Barn Bond: 1962 Aston Martin DB4

1962 Aston Martin Db4 Front Corner

James Bond might have been a brash and brave secret agent, but we bet he wouldn’t have had the guts to take on this project 1962 Aston Martin DB4. This rough DB4 has been in storage since 1974, and by the looks of it, it wasn’t a climate controlled garage. But given what the seller is asking for it and the recent spike in value of DB4s, we think Mr. Bond would be crazy to not extort M or the British Crown to get the money to buy and restore this car. This car is being offered by Gull Wing Motor Cars, out of Astoria, New York. Their asking price might be a bit high for a project, $185,000, but let’s take a closer look to see if it might be worth the money.

1962 Aston Martin Db4 Side View

We don’t think the DB4 is as attractive as its predecessor the DB2, but thats our personal opinion. However, there is no doubt that the DB4’s design impacted every Aston Martin design after it, with its more subtle grill and less rounded body. It’s sad that the DB4 never actually made it into any of the James Bond movies, but a handful were used as test mules for the movie while they waited to receive the DB5 for Goldfinger.

1962 Aston Martin Db4 Engine

Not only did the DB4 receive an exterior make over, but it also benfited from a mechanical refresher. Aston Martin dropped a new 3.7 inline into into the engine bay that was developed by Tadek Marek. This new engine produced an impressive 240 horsepower, but was prone to overheating. This car still has its original engine and four speed gearbox, but the seller doesn’t mention if it runs or not. This combination was able to hurdle the DB4 to about 130 mph while getting about 15 mpg.

1962 Aston Martin Db4 Interior

Of the British sports car manufacturers, Aston Martin produced some of the finest cars with the best appointed interiors. The DB4 was no exception and this one looks to have fared the test of time well. It looks to be complete and only in need of a good cleaning. The only thing we would replace is the carpet, which looks to be about shot. It’s obvious that this car has rust on the floors, but the question is how bad is it? Hopefully the floors aren’t as bad as the trunk, which is going to need to be completely cut out and replaced.

1962 Aston Martin Db4 Rear Corner

This Aston is going to be an expensive project to get back to showroom quality, but if the price keeps going up for these it could be a great investment. If we had the money to buy this car we would just fix the rust underneath, get it running, and drive it as is. It would probably draw more attention that way than it would with a new paint job. Then again, we doubt it is going attract as many ladies as James’ shiny silver DB5 did…

Comments

  1. chris Lawrence

    geez.. 185K? No way. Even with that kind of money, I would pass.

  2. Isaac Kennedy

    i wouldn’t give two cents for that piece of crap

  3. DW

    Chris & Isaac don’t have a clue… One sold recently at auction for over $535,000 …. I’d clean that car up and make it road worthy, then drive it like it is… as it continues to go up in value!!! I’m guessing that $150,000 to $160,000 in cash would own that car… even if $100,000 were spent on it.. it’s still a great investment…

  4. Tom Andersen

    Shaken- Not Stirred

  5. Bob

    The price is complete rubbish. Sorry, I’d rather enjoy life.

  6. Anastos

    Given what these sell for, someone will jump on this even at a price I could not fathom paying for a project. More power to them for going balls deep into this than I ever could, even if I had the money.

  7. Martin

    A diamond in the rough and rough it is…..i’d kill to drive one

  8. Sam Brown

    Too rough, and too hard to find parts for. I would flip it as it sits.

  9. chris Lawrence

    I do have a clue DW. Its just not practical for most people like myself who actually restore cars. 100k would not restore that car to the level that would be needed to get high dollars like you suggest.

  10. Jeff V.

    The fender vent(s) & fender mounted chrome side mirrors are great detail items that give this auto personality/character. Needs a serious make-over.

  11. Bob

    I should have said, I’d use $300K in a different way. It may be a good project for someone.

  12. Chris H.

    If I had the money, my perverse sense of humor would force me to transplant an LS3 and a six speed and drive it as is to the country club every day.

  13. Yale

    The majority of these cars have been bought by a few sheiks from the middle east for the past decade or so. This has kept the prices quite high. They didn’t use to buy the barn finds but now they are buying those as well. They have a pretty high percentage of the number of the 60’s Astons made.

