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Aston Martin DB4 Series III - £SOLD

Chassis Number: DB4/656/R

Engine Number: 370/677

UK Registration Number: WKW 234

Date of first reg: 5th October 1961

Exterior colour: Green

Hood:

Interior colour: Grey Leather

Current Odometer reading: 76,674

Mileage Warranty:

Steering: Right

Transmission: Manual

Options: Overdrive, Wire Wheels, Fog Lights


Background

Background:

When the single pale primrose DB4 was launched at the Paris Salon in October 1958, Marcel Blondeau, the French distributor for Aston Martin approached John Wyer on the stand with tears in his eyes “This is not a car, it is a folly, but I can sell as many as you can supply.”

With a top speed of 140 mph, it was one of the fastest four seaters in the world and was on a par with the best of Italian Grand Turismos. Not wholly surprising, given the decision to have this distillation of years of Feltham ideas designed by Touring of Milan using their “Superleggera” system. The body consisted entirely of aluminium mounted on a trellis of small diameter steel tubes welded together. Body panels were attached to the trellis and clinched around angle plates which were welded to the members with graphite pads. Items like windscreen, rear window frames an angle sections for the door hinges were attached directly to the frame. The design delivered slim proportions and outstanding all-round visibility. With the body mounted on a platform chassis, the seats could be set low without resorting to deep sills. The doors, which undercut the windscreen, were wide with frameless windows – no quarter lights – and the rear windows opened hingeing on their forward edges. Easier access to the rear with its new full width rear seat, past hinged and adjustable front seats from Reutter.

The wide parcel shelf concealed the presence of a 19 gallon petrol tank while at the back of the car, the boot lid opened to floor level. The battery, with its own master switch was behind a panel in the right hand wing and the spare wheel was in a separate contained under the boot floor. Power came from the all new Tadek Marek twin overhead cam aluminium engine that weighed in 22Kg less than its predecessor. The twin cam shafts operated the valves directly through inverted steel tappets while those valves were splayed at an 80 degree angle – the seats all had inserts and the exhaust guides were all in direct contact with cooling water. The block followed the contour of the liners which combined to save weight and strengthen the structure. The crankshaft was a nitirided steel forging which ran in seven bronze bearings – the connecting rods were polished and weight graded while the pistons each had two compression rings, the top one being chrome faced. Driving through a four speed, all synchromesh gearbox and a 10 inch single, dry plate Borg and Beck clutch – the engine was quoted as developing 240 bhp, although this was, in truth, probably nearer 208 bhp. Marek had, at John Wyer’s suggestion, researched horsepower claims on American engines and had found a mean discrepancy of 32 per cent – John Wyer’s reaction was “We can’t lie that much, we can only lie 15 per cent”.

Ride and handling came courtesy of Harold Beach designed coil and wishbone front suspension and a rear set up of trailing arm and coil spring incorporating a Watts linkage. The brakes were all wound discs from Dunlop with a Lockheed servo fitted. Wire wheels with Dunlop centre locks and 16 inch Avon Turbospeed tyres as standard fitment.

At launch, Aston Martin only had two pre-production models and with one used to promote the new car, they were reluctant to entrust the other, untried and untested model to the motoring press so definitive road tests were not available, just the enthusiastic hyperbole of John Wyer. His claim, made before launch, that the car could go from a standing start to 100 mph and back to standstill in 30 seconds was faithfully reproduced in advertising material. It was on October 2nd, the day of the car’s launch in Paris that tests at MIRA proved him correct with mean times set of the feat at 27.2 seconds.

Series lll ran from April 1961 – September 1961: Optional oil cooler continued from Series ll, selected by 53 Series lll buyers. An additional bonnet sty fitted together with a modified handbrake, clutch cover and brake pedal linkages. Separate rear lights fitted on a chrome plate, a single stalk switch, courtesy switches and an electric tachometer. The heating system was improved with the fitment of 5 rather than 3 demister outlets and an optional 4.09 ratio rear axle was offered. Three cars in this series were sold with the special fitment of a DB4GT engine.

