Aston Martin DB4 Series III

For many people their first exposure to the premier British marque Aston Martin came via the MI6 007 Agent James Bond. His expert handling of a DB5 coupé in several Hollywood blockbuster movies added to the sophisticated, macho image of the character, as well as to the car's international reputation.

But sports car enthusiasts knew Aston Martin had a long history pre-007. In fact, the very first car to bear the corporate name was a pre-WWI hybrid racer featuring a Coventry-Simplex engine dropped into the frame of a 1908 Isotta-Fraschini. It was raced at Aston Hill by one of the corporation’s founders, Lionel Martin, hence the company moniker.

Production was halted during WWI in 1915, and once production was reconstituted after the armistice, Aston Martin spent the next two decades in relative turmoil, going bankrupt twice but still managing to design and build a series of successful racing machines that competed at Le Mans and in the Mille Miglia, among other venues.

Well-known British entrepreneur David Brown bought the company in 1947, after responding to an ad in The Times advertising a “High Class Motor Business.” A man of many talents and business interests, he had spent the war years building and selling the popular “David Brown” tractor, the success of which allowed him to ante up the £20 000 asking price for Aston Martin. In 1950, the first of the David Brown "DB" series appeared, the DB2.

But whereas the DB2, in all its iterations up to DB MK III, was sometimes derided for its comparatively agricultural specification, the DB4 was a shock to the senses, powered by an all-new Tadek Marek-designed dual overhead camshaft aluminium inline six, producing 240 bhp in standard tune.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in October of 2010 at the Battersea Evolution, London.

240 hp, 224 cu. in. dual overhead cam inline-six cylinder engine, dual SU single-barrel carburetors, double wishbone independent front and live axle/coil spring rear, four-wheel Girling disc brakes. Wheelbase: 98"

Source: RM Auctions

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