1959 Aston Martin DB4 Barn Find!

Classic cars come in all shapes and sizes, and they can turn up just about anywhere. This 1959 Aston Martin DB4 is most certainly a classic, and it has turned up Down Under. Barn Finder Patrick S located this British classic for us, so thank you for that Patrick. The Aston is located in Kingswood, in the Australian state of South Australia, and is listed for sale here on eBay. The owner has set the opening bid at $130,000, but there is also a BIN option available at $450,000. By the way, those quoted prices are in US dollars, not Aussie dollars.

The owner of this Aston is a man of few words and a few pictures, so we need to struggle along with what we have. The car has apparently been in dry storage for more than 40 years, and the owner does say that it is in great original condition. The environment around the area where this car is located is quite favorable for preserving cars if they have been kept under cover, so on face value, I don’t doubt these claims. There are no obvious signs of rust issues visible in the body, while the car also appears to be nice and straight. The only thing that raises any alarm bells with me is the amount of corrosion present on the bumpers. That would make me want to have a good look under the car to ensure that everything is solid. After all, if you are going to hand over this sort of money, it pays to be certain that everything is okay.

The interior photos of the car are pretty small, but they do paint a basically positive picture. By piecing together the photos, it looks like the carpet could use a good clean, but that the leather upholstery on the seats could come up quite well with a clean and condition. The dash also looks like it is unmolested, and in good condition. From what can be seen, it looks like there won’t be any real replacement work required, just a few weekends of hard work with some cleaning products.

Given the fact that the DB4 has now been sitting for more than 40-years, you can be sure that there will be some work to be done in order to return it to mechanical good health. The 3,670cc DOHC straight-six engine is capable of producing 240hp and propelling the car to a top speed of 140mph. The power is sent to the rear wheels via a 4-speed manual transmission. Given the fact that the car has been sitting for decades, the engine will need to be thoroughly checked. The cylinder head and engine block are both cast from aluminum alloy, and the greatest danger is the fact that electrolysis may have eaten away at the cooling jacket of the engine, which can result in major problems. However, if the car has been prepared and stored correctly, this shouldn’t be a real issue. What is a source of encouragement is the fact that I have actually found this car listed for sale elsewhere, and in that listing, the owner does say that the engine isn’t broken, which is a strange piece of terminology.

The Aston Martin DB4 is not as famous as the DB5, which came to prominence due to its use by James Bond in the 1964 film, “Goldfinger.” However, that is one factor that can be an advantage to any potential buyer. Where a pristine DB5 will today command prices in excess of $1,500,000, an immaculate DB4 can be found for about half that amount. It is to be hoped that this is a solid car because even the most basic of restoration work can be quite an expensive prospect on an Aston. It’s still a lot of money, but with values continuing to increase at a fairly steady rate, that leaves a fair amount of room to restore this one, even at the BIN price.

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Comments

  1. Motoring mo

    A steal at twice the price….

    2
    • David Keen

      Well? I’ve just finished a total restoration of a 1976 Aston Martin V8. The final bill, not including the purchase price of the car, was closer to $500K CND than $400K CND. Vis-à-vis the DB4 motor, the six cylinder cars were notorious for block failures, due to the block cracking between the cylinder wet liners. The heads are also prone to cracking and as mentioned in the write up, internal aluminium corrosion due to electrolysis ( cast iron and aluminium ) is also an issue. None of which are easy, or cheap fixes and the net result of trying to fix them can be, not only disastrous, but terrifyingly expensive as well. Don’t even think about trying to weld the blocks or the heads? The good news is that there are companies out of the UK who can supply new blocks and heads that are far superior castings to the originals. However the cost of shipping overseas is prohibitive. From experience ( I’ve owned all of the DB marques ) they are lovely cars to look at? The driving experience is akin to driving a heavy small UK built truck. Not for the faint of heart or the elderly. I recently drove a customer’s DB4 and had reason to do a three point turn. I needed a change of clothes and nap afterwards. Ironically the pen ultimate cars from the early DB4 DNA are the V8’s, which are comparatively cheap to buy, ( however they are beginning to climb in value of late ). Caveat Emptor, comparatively cheap to buy compared to the earlier DB cars, relatively easy to upgrade in terms of converting to a 5 speed manual or a Vantage spec motor. You can readily buy excellent kits for both engine and gearbox conversions/upgrades from SteelWings in the good ol’ US of A, along with their excellent brake and handling upgrade kits, which along with A/C and power steering, makes the AMV8 by far the best driving experience car from that lineage. IMHO. And unlike the newer Astons, you can fix ‘em yaself? I’d wager a full resto on this car will be in access of $500K and with a BIN purchase price of $450 USD, puts the finished car in at over a Mill??? Not for the faint of heart or the cheap.

      20
  2. Retired Stig

    What a great find! Beautiful car, I hope it will be “sympathetically” restored, given its condition. A shame there isn’t more information on how this was found, or why it sat for so long. I am curious though: eBay? Sure, I’ll just push ‘Buy It Now’ and send a half million via PayPal!