Summary:

Some cars reflect a restorer’s art but the very best is burnished with a patina of the love and care that a family has lavished on a great family servant.

And so, it is with 656/R – yes you will find a DB4 with shinier paint – maybe the original colour! But one with a history of the depth of this “old girl” is a rare commodity. 50 + years with the same family, continental holidays, Aston Martin events, she has seen them all and let us hope that the wishes of the late owner’s son are met:

“I have very fond memories of this car and will be sad to see it go, but hopefully, it will be going to someone who loves it as much as my father did.

Vehicle History

The term “executor sale” trips off the tongue far too easily and there is always an empathy and understanding of those left to manage the process. For the family, after the initial grief, there are the smiles – when clearing things up brings back the memories, all the happy times and that is especially so when the late owner’s sons have grown up with an Aston Martin that has been a family fixture for over 50 years.

In straightforward terms, the copy of the build sheet in this DB4’s history file shows that the car was delivered new to a Paul Warrington of Harrogate, Yorkshire on 5th October 1961 and that it had Overdrive and a heated rear window and that its colour was Dubonnet with Dark Grey leather. Family photos show that the car was finished in Dubonnet when they first owned it and one of the sons, who helped his engineer Father paint the car BMC British Racing Green.And that thought that his Dad painted the car reflects the life of the old family friend. Ian Gray, the late owner was an engineer when we collected the Aston from his garage, there was a space for a professional lathe, hydraulic ramps - there was nothing he could not undertake. From one of his sons came this:

“I have very fond memories of this car and will be sad to see it go, but hopefully, it will be going to someone who loves it as much as my father did.

I went with my father, when he first looked at the car (I believe it was Sevenoaks area) and remember well him showing me the then under construction M25, on the way home. I 'helped' him to repaint it.

I also spent a very entertaining weekend helping him to change the cylinder liners - which involved a custom made engine hoist, 45 gallon oil drum, a burner and dropping the entire block in and out of the boiling water, relying on the difference in the coefficient of expansion between steel and aluminium to be able to drive out the old liners and fit the new!”

There are photos of the car on family holidays in Europe with the brother remembering riding all the way to Italy and, as the youngest of the five in the car, his seat was the transmission tunnel – one suspects that the passage of time has consigned any discomfort firmly to imagination.

And of course, when a car has this sort of Heritage, there are cross overs with the AMOC. The 49th St John Horsfall meeting in 1998 had a 40th anniversary display for the DB4 and DB4/656/R features in the programme and that reflection on the history – some history because we are 20+ years on from that celebration!

MOT History

MOT Date   Odometer

07.04.81    27,361
28.08.82    28,981
16.03.84    31,194
05.04.86    33,241
02.05.88    37,060
16.05.90    38,795
12.06.92    41,621
20.05.94    42,033
10.07.95    44,864
26.07.96    45,233
29.07.97    45,544
14.07.98    46,360
21.07.99    47,575
14.09.00    49,877
12.09.01    51,701
06.09.02    53,310
29.08.03    55,781
08.09.04    58,218
26.08.05    59,015
06.09.06    61,100
31.08.07    62,118
04.09.08    62,614
23.09.09    64,153
27.09.10    65,184
21.09.11    67,474
18.09.12    68,217
24.09.13    70,223
24.09.14    71,798
23.09.15    72,704
19.09.16    74,120
29.09.17    74,736
03.10.18    75,214

Service and Maintenance Record

11.01.62- Mileage: 04,874- Service Agent: Aston Martin

Courtesy light replaced

04.04.62- Mileage: 08,331- Service Agent: Aston Martin

Replacement chain fitted to radiator blind

14.06.72- Mileage: 02,453- Service Agent: A Tocock

Remove seats etc for access to gearbox. Remove and strip gearbox and fit new Layshaft assembly. Fit reconditioned flywheel, new clutch centre plate and release bearing