  14. Chris

    Rust would be a major problem if it has gone beyond the floor pans. Body repair would be a nightmare for weren’t these bodies built using the Superleggera method of panels welded onto thin metal tubing? And that engine sitting for decades with an aluminum block and head might have a few corrosion problems? Good luck to someone with very deep pockets and lots of patience with an Aston Martin specialist.

  15. neek

    Well. I beg to differ with several of our learned friends.At the risk of sounding like mistraknowitall?Having owned Aston of one sort or another and still do, almost continually for over 45 years and having performed all my own maintenance and having restored several not only for myself but for other folks also. I think, maybe, I have a somewhat different perspective/insight not to mention a serious bias.Notwithstanding pre V8 Astons ( pre1972ish ) were produced in incredibly small numbers and that in no way suggests that the V8 was a large run. The DB4 was introduced in 1958 to replace the DB2-4 MKIII and was replaced by the DB5 in 1963.There were a total of 1,113 made you can add approx an extra 100 for the DB4GT, DB4GT Zagato and prototype variants. By anybody?ÇÖs imagination that?ÇÖs not even close to big numbers for collector cars.In terms of Arab ownership? By far the largest collection of Astons reside in Germany. How ironic is that. That the folks who produce a car that never drips oil buy ones that do and in large quantities?In terms of Aston Martin specific parts, most, if not all, are readily available either directly from Aston Martin or from several other companies in the UK who manufacture aftermarket replacements. The hydraulics are mostly Dunlop or Girling products and the electrics are, wait for it, Lucas. Parts are really not an issue and now there are several companies Stateside namely Steelwings who are making their own replacement bits.In terms of reseach for bits join the AMOC and go on the Forum and ask, they are a very helpful bunch of folk.In terms of the rust Superleggera comment. On the contrary you have a very well designed and fabricated steel platform chassis with a steel square tube frame welded to it. All the aluminium body panels are riveted to the frame work and other than being a tedious laborious job to remove they are not that difficult to remove. In most cases there?ÇÖs no real need to remove the body panels. The parts that are prone to corrosion are readily accessible ie the floors and the outrigger sills. The bodies generally don?ÇÖt need a huge amount of work and for the most part are relatively easy to repair.Some trivia to illustrate. I recently purchased a set of Dunlop wheel cylinders from Nissan. It took 10 days to bring them in from Japan. They were stock on the pre 240Z Datsun roadsters and were used on early to mid-60?ÇÖs Ferrari?ÇÖs, Astons and Jaguars. Why you ask? Cos they were a fraction of the cost they would have been had I purchased them from Aston Martin? In terms of restoration costs. Worst case scenario cost estimates. $25K for interior. $75K for bare metal respray and fabrication including floors and outrigger sills. $30K for the motor including valve shim conversion and Weber carb conversion. $20 for hydraulics and misc costs. That?ÇÖs a total of $150K. Guys spend that kinda bread on Camaros???So?ǪWorst Case scenario?Ǫ. Including purchase price at $185K?$335K? When you consider a well sorted DB4 will fetch a half mill at auction these days. I?ÇÖd say it?ÇÖs a good buy.Just saying. IMHO?

  16. neek

    PS from the look of the pics the leather appears to be in amazing condition which is just further testament to the quality of build of Aston Martins.

  17. p

    junk

  18. Bob

    Im coming round to the logic, I just would leave it to those who love old AMs.

  19. Corey

    What struck me most about neek’s comments were about German cars not leaking oil. My old Z4 leaked it, spewed it, burned it….any way it could get rid of oil, that car found it.

  20. Bob

    I think you have to know the car or you’ll wind up wanting to get your investment back and someone will call out an error in the restoration and your out. Know thy ride.

  21. neek

    C’mon “P” they are not junk..Corey I don’t know what a Z4 is but I have a Mercedes 500S with 70K on it and not a hint of an oil leak and my wife has a Lexus LS430 with 80K on it and not a hint of a leak???English cars leak oil that’s why we Brits didn’t get into the computor biz???

  22. neek

    PS if we wanna talk junk. I have worked on quiet a few mid 60s Ferraris and apart from the motors we really are talking junk in terms of quality of build..