    4
  3. Howard A

    I happen to like the machine guns behind the parking lights, ejection seat for passenger ( ex-wife) and that smoke screen/oil slick could come in mighty handy,,,what, they weren’t standard DB options? never mind,,,

    12
    • Andy

      Cool. Very Cool. I’m shaken and stirred!

      8
    • Robert White

      You forgot the pop up shield that is directly behind the driver. Heck, I had that Matchbox Aston Martin too. I wish I had saved it.

      The Matchbox Batman car goes for upwards of $100. USD.

      Bob

      3
      • Robert White

        Corgi was the manufacturer of the die cast version of DB5-Bond-Aston Martin 1960s that I once owned as a kid. E-Bay has em’ for $50 USD.

        Bob

        5
      • Ralph

        I’m surprised the 007 Corgi DB5 isn’t going for $25,000…..

        I’m currently hoarding air cooled HotWheels 911’s to corner the market.

        I have one that I played with once while Bullitt was on TV in the background in 1988, that one is going to Southeby’s next year with a $55,000 reserve…..

        4
  4. Rick

    Bodies were aluminum on these, IIRC. Had a neighbor years ago that was VP at Aston. He brought one of these by one day and stressed (I was 8 at the time) DON’T LEAN ON THE CAR!!

    8
  5. Wayne

    I have lusted for one of these for a long time. I know of a guy that has one. He drives it once in a while around town. I always have to change my shirt afterwards as I find that I have drooled all over myself.

    7
  6. Ralph

    These cars are way too overpriced, these were $15,000 cars in the 80’s, you’re telling me this non-running, non Bond version barn Aston is worth more than a nice, ready to drive, running V12 4 seater mid 60’s Ferrari?

    No, sorry, not ever.

    Without the “Bond Hype” a DB5 really should maybe be a $200,000 car, not a $1M car.

    2
  7. YankeeTR5

    Yes, and Alfa Guilietta SVZ’s, TZ-1’s, BMW 507’s, Lancia Flaminia SS’s, Buick GSX’s and, well, the list goes on, were also 15K cars in the 80’s. What’s your point? The market has spoken, sorry you lost your spot as the conductor of “the show”.

    10
  8. Ralph

    Did you book your flight to Australia to pay the $400K? (I doubt your wife will let you trade the Accord for it thou….ask permission first)

    Its overpriced, sorry if expressing an opinion disrupts your sensitivities, no way this car is worth as much as a nice running V12 Ferrari or Countach and mill and a half will get your Miura or a 365 Daytona Spyder, much more car than a DB5.

    DB5 are cool cars, but totally overpriced for what they are, same thing with the air cooled Porsche crap, which is even worse, because its a common as dirt car compared to an Aston.

    But don’t worry once all the Grandpas like yourself stop wanting to pretend they’re Steve McQueen or Sean Connery and you shuffle on to Forrest Lawn, the prices will get back to reality……..

    4
    • Robert White

      Macro-Economist Dr. Alan Greenspan gave Wall Street the ‘Greenspan Put’ so that prices for asset-class investments would never correct or mean revert back to the sort of market equilibrium you are hypothesizing with that ‘get back to reality’ diddy, man.

      Screw Steve McQueen, I still want the car and I ain’t shuffling on to Forrest Lawn for another 25 years or so.

      Watch Sean Connery in _The Russia House_ as the part he plays is great.

      cheers, Bob

      5
  9. Jack Quantrill

    450 K, buy it now! Owner must have eaten too much Vegemite.

    2
  10. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    Ralph, In 1934 a woman bought a Ford DeLuxe for $834; that car sold in the ‘60’s for $12,500: $128,000 in today’s money. All the glass was broken, it’d been completely shot up and there was blood on the inside.
    Did the fact that it was Bonnie and Clyde’s last ride have anything to do with it? Probably. Did that change the value of its worth to the people that bought ? Obviously. Would you have paid that much for it?
    Everyone has different values.
    That car is on display now in Primm NV. now on display if you’re curious as to who would’ve wanted it..

    4
  11. TimM

    Damn I left the $450,000 in my other pants!!!

    3
    • Chris In Australia

      Two pairs of pants AND $450,000!

      2
  12. Dave

    In the late 60,s when they made the original Italian job movie. The Aston Martin convertable that Michael Cane drives and eventually lands up being pushed off a cliff according too the director they paid 900 pounds for it and it was a nice running car.As for prices soaring on cars it just happens remember a Hemi Cuda convertable in 1970 was around $4200….enough said.

  13. Nick hockman Member

    What would a replacement motor cost if you had the car without the motor?

  14. David Keen

    I can’t tell you what a new DB4 crate motor would cost, if they’re even available, which I doubt they are. However I can tell you that a reman modern DBS V12 crate motor is the fat end of 50K GBP. I’ve just built a 500 BHP Aston Martin mid 70’s V8 motor. The parts ( internals ) came to $50K CND landed, the machine shop cost was $25K ( a good part of that sum was internal corrosion remedials ) and my time/labour to pull it down and rebuild it came to $25K. For those of you who are math challenged that’s the fat end of a $100K CND. So fer sure I can tell ya they won’t be cheap??

    1

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