11.12.72- Mileage: 06,391- Service Agent: Richardson Motors

Dismantle axle, fit all new parts as listed, rebuild axle. Fit new brake pads to o/s and adjust handbrake, change battery, fit 6 new spark plugs, adjust front wheel bearings and MOT

19.01.73- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: HWM

Parts only: 2 x hubs

19.01.73- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Richardson Motors

Strip out axle with intention of fitting new diff cage, parts supplied “wrong”. Remove complete axle, send half shaft to have hubs pressed off, fit new axle, new hubs, rebuild complete

21.01.74- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Tourist Trophy Garage

Parts only: Wheel cylinder

27.01.75- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Camberley Auto Factors

Parts only: Front pads

17.03.75- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: W Koster Limited

Remove interior trim, seats carpets & loom. Cut out both outer sills and rear wing front sections. Cut out rusted sections, make up new sections and weld in. Male up stabilizer support sections, patch sills as required. Make up o/s & n/s box sections and weld in. Plate and weld all sections found on inspection and o/s front floor Under seal all new metal. Remove o/s door, strip out all components, plate and repair door and hinges. Fit and weld in both sill sections. Prepare, prime and spray o/s & n/s sections to color

18.05.75- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Auto Quest

Parts only: Exide Battery

30.06.75- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Camberley Auto Factors

Parts only: Front pads

16.01.77- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Motor Wheel Service & Repair

Parts only:4 x wire wheels

08.04.77- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: HWM

Parts only: rings x18 + gasket

22.05.77- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Camberley Auto Factors

Parts only: Clutch seals

21.03.78- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Williams of Alton

Parts only: Brake kit, cylinder head gasket

28.12.79- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Aston Service Dorset

Parts only: Cylinder liner x 6, compression ring x 6, gaskets, main bearing shells connecting rods camshaft thrust washers, crankshaft thrust washers, crankshaft rear oil seal

12.02 81- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Aston Service Dorset

Parts only: radius arm bush

03.01.83- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Motorway Tyres

Parts only: Exide battery

19.01.84- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Camberley Auto Factors

Parts only: Brake hoses, cylinder it and brake pads

27.01.84- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Whoopee Motor Factors

Parts only: Prop shaft UJ’s

04.02.84- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Camberley Motor Factors

Parts only: Hose

29.12.84- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Aston Service Dorset

Parts only: Top overhaul set, gaiters

02.01.85- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Aston Service Dorset

Parts only:36 inner and outer valve springs

26.09.85- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Peter Hepworth

Parts only: 6 x Aston Martin pistons

24.10.85- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Motorway Tyres

Parts only: 2 x exhausts

11.05.86- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Aston Service Dorset

Parts only: Cylinder head gasket

01.01.87- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Motorway Tyres

Parts only:5 x tyres

06.04.88- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Aston Service Dorset

Parts only: Rear bumper assembly

04.01.91- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: JP Exhausts

Parts only: Stainless steel exhaust system

26.10.91- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Aston Service Dorset

Parts only: Top overhaul gaskets, conversion gaskets

19.03.92- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Aston Service Dorset

Parts only: Contact set

11.05.92- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: DS Cooke

Parts only: Set of 3 lock units with 3 keys

19.05.93- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Aston Service Dorset

Parts only: Brake servo unit

05.04.94- Mileage: n/a- Service Agent: Aston Service Dorset

Parts only: Rubber windscreen surround, filler strip for surround

20.04.94- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Aston Service Dorset

Parts only: Rear engine mounting

29.07.94- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Overdrive Repair Services

Recondition overdrive unit + 12 v solenoid unit

16.12.94- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Mantek Ltd

Parts only: Gasket paper

22.01.95- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Whoopee Motor Factors

Parts only: Oil filter

24.01.95- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Flexolite

Parts only: Aston Martin oil filter adaptor

12.03.96- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Guildford Radiators

Recore Aston Martin radiator

26.03.96- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Aston Service Dorset