  23. Corey

    The Z4 is the 2 door BMW roadster. Once it turned 80k, oil just vaporized out of the damn thing. My mechanic and the dealer could never explain it or pinpoint the problem.

  24. Bob

    Have the Z4 checked for frame cracks too. they were prone to it.

  25. Corey

    Bob, I sold the Z4 earlier this year to a guy who (I think) was exporting cars to Lebanon. I heard the Z3s had frame problems but never really heard much about the Z4s. Loved the way it drove but it was just one headache after another.

  26. Bob

    I think you’re right it was the Z3s! Sorry for the confusion!

  27. Chris

    Wow! The Aston Martin info from neek is super and just what makes these posts so neat. Sooner or later someone turns up who really knows the car and what they are talking about. When it is someone who restores an AM and still likes the car, problems and all, the info is just so valuable. As to Superleggera construction, I understand the comment on aluminum panel to steel tubing riveting. However I’ve read that some pre WWII Alfas had the same construction method but any steel panels were welded. The first time I saw Superleggra construction was on an unrestored Alfa coupe. The workmanship on the panels and the fit was astounding. Thanks again “neek” as I won’t have $335K until my oil wel comes in. I still have 1950’s pictures of a 2-4 series that ran up Giant’s Despair Hill Climb, pretty car.

  28. Jeff V.

    Neek, kinda like WW2…we americans (FORD) really cleaned up Jag, my mint 96′ XJR is a dream machine (no leaks) and pure class, performance (6cyl supercharged). You brits just needed some $$$ to get it right now Jag is owned by the people (Tata-India) you tried to civilize years ago, how ironic. But still made in Coventry :)

  29. Chris

    If someone really wanted to get into it, take the body off, restore the chassis and engine and build it into one of the well done replica DB4 GT Zagatos. If done right, it might just be worth the money. The Zagato version turned the DB4 into a tough looking road burning rocket that could keep up with anything and do it in style. A driver’s brute.

  30. neek

    Visa vi Chris’s comments…Originally Aston Martin allocated 19 Vin Numbers for the DB4GT Zagatos. They were announced in 1960 and were built to order only. You went down to your local friendly Aston Martin dealer put down 50% of the purchase price and plus or minus a year later the car arrived to your specification. Astons made the rolling chassis at Newport Pagnell which was then shipped to the Zagato factory in Italy where the all aluminium lightweight body was fabricated and fitted to the chassis. I say lightweight cos it was a lighter gauge aluminium than Astons were using on the then current DB4s. The Zagotos weighed in at a staggering, for the day, 2500lbs. They came stock with a highly tuned version of the DB4 engine with twin plugs per head, two distributors and three twin choke Webers putting out somewhere?ÇÖs in the region of 300bhp. I think they were originally intended as road/track cars for the weekend enthusiast. Don?ÇÖt quote me on that. Other than a lack of purchase orders no one has any real explanation as to why not all of the allocated vin numbers were used. I think something like 15 were built. Either way there were three vin number left over from the original build schedule.In 1987 the then owners of Aston Martin, Victor Gauntlett and Peter Livanos announced they were going to complete the DB4GT Zagato build schedule and R S Williams were given the task of building the cars. Very few folks know what those cars sold for at the time. Two were spoken for and one was offered on the open market with the proverbial $POA price sticker on it? If ya had to ask ya couldn?ÇÖt afford it, I guess.R S Williams built the last three from the original Aston Martin build schedule in 1990, they were called Sanction 2 Zagatos and were absolutely anatomically and mechanically correct in every detail. For anybody that?ÇÖs interested ?Ç£Thoroughbred and Classic Cars?Ç¥ did a very good article on the project with great pictures in their September 1991 issue.The R S Williams Sanctioned cars came in slightly lighter than the originals and they bored the engine out from 3.6 liter to 4.2 putting out a genuine 350BHP. Apart from that it was the same engine and ancillaries.Since then Aston Workshop have built a few using the DBS as a donor car and a private individual in New Zealand (?) built one from scratch using a DBS as a donor car, it?ÇÖs well documented and is stunning.There was a company in the States using 330GT Ferrari?ÇÖs as donors for GTOs and they were asking $550K for them. So who knows what a well built and sorted Zagato replica on a real DB4 chassis would fetch. I believe the last one that changed hands fetched well over $3 mill.A few years back I got a quote locally from a very good body shop in town where I get all my body work done who I think would be more than capable of producing a very good facsimile and it was in the $150K range. So Chris may have a very valid point.

