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Coachwork by Touring
*Please note this vehicle is titled 1960.
Fordyce L. Foster, Hammondsport, New York(acquired new via J. S. Inskip in April 1961)Morten Sigval Bergesen, Oslo, NorwayMorten Sigval Bergesen Jr., Norway (acquired from the above)Current Owner (acquired from the above)
In 1956, development of the all-new Aston Martin DB4 began concurrently with that of the model it eventually succeeded, the DB2-derived DB Mk III. Debuted at the 1958 London Motor Show, the DB4 set the tone of Aston Martin styling for the rest of the David Brown era and heralded the new engine designed by Polish-born engineer Tadek Marek. The alloy DB4 engine, fitted with dual overhead camshafts and displacing 3,670 cc, produced 240 bhp in standard tune with twin SU carburetors.
The DB4’s fresh, Continental-inspired body was executed by Milan’s Carrozzeria Touring using its Superleggera framework of small-diameter steel tubes supporting the aluminium body panels. The Harold Beach-designed chassis was simpler and more rigid than before, using a new pressed-steel platform. Four-wheel Dunlop and later Girling disc brakes provided stopping power, helping the DB4 become the first production automobile capable of accelerating from 0 to 100 mph and back in less than 30 seconds, squarely placing Aston Martin on equal footing with Ferrari and Maserati.
Indeed, Aston Martin moved from strength to strength throughout the 1950s and 1960s, and the DB4 played a crucial role. In 1958, Britain’s Prince Philip awarded Aston Martin his Royal Warrant of Appointment, giving it the right to display his coat of arms on their cars and for its company letterheads to state “Motorcar Manufacturers by Appointment to His Royal Highness.” Under the guidance of works team manager John Wyer, Aston Martin took overall victory at Le Mans in 1959, with Carroll Shelby and Roy Salvadori co-driving the mighty DBR1 racer.
Although the factory did not officially distinguish between the various versions of the DB4, enthusiasts group the cars into five series, each with similar basic specifications and subtle variations, reflecting the improvements and running changes made throughout production. The most obvious change for Series II was the switch to a front-hinged bonnet, plus a two-pint increase in engine-oil capacity, and enlarged disc-brake calipers. Visually, the Series II is most highly prized with its large hood scoop, early pattern grille, and small taillamps. Just 1,113 of these iconic “Gentlemen’s Express” coupes were produced in all from 1958 through 1963.
Accompanied by a copy of its original build record, this 1961 DB4 Series II, no. DB4/568/L, was shipped new to the US, where it was sold on April 3, 1961, via J.S. Inskip to Fordyce L. Foster of Hammondsport, New York. Originally finished in Deep Carriage Green and Champagne Connolly leather upholstery, 568/L was further equipped with a Motorola radio, 3.77:1 rear-end gearing, a heated rear window, an engine-block heater, and a driver’s-side mirror. Factory-recorded service work occurred in 1961, 1962, and 1973.
The DB4 was eventually sold to Norway, and the next known owner of 568/L was shipping-family scion Morten Sigval Bergesen of Oslo. The DB4 was obviously prized by Mr. Bergesen, who kept it parked for over 20 years in his office lobby. Mr. Bergesen’s son, Morten Bergesen Jr., ultimately took possession of the Aston Martin and commissioned a total restoration by Aston Martin Works Service in Newport Pagnell, UK, in 2004. Reportedly low mileage, the DB4 was certainly the perfect subject for a complete factory restoration. The painstaking work was completed without regard to cost and returned the DB4 to impeccable condition, with the Aston Martin beautifully refinished in its factory-specified colors. The process was carefully recorded and documented, complete with sections for each major milestone. Also included are the images depicting the engine rebuild and dynamometer-testing sheets, which confirmed the engine produced its factory-rated power output of 240 hp following its rebuild by R.S. Williams Ltd.
Upon review of the documentation, it is truly difficult to fully and completely articulate the scope, scale, and thoroughness of this DB4’s restoration. Only a full examination of 568/L can possibly convey the care and the massive investment of time and money lavished on it. A truly spectacular example of the DB4 that ushered in a new era at Newport Pagnell and begat the DB5 and DB6, this Series II DB4 is arguably one of the finest examples extant.