1960 Aston Martin DB4 GT Coupé
The DB4 GT is, with the exception of the Zagato, arguably the most sought after of the David Brown Aston Martin road cars. Only 75 were built between 1959 and 1963, and this rare left-hand drive example, which is presented in superb condition with its original matching engine, is the only DB4 GT ever to have contested the 'real' Tour de France.
Chassis number '0120/L' left Aston Martin's Newport Pagnell factory in the summer of 1960 destined for French agent Garage Mirabeau, to whom it was invoiced on 11th August. The car was destined for the Bourelly brothers of Nimes, gentlemen drivers who intended to campaign it in French events. Chassis records show that '0120/L' was ordered in Elusive Blue (ref. 2553) with blue grey Connolly hide trim (ref. VM 3244), a 3.54 rear axle ratio with Powr-Lok differential and Avon Turbospeed P tyres. It was road registered in France on 26th August as '200 FB 30'.
The 1960 Tour de France Automobile was won by Mairesse (Ferrari) in the GT class and Consten (Jaguar) in the Touring class; the Bourelly brothers’ charge in this Aston ended at Le Mans, but not before leading Consten. After its moment of glory, the Bourelly's Aston Martin disappeared into obscurity, remaining in the family's ownership for over two more decades until sold to Monsieur Guy Constans of Conflans-St Honorine in November 1985. Re-registered '2120 RV 78', still it appeared rarely in public, and again changed hands into the last (believed third) French ownership in May 1997 before acquisition by the present Swiss owner in 2009. It is now offered for sale following the purchase of a DB4 GT Zagato, although the two cars do make a handsome pair…
Loaned to veteran Grand Prix drivers Sir Jack Brabham and Roy Salvadori for an appearance in the retrospective Tour de France in the early 2000s (which they completed with a warm welcome along the route), the car was again put into storage until a complete mechanical restoration was undertaken in 2006-7. The engine was rebuilt together with the gearbox, back axle and brakes. The coachwork was stripped (photo documentation available) and repainted in the original Elusive Blue, whilst the interior retains its grey leather.
Fitted with its correct engine and bumpers, and presented 'ready for immediate use' but thankfully not deprived of all traces of its colourful past, this is the only Aston Martin DB4 GT to have ever contested the original Tour de France: it is solely thanks to 'DB4GT/0120/L' that others are eligible for the prestigious (and heavily oversubscribed) retrospective event today. Aston Martin built a mere 75 DB4 GTs (plus another 19 Zagato-bodied variants, one Bertone-bodied special and five 'Team' or 'Development Project' GTs). Of the 75 examples, 45 were supplied in right-hand drive form and just 30 were left-hand drive. Despite its tremendous rarity and value, the DB4 GT remains a popular entrant at major historic racing and touring events such as the Goodwood Revival and Colorado Grand not to mention concours d'élègance including Villa d'Este and Pebble Beach.
Amongst the most beloved of all Aston Martins, the DB4 GT remains unmatched for its unique combination of performance and usability and 'DB4GT/0120/L' is surely one of the most richly historied examples.
Period Photo Credits: Maurice Louche