  31. neek

    errata……… “highly tuned version of the DB4 engine with twin plugs per head,”That should have read twin plugs per cylinder.. “using 330GT Ferrari?ÇÖs as donors for GTO”And I’m thinking it might have been 365C that were used as the donor cars???

  32. Bob

    I stand corrected. I’m learning. This is a worthy car. But the price still seems incredible.

  33. Chris

    The 30 or so Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato owners of the originals and the sanctioned follow on cars, would make up one really interesting club. I’d rather be a member of the AM group than the Ferrari 250 GTO club (as if I’ll ever have a chance). Wonder if there is anyone out there that owns one of each? Let’s see, 350 horses, 2500 lbs, slick body, maybe 160-170 mph? Not much slower if at all than a GTO. At one time the AM’s held the 0-100-0 record. Great cars.

  34. neek

    Visa viVisa Vi Bob?ÇÖs comment…?Ç£I stand corrected. I’m learning. This is a worthy car. But the price still seems incredible.?Ç¥I agree with you mate. However.I purchased my first DB4 in 1970 for $4000 and sold it in 1980 for $13000 and thought I?ÇÖd died and gone to heaven. That same car changed hands again in 1989 for $100K. I have owned six Astons over the years all of which I have made money on when I sold them. It never occurred to me at the time of selling that I was dealing with an appreciating asset? The unfortunate reality is that to-day I could not afford to buy back any of the Astons I have owned in the past including the one I own now, which is probably why I haven?ÇÖt sold it. The other unfortunate reality is that by definition ?Ç£fair market value is what a ready willing and able buyer will pay?Ç¥. Sales 101. I?ÇÖd wager for the most part that what?ÇÖs driving the market is not car guys, who would buy these cars, drive and cherish them but folks who are taking their money out of the stock market and looking for other ?Ç£tangible assets?Ç¥ to invest their hard earned cash in.Notwithstanding that since Japanese insurance corporations got into Art and Ferraris in the late 80s the guy on the street just couldn?ÇÖt compete. From memory maybe $17 mill for a GTO and $50 mill for Van Gough?ÇÖs sunflower painting at auction to the Japanese. Now that?ÇÖs obscene however that drove up the prices of other marques and Astons were the next ones to really see major price increases. Some trivia I believe the GTO came back to states about seven years later and sold at auction at a substantial loss. Maybe somebody else on here can remember the numbers more accurately than I can?? If you want to talk ?Ç£incredible?Ç¥ look at what a well sorted Austin Healy 3000 will fetch. Check out Ebay. Anybody these days with an old car of any sort is out there trying to make a killing. Not that long ago you could buy a well sorted MGB for 1500 bucks now they are in the $10K range. Look at TRs. A good TR4A will fetch $30-$40K now that?ÇÖs incredible cos it?ÇÖs not much car for the money. Having said that a half decent restoration on any car is upward of $50K these days irrespective of the end value.That?ÇÖs the price you pay for capitalism in the free world I guess.But would you have it any other way?

  35. billaaaa

    love it

  36. DM

    HogWash…. when did the Brits ever make a REAL sports car? Their cars are all hype no action…. Astons are the only car that has class and style but they are not something I’d put up against Mercs or Ferraris. Sorry, if I P’d anyone but any response would need to be backed up by facts. Cheers Mate.

