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Coachwork by Touring
Fully showcasing design and performance achievements that represented the height of sophistication in the motoring world of the day, the DB4 features a thoroughly modern chassis, four-wheel disc brakes, a smooth and powerful dual overhead cam straight-six engine, and timeless superleggera coachwork by Touring of Milan.
Throughout production of the DB4, which spanned from 1958 to 1963, the model underwent a variety of subtle changes in trim and proportion over five series. The example presented here, DB4/488/L, is a long-admired Series II car, of which just 351 examples were hand-built.
According to Aston Martin factory records, this DB4 was dispatched to Plimley Motors of Vancouver, BC, in late November 1960 and was first sold in January 1961. Finished in Desert White over a red Connolly leather interior, 488/L was constructed in left-hand drive and was equipped with a Motorola radio, Marchal fog lamps, and fully chromed road wheels fitted with Dunlop RS5 tires. The rear axle ratio is listed as 3.54:1, higher than was typical for its US-bound counterparts, and therefore capable of more comfortable cruising at high speeds. In 1960, the British magazine The Motor tested a DB4 with this same gear ratio and reported a top speed of 139.3 mph.
In late January 1961, the works guarantee was issued and the DB4 was delivered to its first owner, Herbert Matson, who had a waterfront home in picturesque Victoria, BC. One can easily imagine the exhaust note of the new white, red, and chrome Aston Martin echoing through the coastal Canadian forest. As Mr. Matson was known for constantly rotating his automotive fleet, it is likely that the DB4 was sold within its first year of service to a Dr. McLennan of New Westminster, BC.
With details of its interim years lost to time, the DB4 was eventually sold to a new caretaker in Europe, eventually coming to France by 1995, spending its next nine years in the custody of a French press editor, M. Dulac. Reportedly, under M. Dulac’s ownership, the DB4 received an engine upgrade to 4.2-litre displacement and was fitted with a triple SU carburetor setup as were the Vantage-spec cars of later series. In 2004, the Aston was acquired by a M. Bossut, and received Parisian plates. M. Bossut’s son reports that his father continued the careful maintenance that the DB4 had evidently received under previous owners.
While having received a prior repaint in its original color, the interior displays an honest patina and retains the original red hides fitted at the factory.
When the Desert White superleggera coupe was purchased by the consignor and imported to the US in 2013, it was found to be in excellent order throughout, with its aluminum bodywork displaying straight panels with consistent shut lines. The engine bay appears tidy and well detailed, and the chassis, suspension, and brake systems have been serviced and are stated by the consignor to be in excellent condition. Following the service work, the DB4 was road tested by the consignor and was found to feel strong and confident, just as a perpetually maintained Aston should. Appearing to have been sympathetically restored as necessary over the years, the car retains a wonderful original feel, culminating in the sumptuous red Wilton wool carpets and Connolly leather of the interior. Now fitted with a Becker Europa radio, the dash also features a pair of analog stopwatches, emphasizing the rallying capabilities of the striking Aston Martin.
As Touring-bodied Aston Martins continue their rise in popularity among collectors, this is a wonderful opportunity to acquire a desirable Series II example. Presented in its as-delivered color combination, with its large hood scoop, eggcrate grille, and elegant Lucas cathedral taillights, it is as satisfying to look at as it is to drive.