Parts only: Cylinder head gasket, sump gasket, asbestos string

15.08.96- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Autopaints

Parts only: Uniblock sealer and reducer, primer, BMC British Racing Green, top gloss, cell stopper, tape mask

16.07.98- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Aston Service Dorset

Parts only: Rear road spring x 2, link x 2

04.08.98- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Aston Service Dorset

Parts only: Fuel reserve kit

21.09.98- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Autopaints

BMC GN29 British Racing Green

16.07.99- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: North Hants Tyres

4 x Avon 185VR16 + 4 x inner tubes

01.02.00- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Aston Service Dorset

Parts only: 6 x Inlet valve unleaded, 6 x exhaust valves unleaded

17.02.00- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Aston Service Dorset

Parts only: Bung, gasket set

21.02.00- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: The Cylinder Head Shop

Parts only: 6 x lead free exhaust seats, 6 x lead free inlet seats, 12 x guide liners

13.09.00- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Aston Service Dorset

Parts only: Engine mounting, bump stop

10.04.00- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Autopaints

Parts only: Top gloss thinners

10.01.01- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Whoopee Motor Factors

Parts only: Girling brake cylinders

15.01.01- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: JEM Vintage

Parts only: Girling piston assembly

16.02.01- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Coopercraft

Parts only: Brake kit

13.07.01- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Burlen Fuel Systems

Parts only: Carburetor rebuild kit

21.11.01- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Denis Welch

Parts only: Lumentition module and accessories

24.06.02- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Denis Welch

Parts only: Air filter element

30.09.02- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Aston Service Dorset

Parts only: Front shock absorber assembly x 2, wishbone bush x 8

25.07.03- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Aston Service Dorset

Parts only: Gaiters, circlips

24.11.03- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: MG Owners Spares

Parts only: Fuel regulator

15.02.04- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Trevor Norris

Parts only: Leather & padding to retrim DB4

29.03.05- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Aston Service Dorset

Parts only: Brake master cylinder seal kit, fan belt

23.06.05- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Rawles

Recondition rear shock absorbers

28.06.05- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Aston Service Dorset

29.06.05- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Aston Service Dorset

Parts only: CV Seal kit

11.07.06- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Aston Service Dorset

Parts only: Top engine gasket set, spark plugs, wiper arms, wiper blades

26.03.07- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Burton

Parts only: Silverstone facet pump kit

16.07.09- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Eibach UK

Parts only: Classic pro-kit

04.09.09- Mileage: 64,063- Service Agent: Rees Bros

Weld repairs to o/s/r chassis leg

13.09.10- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Vintage Tyre Supplies

4 x 185/VR15 Avon tyres + fitment

09.09.11- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Aston Service Dorset

Parts only: Diff bevel pinion, pinion shaft, thrust washers, top gasket set

07.10.11- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Marksman Industrial Ltd

Parts only: Taper rollers + taper roller bearings

06.01.12- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Moto-Lita

Parts only: Aston Martin 16” wheel

13.11.14- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: MG Owners Spares

Parts only: Fuel pump

23.03.15- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Aston Service Dorset

Parts only: Balanced clutch assembly, release bearing, pinion oil seal, camshaft cover gasket, breather cap gasket

29.03.16- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Aston Service Dorset

Parts only: Ball joint, tab washer, BRS Cup, BRS plug retainer, locating bolt

15.04.16- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Aston Service Dorset

Parts only: Chains, tensioner, chain adjuster, oil seal, tuning case gasket, top gasket front cover, bottom gasket front cover, camshaft cover gasket

19.04.16- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: JMB Services

Parts only: Water pump

15.07.16- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Aston Service Dorset

Parts only: Ignition switch

11.12.17- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Whoopee Motor Factors

Parts only: UJ kit, fitting kit.

11.06.18- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: Whoopee Motor Factors

Parts only: oil filter

14.06.18- Mileage: n/a.- Service Agent: AstonService Dorset

Parts only: Gaiter rubbers x 4, Rubber footrest pad,


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