  37. neek

    Dear hogwash,I wasn?ÇÖt aware there were any claims, on this thread, about British Sports car performance and or records in any of the posts that I read??? However! I hasten to point out that if we want to talk performance and records. Aston and Jaguar kicked everybody?ÇÖs butts fairly convincingly at Lemans circa late 50s to the early 60s including Ferrari, Porsche, Mercedes and everybody else and it?ÇÖs all very well documented. You?ÇÖll note Lamborghini is not included in that lot cos Lamborghini has no race thoroughbred and we should all be aware that racing improves the breed.In case you?ÇÖre not familiar with Lemans it?ÇÖs a 24 hour endurance race around a proper race track, not an oval and widely considered to be the race that sorts the men from the boys when it comes to the drivers and their machines. Let me reiterate, it?ÇÖs not an oval with a bunch of pushrod engine’d, yank iron doing laps. I?ÇÖd also point out that the pit crew model that all race crews use to-day was developed by Aston Martin back in the 50s.Furthermore, if we want to talk performance, when Aston introduced the Aston Martin V8 Vantage circa 1978 it ate all the competition including Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche and Mercedes and convincingly. At the time it was the fastest production sports car ever built. Again all very well documented. That?ÇÖs 0-60, 0-100, the standing quartet mile and top speed. It was a standard layout, that?ÇÖs a normally aspirated north south front mounted engine with an attached gearbox and a rear axle. Its weight distribution was almost a perfect 50/50 it handled superbly, outperformed and out braked all the completion and did it in a bespoke, air-conditioned cabin that accommodated four occupants comfortably.If we want to talk British sports cars generally, other than Aston and Jaguar, over the years you?ÇÖll find all kinds of very well documented records set by MG, Triumph, Healey, Bentley , Lea Francis, HWM, Rapier, Sunbeam, Morgan and a litany of other British marques too numerous to mention.I?ÇÖd also point out, Aston did it again in 1995 when they introduced their twin supercharged V8 Vantage which still outperforms most of the modern marques to-day.If ya wanna be a troll be careful who yer trolling with.

  38. DM

    Neek…Good answer! Thought I’d get a rise from someone ;-pJoking aside, I’ll accept the Aston as a great car with racing heritage and passion as are you as it sounds. Aside from the Italians, the Brits have the racing blood with good engineers as proven in F1.1966 LeMans is my favourite year as Ford/GT40s gave it to the racing world. Enzo got the message!

  39. neek

    Why thank you.However it’s pretty easy to get a rise outa me especially when it?ÇÖs a subject that I?ÇÖm passionate about. And of course you?ÇÖre right Fords made a very successful foray into the world of motor sport as did many other marques and don?ÇÖt get me wrong even to-day the Americans are making engines that still push scads of BHP using what I consider to be, IMHO, really dated technology ( pushrod engines ). Notwithstanding most if not all of the major manufacturers including Renault and Honda for instance know that Formula 1 success directly relates to street car sales success. Bragging rights I guess?It?ÇÖs just that the Brits had the world by the balls during the industrial revolution in all things engineering including ship building, Aircraft ( up until the Comet ) and automobiles. WTF happened???Here we go?Ǫ?Ǫ?Ǫ..Organized labour in the UK?????????? And cheap labour in the Asian countries.Which is what?ÇÖs decimated the American automobile industry also.I purchased a hoist not that long ago for $2500 delivered. Made in China.When I was kid the average back yard mechanic couldn?ÇÖt afford trolley jacks let alone hoists.But make hay while the sun shines folks cos the internet has hit China and pretty soon there?ÇÖs gonna be a Chinese Spring and that?ÇÖll be it no more cheap shit???But not before India and China flood the market with their cars..Oh joy?Ǫ?Ǫ?Ǫ?Ǫ.

  40. neek

    Why thank you.However it’s pretty easy to get a rise outa me especially when it?ÇÖs a subject that I?ÇÖm passionate about. And of course you?ÇÖre right Fords made a very successful foray into the world of motor sport as did many other marques and don?ÇÖt get me wrong even to-day the Americans are making engines that still push scads of BHP using what I consider to be, IMHO, really dated technology ( pushrod engines ). Notwithstanding most if not all of the major manufacturers including Renault and Honda for instance know that Formula 1 success directly relates to street car sales success. Bragging rights I guess?It?ÇÖs just that the Brits had the world by the balls during the industrial revolution in all things engineering including ship building, Aircraft ( up until the Comet ) and automobiles. WTF happened???Here we go?Ǫ?Ǫ?Ǫ..Organized labour in the UK?????????? And cheap labour in the Asian countries.Which is what?ÇÖs decimated the American automobile industry also.I purchased a hoist not that long ago for $2500 delivered. Made in China.When I was kid the average back yard mechanic couldn?ÇÖt afford trolley jacks let alone hoists.But make hay while the sun shines folks cos the internet has hit China and pretty soon there?ÇÖs gonna be a Chinese Spring and that?ÇÖll be it no more cheap shit???But not before India and China flood the market with their cars..Oh joy?Ǫ?Ǫ?Ǫ?Ǫ.

