During the cars 15 years in Portugal the Aston did benefit from some restoration work having been sold out of Belgium requiring substantial refurbishment. Whilst there are invoices for thousands of pounds worth of work and the car was in regular use, it was when it returned to the UK that it was subject of a major program of work. In the region of £145, 000 was spent on 556 AXB from 2015 to 2017 with the rebuild being handled by specialists Classic Astons and the engine being fully rebuilt by World renowned expert's RS Williams. The car went into Classic Astons and the exterior was fully stripped down and the interior including dashboard removed. The engine and gearbox were removed, as was the front suspension and rear axle. The chassis and frame were attached to a mobile unit for restoration and doors, bonnet, boot and glass was removed from the car. The bodyshell was totally paint stripped, taken back to metal, restored and fully re-painted in the original colour of Snow Shadow Grey. The DB4 was treated to all new brake pipes and fitting clamps to original specification, rebuilt brake calipers, master cylinder and servo, new brake hoses, the suspension was stripped down for powder coating, the axle and half shafts were stripped down, and a new crown wheel and pinion fitted, new pinion gears and new wheel bearings and seals fitted.
New aluminium exhaust shields and master cylinder shields were fabricated, new road springs and axle bump straps fitted, and the Armstrong lever arms were refurbished. A new HBE uprated anti-roll bar kit using solid aluminium mountings were fitted, as was a were new steering rack mountings and the car treated to adjustable power steering. A new engine loom was fitted, wiring changed to negative earth polarity and a new clock and re-calibrated gauges were refitted to the car. The freshly rebuilt RSW 4. 2 specification engine was refitted to the car with new mountings, a new clutch and cover fitted, and the gearbox rebuilt with new seals and refitted to the car. A new alternator, starter motor, fabricated radiator cowl, re-conditioned radiator, new air ducting, new water hoses and powder coated engine bay ancillaries were all re-fitted to the Aston Martin. A new fuel pump, washer pump, Kenlowe fan, stainless steel exhaust system and refurbished pancake air filters were also fitted to the car. The DB4 was then externally built back up with new aluminium sill finishers, B post panels, boot sills, re-chromed front bumpers, window frames, dash bezels, headlamp bezels, front grille, bonnet stay, rear window catches, wheel spinners and accelerator pedal. New door and window rubbers seals were fitted, all aluminium door and A post finishers were fitted, new chrome wires supplied and fitted, Halogen headlamps, new splash panels and new stainless bumper supports all fitted. The inside of the car was treated to a new steering wheel, new door capping's, new carpet set, refurbished glove box inner panels, rebuilt dashboard and switch gear, new seat belts, Retro radio with Bluetooth and the leather seats carefully refurbished. The boot area was fitted with new ‘Hardura' matting and insulation as original specification.
Since 2019, the most recent owner has spent a further £20, 000 on the car having commissioned Aston Martin Works at Newport Pagnell to fully inspect the car and carry out various recommendations. In 2020 Aston Martin overhauled both rear lever arm dampers, replaced drop links and bolts, rebuilt king pin assemblies, replaced door handles and new key sets, fitted new spring washers to brake calipers, re-sealed the engine rev counter drive, rectified engine mounting oil leaks by fitting new gasket and new nuts, fitted new bullet mirrors and fully serviced the car. In 2019 at Aston Martin works various oil leaks were attended too with a replacement rear gearbox seal and both cam covers were removed, gaskets were replaced and then they were torqued down to seal. The rear axle was removed and leaking plug welds were repaired, rear hub seals were replaced, the right hand hub was replaced and new rear discs were fitted due to surface corrosion. The car was treated to new HT leads, spark plugs and distributor cap, road wheels were balanced and front brake discs de-glazed and the pads were replaced due to backing plates coming away. Recent maintenance has been carried out with no expense spared and this should give the next owner great confidence in the car.
As result of the recent restoration 556 AXB is a truly outstanding, top class example. The body is exceptional, the paintwork is pristine, chrome work outstanding and the engine bay first class. The interior has a wonderful high-quality yet aged feel to it, everything works correctly and on the road this Aston Martin DB4 Series II is quite simply outstanding. The sound, performance and handling are as close to perfection as one could expect, this is a true delight to drive. The RS Williams spec engine holds correct oil pressure, runs perfectly and is quick, responsive and a real masterpiece. The four-speed gearbox is slick and lovely to use, the steering is light and having covered several hundred miles ourselves in the car, we know it's very special on the road. 556 AXB is true collector's car quality with provenance, history and its exceptional appearance is equally matched by its performance and driving experience. With around 2000 miles since completion, the DB4 is now nicely run in and ready for some long-distance touring and regular use.
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