- Faithful recreation of 1959 sports car
- 25 track-only examples
- Deliveries start summer 2017
- Built at historic Newport Pagnell facility
Aston Martin will build 25 recreations of its iconic DB4 GT, of which just 75 were originally made between 1959 and 1963. Dubbed ‘continuation’ series, these cars will be allocated unused VIN-numbers that follow on from the last car built in period, chassis 0202R.
The new DB4 GTs will be built to original ‘lightweight’ specification, i.e. with thin aluminium panels over a tube frame and no back seats. They will however receive some sympathetic upgrades in safety and performance, for use in Aston’s own two-year track driving programme.
What does this remind me of?
Jaguar special operations did a very similar thing about two years back with the lightweight E-type and currently with the XKSS. The difference is that Jaguar must have stuck more faithfully to the original and its production methods, as the FIA has approved the E-type recreations for competition historic races such as the Goodwood revival. The continuation E-types cost around £1million, so although prices for the DB4 GT recreations have not been announced yet, it’s fair to expect something in the same ballpark.
Why is Aston Martin doing this?
With certain classic cars becoming so valuable, it seems to be a trend for manufacturers to really embrace their heritage. It’s not just Jaguar Land Rover and Aston Martin, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche are doing similar things, safeguarding spare parts supply for older cars and designating selected dealers as ‘classic centres’ in the case of Porsche.
Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer said: ‘Aston Martin has a rich and vibrant heritage, as you’d expect from a company that has been building some of the world’s finest sports cars for 103-years. Of those the DB4 GT stands proud as one of the most coveted of all.’
The DB4 GT was a short-wheelbase version of the standard DB4 intended for racing. It was powered by an 3.7-litre twin-cam straight six producing around 300bhp – 60 more than the standard car. This allowed it to win its debut race at Silverstone at the hands of Sir Stirling Moss. The ‘modern’ updated car will benefit from some modern materials and techniques, giving it another 40 bhp more.
An original non-lightweight DB4 GT sold for almost £2.5million at an RM auction in September, so to be able to purchase a fresh one for around £1million would be a tremendous bargain.
The cars will be hand-built by Aston’s Works division at the old Newport Pagnell factory. It will be the first time since the Vanquish S ceased production in 2007 that cars will be produced there.
Sounds lovely, but what are you supposed to do with them?
Unlike the original, which was a street-legal racing car, the continuation series is track-only. At present, they are also not approved by the FIA to compete in historic championships. So similar to what Ferrari and McLaren offer for the FXX-K and GTR, there is a special two-year 'arrive and drive' track driving programme’ which offers owners a chance to experience these cars at the limit, with professional driving tuition on hand.