  41. DM

    Ya no kidding…. I live in Ontario Canada and we manufacture/assemble cars for many makes. To me , nothing good comes from China, nothing. Anyhow, I love my 70 Mustang BOSS 302 because it’s just brute power and handling. I like getting my hands full. But when in comes to my daily drivers, I’ll stick to Audi, BMWs and such…. As you said, newer better technology. Europeans have their act together when it comes to balance of style and power. Even the Fords available in Europe are better than here… WTF is that about???? Glad you took my humor the right way. Merry Christmas and be safe. As Parnelli Jones once said, “if you’re in control, you’re not driving fast enough!”.

  42. neek

    Well yer talking to a fellow Canuck ( with papers ta prove it I might add ) albeit an expatriated Brit from many years back. We?ÇÖre off the west coast of BC on Vancouver Island. By the way ya can tell Harper we?ÇÖre gonna declare independence next year.Well I gotta say the hoist I purchased is made for DanMar. I believe in China. I could be wrong. Either way it?ÇÖs a really good hoist and came from Babco in Vancouver and I?ÇÖm really happy with it.When I think about that vintage of Mustang I?ÇÖm always reminded of ?Ç£Bullet?Ç¥ and Steve McQueen?My fun car is an Aston Martin V8 Vantage Coupe, 5 speed manual which I have owned since 1982 and essentially a garage queen cos frankly I?ÇÖm frightened to drive it cos the cops here confiscate cars that are doing more than 30 klicks over the limit???For daily drivers, I run a Mercedes 500S and my wife has a Lexus LS430 which she loves and frankly from a service point of view I love it to. The Japs have the Germans beat hands down when it comes to aftermarket service on these cars.Yea I knew ya were winding me up and as ya can see from my posts I have far too much time on my hands.The best of the season to you to mate. I have ta go now cos I?ÇÖm orft ta pick a banana off our tree in the back yard? What?ÇÖs the weather like back east where you are???Just kiddin?Ǫ

  43. paul Lubliner

    Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda. For 33 years that applies to me, including a LHD DB5 Shooting Brake (one of 4 made, 2 with the speedo/odometer in MPH) for $3,800 in EXCELLENT conditions. My Dad refuse to loan me the $2,300 I needed. Last one I saw, recently went for $2.4 Mil.For the amount of work required here, NOT a good value, investment what have you. Disagree? Go ahead and argue with this:The old AMOC saying is to buy the best condition car you can afford. There is another more valid comment: What goes up must come down and these beautiful old, stodgy lovelies most certainly will. The Euro is on a razors edge at the moment. Many if not all “Fast Appreciating Exotics” will rapidly be flooding the market once the reality of world currencies cruches begins to become obvious to most innocent of bystanders. These cars appreciated 400% during the last 10 years not because they represent good value but because of a certain fiscal insanity.A damp-stored Superleggera body as this one was, means the steel frame tubes that were wrapped with cloth under the .080″ thick alloy roof, “wings” etc., body panels will absolutely have electrolytic corrosion, period. This electrical corrosion “eats” very nicely into (even through) the just over 1/16″ thick aluminium panels without question requiring at least some replacement. They’re each and every one hand made on an “English Wheel” you know, meaning not cheap. The body has no seams to bolt your Chevy’s left front fender up to. Everything is welded together every where. The wheel arches, door edges, bonnet and boot lid are hand rolled over hand-formed heavy steel wire. No Bondo here Mr. Bond. For a body off restoration why not enquire at the Aston Workshop in Durham. Be sure to charge your pacemaker first. And that fellow who did his own work really? You do “panel beating” for a living do you?Do realize, this is a 50 year old car and you can’t do the minimum and then expect to “drive the wheels off” or that will be exactly what happens. A full body off restoration at minimum. Engine rebuild at minimum. Hey, why not get R.S. Williams on the phone for a current quote on that? They have a lovely young lady who will personally rebuilt this beauty’s 3700cc Double-Over-Head-Cam, all Alloy Straight Six Prime Mover back to Newport Pagnell spec. Again, remember, to charge that pacemaker first. That David Brown (the source of the “DB” in the title here) four speed gear box wasn’t the best as well, that’s why the DB5’s quickly went over to the five speed ZF. Parts? Again the pacemaker. When in Concours condition, yes, a truly great car this DB4 Series Four (you can tell by the triple countersunk tail lights, the Series three’s were on a “proud” chromed bezel, the series five grew in length and height by about 3 1/4″ and 2 1/2″ respectively and about 300 lbs.) But expect a $300K-$400K tab on top of the purchase price and a year or two of “no see auto.” By then, you’d have been far wiser to have bought that Gold Bullion, Mr. Bond.

