' VANTAGE CONVERTIBLE For Sale

1963 ASTON MARTIN DB4 'SERIES 5' VANTAGE CONVERTIBLE REGISTRATION NO. YJR 870 CHASSIS NO. DB4C/1166/R • One of 70 DB4 convertibles made • One of only five RHD Series V cars with the Vantage engine • Only three owners since 1984 • Continuously maintained for the last 36 years • Extensive service records Footnotes The Aston Martin DB4 was perhaps the finest compromise which the David Brown-owned company ever achieved between exceptionally high-quality, exceptionally high-performance, exceptionally lavish finishing and yet properly contained overall size and weight – a great British product, benefiting from the styling input of Touring of Milan...' – Motors, 1965. Classically proportioned and instantly recognisable from the moment of its introduction in 1958, the Touring-styled Aston Martin DB4 established a look that would survive, with only minor revisions, until 1970. Moreover, it was the first Aston Martin to carry Carrozzeria Touring's 'Superleggera' bodywork, in which light alloy panels were fixed to a framework of light-gauge steel tubes welded to a platform chassis. Although styled by Touring, the DB4's gorgeous fastback coachwork was built under license at Newport Pagnell by Aston Martin, which employed some of the finest panel beaters in the industry. The result was a car whose sleek lines were described as 'unmistakably Italian and yet... equally unmistakably Aston Martin'. Designed by Tadek Marek and already proven in racing, the DB4's new twin-cam six-cylinder engine displaced 3,670cc while the gearbox was a new David Brown four-speed all-synchromesh unit. An immensely strong platform-type chassis, designed by Harold Beach, replaced the preceding DB2/4's multi-tubular spaceframe, the latter being considered incompatible with Touring's Superleggera body construction. The DB2/4's trailing-link independent front suspension gave way to unequal-length wishbones while at the rear the DB4 sported a live axle located by a Watts linkage instead of its predecessor's Panhard rod. Boasting disc brakes all round and with 240bhp on tap, the DB4 was the first production car capable of accelerating from a standing start to 100mph and back to rest again in under 30 seconds. At a time when few family saloons were capable of exceeding 70mph and took an age to get there, this staggering performance made the DB4 just about the fastest thing on the road, easily the equal of its Italian rivals. The DB4 was available only as a closed sports saloon until September 1961 when the convertible version was announced. Manufactured between October 1958 and June 1963, the DB4 developed through no fewer than five series. However, it should be made clear that the cars were not thus designated by the factory, this nomenclature having been suggested subsequently by the Aston Martin Owners Club to aid identification as the model evolved. The first cars had already undergone a number of improvements, including the fitting of heavy-duty bumpers after the first 50 had been made, before the 2nd Series arrived in January 1960. A front-hinged bonnet, bigger brake callipers and an enlarged sump were the major changes made on the Series 2, while the 3rd Series featured separate rear lights, two bonnet stays and a host of improvements to the interior fittings. The 4th Series was readily distinguishable by its new grille, with seven vertical bars, shallower bonnet intake and recessed rear lights, while the final (5th) Series manufactured between September 1962 and June 1963 was built on a 3½" longer wheelbase (allowing for increased leg room and a larger boot) and gained 15" wheels, an electric radiator fan and the DB4GT-type instrument panel. One of the most notable developments had arrived with the introduction of the 'Series 4' in September 1961, when a 'Special Series' (SS) or 'Vantage' engine became available as an option. The 'SS' incorporated a 9.0:1 compression ratio, larger valves and triple SU HD8 carburettors, producing 266bhp at 5,750rpm, a gain of 26 horsepower over the standard unit. Coincidentally with the Series 4's introduction, the DB4 became available in convertible form. Unveiled at the 1961 Motor Show and priced at £4,449, it was £250 more expensive than the coupé. Passenger space was little changed, though there was more headroom than the coupé could offer. Combining Aston Martin's traditional virtues of style and performance with the joys of open-air motoring, the DB4 Convertible is most sought after and highly prized today. With the exception of the Zagato, the DB4 Convertible is the rarest Aston Martin road car of the David Brown era with a total of only 70 built, six less than the legendary DB4 GT. The car offered here, chassis number 'DB4C/1166/R', is one of only five right-hand drive Series 5 DB4 Convertibles produced with the 'Special Series' or 'Vantage' engine, and thus is one of the rarest of the rare. For the last 30-plus years it has been continuously maintained by recognised Aston Martin specialists, with full service records dating back to 1984. The accompanying copy guarantee form shows that '1166' was sold new in April 1963 via the agent Mill Garages (Sunderland) Ltd and first owned by A G P Ramsay Esq of Roecliffe Lodge, Corbridge, Northumberland. Its first registration number was 'NGR 10' and the form lists the Special Series engine, an oil cooler, and Irvin safety belts as items of non-standard equipment fitted. The original colour scheme was Midnight Blue with dark blue Connolly leather trim. Various service works are recorded, the last entry being dated 6th January 1964 (at 18,576 miles). The registration had changed to 'YJR 870' by the time the Aston was purchased in 1984 by Mr Donald Edward Lincoln, who would cherish it for the next 26 years. From 1984 to 1992, the DB4 was maintained by marque specialists Aston Service Dorset; from 1992-1998 by Rikki Cann; and from 1999 onwards by the highly respected Aston Martin specialists Trinity Engineering (previously Bastion Engineering) in Surrey. The most extensive service records and invoices (close inspection recommended) reflect a history of no-expense-spared maintenance together with regular cosmetic and mechanical replacements and improvements. Cosmetic improvements and mechanical servicing undertaken since 2009 total some £60,000. Trinity's most recent invoice (issued in March 2016) is for general servicing; a thorough check over; and extensive refurbishment. The extensive historical records include tax discs dating back to 1979 and MoT certificates dating back to 1976 when '1166' had covered 40,448 miles. When the 2015 MoT certificate was issued in 2015 the mileage reading was 45,636, reflecting sparing yet regular use since 1976. In 2010 Mr Lincoln sold the DB4 to the immediately preceding owner, a dedicated Aston Martin enthusiast and collector, during whose custodianship it was driven sparingly, regularly maintained, and stored in his collection's climate controlled and heated specialist motor house. The Aston has been driven regularly to the Goodwood Revival event, where it has been much admired, and comes in its original colour combination of Salisbury Blue with dark blue upholstery and carpets. Overall, this car is presented in superb condition both mechanically and bodily. The current vendor - a prominent private collector - purchased '1166' at Bonhams' Sale at Aston Martin Works in 2016 (Lot 209), since when the car had been regularly maintained by his in-house engineer. Combining Aston Martin's traditional virtues of style and performance with the joys of open-air motoring, the DB4 Convertible is most sought after and highly prized today. With the exception of the Zagato, the DB4 Convertible is the rarest Aston Martin road car of the David Brown era with a total of only 70 built, six less than the legendary DB4 GT.
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