Aston Martin DB4 Lightweight Racer

David Brown’s latest model, the DB4, took the motoring world by storm when it was unveiled at the London Motor Show back in 1958. Its combination of power, streamlined shape and lightweight construction made it a formidable competitor on the track as it evolved through five “series” before being replaced by the DB5 and later the DB6.

Aston Martin had proved beyond doubt that its competition bona fides in sports car racing with its victory at Le Mans in 1959. The DBR1 racing car was both fast and beautiful, something which could also be said for the latest Aston Martin saloon, which had made its début some months before in 1958. The DB4, designed by Carrozzeria Touring and built using their patented superleggera lightweight technique, seemed a natural for competition work.

Not content with the avoirdupois of the production model, Aston engineers went further in creating their track weapon. The DB4 GT would see the chassis shortened by five inches, the rear seat removed, and the bodywork rendered in 18-gauge magnesium panelling in place of the aluminium alloy of the road cars. To increase its potential for speed, the front end was subtly reshaped to include covered recessed headlights and a slightly smaller grille. Only 75 of this model were built, and they were quite successful in competition. Expensive when new, by the late-1970s, the DB4 GT had not only avoided becoming forgotten and unwanted, but they were already sought-after and costly as collector cars, beyond the means of many who wanted to campaign a DB4 in the newly emerging vintage race arena.

Part of the RM Auctions event at the Battersea Evolution in October, 2009 and in London, October, 2012.

400 hp, 4,500 cc dual overhead cam inline six-cylinder engine with three 2-barrel Weber carburettors, four-speed manual transmission with Hewland internals, upper and lower control arms with coil spring front suspension, live rear axle with trailing links and coil spring rear suspension, and four-wheel disc brakes. Wheelbase: 98 in.

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Paul Harmer/Octane

Gallery: Aston Martin DB4 Lightweight Racer