  44. DM

    Interesting how this would be about 10x the amount to restore American muscle. Interesting enough, here in Ontario Canada, just a few minutes from where I lived is a world famous gentleman who restores English vintage autos, specifically Rolls. Never saw an Aston there and the specific resources you mention sounds like you would have to have the car shipped back to the UK as well. A good read. Thx for that.

  45. paul Lubliner

    Thank you for your vote of confidence. Since my first trip to the U.K. in 1991, I have been toying with doing just this type of restoration, but escalating costs have precluded it from happening…. so far! I almost had a rotten Navy Blue DB5 less ZF for $8,000 about 20 years ago. At the time, ZF’s were constructed of “Unobtainium” hence the pilferage of said gearbox from this vehicle. The usual rusted-out rocker panels and rear suspension (it could barely support it’s own weight!) caused me to do some serious research into the restoration work that would be involved. There are many specialists needed to do an Aston’s ground-up restoration. I went the “Aston Workshop” in Durham, a one stop specialist shop with a magnificent view from the floor to ceiling showroom windows. I saw some things there I liked and others that I didn’t, but now I’d say their work is very good, and of most definitely priced accordingly. On that trip and a few others, I also visited second hand retailers such as “Paradise Garage,” re-builders Chapman Spooner, R.S. Williams, and others. The all alloy engine was new at the time (’57) and sleeves have to be steamed in (or out) of the block. Not local garage stuff, and if you haven’t personally been trained in this technique alone, you may as well expect to destroy one or two blocks in the learning process. To get this sort of work done in North America to the factory standards is moot.Some months ago on-line I found an example of work that was absolutely atrocious! When I realized I should “save” these images as an example of what to avoid, meaning a very few hours later, they had already been removed from the internet. The photo proudly showed the front wing (fender) engine bay side vent cobbled up from several directions with bad welds everywhere. The next image showed a coat of pink and sanded smooth Bondo. No, not acceptable but typical of many North Eastern U.S. “Get-it-Over” restoration facilities. These do exist, that’s why one is not “permitted” into the restoration area of many. For me, a chassis off restoration MUST be accompanied with a step by step photo graphic record, but then again a Photo-Shop expert’s interpretive skills may also be required! I think these current prices must eventually come down. That will occur when the wealthy buyers of these cars over last decade or two look elsewhere for something more intrinsically valuable investments (such as gold/platinum) as opposed to market driven artificially high prices in a giant worldwide urinating contest in the ownership of toys. While they’ll never be “Cheap,” I think the asking price posted on this Series IV DB4, will be about right for a very nice example. In 1961, a custom built DB4 series II, that had the features of the later Vantage model (which was officially introduced about a year later) was built for actor Robert Mitchum. It was of standard overall length, had the earlier type of grille, the taller bonnet scoop, “Cathedral” tail lights, triple carburetors, but for the first time, had the Bond car’s cowled headlamps found only on the short wheel base DB4 GT introduced in 1959. In 2005, this car in immaculate condition sold for $180,000. Pricey but truly worthwhile considering it’s rarity as this specification was not modified today to a standard DB4 and that a famous Hollywood actor had had it custom built. The above vehicle in question having an asking price of $180,000 in today’s dollars (much more than only 6-7 years ago, about 20-25% when inflation is factored in) is absurd.THAT said, we should ALL be very happy that the wealthy have been and are indeed continuing to do these restorations at this time. It means very few “Barn Finds (condemnable really) will remain, the majority having been saved from a plethora of indifferent owners of the previous half century.

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