Aston Martin DB4 GT 'Zagato': Spotted

A genuine DB4GT Zagato is something very special indeed. Just 19 originals were produced and today they can fetch eye-watering figures on the rare occasions they go under the hammer. This though, unfortunately, is not an original Zagato. But it is an original DB4 GT, is clad in genuine Zagato coachbuilt bodywork, and has a remarkable story behind it. Oh, and it's half the price.

A quick history lesson then. The DB4GT Zagato started life, unsurprisingly, as a DB4 GT - itself a very sought after car. Only 75 - excluding the Zagatos - were built, with the aim of taking on Jaguar and Ferrari at the track. Five inches shorter, 90kgs lighter and 60hp more powerful than the standard DB4, it was an instant hit upon its launch in 1959, winning its racing debut at Silverstone in the hands of none other than Sir Stirling Moss.

There was still room for improvement though, which is where Zagato came in. They made the car smaller and lighter still, swapping the glass for Perspex and replacing many of the components with thinner aluminium ones. With the additional removal of brightwork including the front and rear bumpers, a further 45kgs was taken from the car. When an additional 12hp was coaxed from 3.7-litre aluminium straight-six too, all the signs were good.

Unfortunately, the car ended up lacking the racing pedigree of its peers - both entrants retired from the 1961 Le Mans 24 - yet the rarity and sheer beauty of the DB4 GT Zagato has still seen prices skyrocket. One example becoming the most expensive British car ever sold at auction when it went for £9.45m in 2015.

Which is why the one we have here may seem a relative bargain. According to the ad, this is a 1961 DB4GT, originally registered to Sir Max Aitken of the Beaverbrook publishing empire. In 1967 he sold it to Bobby Buchanan-Michaelson, a wealthy enthusiast who decided he wanted the car for road use, rather than as a track-focussed racer - nothing changes, eh? He returned the car to the Aston Martin Works in Newport Pagnell to have it re-fitted as a Grand Tourer. Built from scratch to his specifications, the 'DBGT Special' comprised the front end of a DB5 and the rear of a DB6, along with a sunroof, wider wheels, chrome coach line and two tone paintwork - as well as modifications to the interior.

It seems the car was a right dog's dinner; friend of the owner and Sports Editor Innes Ireland pulling his punches in saying, "Not everyone will agree with his ideas, but then not everyone is in a position to indulge!" when he reviewed it for the July 1969 edition of Autocar.

Fast forward three decades to 2001 though, when a new owner saw the light and took the DBGT Special to RS Williams. Here it was completely re-built once again, this time being restored to its original 1961 specification before being sent Zagato in Milan for a coach-built body to be fitted.

It now represents one lucky multi-millionnaire's chance to own a car that is equal parts beauty and history, while still saving up for his next yacht. The question remains though, bank balance allowing, would you pay such a vast sum for a non-original car, even one with such a remarkable backstory? Or is it just an overpriced continuation: a Frankenstein's Zagato that would've been better left as was? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

: 3,670cc straight-six
Transmission: four-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 306@6,000rpm
Torque (lb ft): 270@5,000rpm
CO2: N/A
First registered: 1961
Recorded mileage: 7,000 miles
Yours for: £4,750,000

See the original advert here



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Comments (16) Join the discussion on the forum

  • SDB660 21 Oct 2017

    8 point rule re body changes? A load of aggro with DVLA potentially?

  • jmesgotav8 21 Oct 2017

    I'd sooner own that than any of the current crop if multi million pound hypercars

    Definitely on my lottery list

  • PhantomPH 21 Oct 2017

    Gorgeous thing.

  • Bencolem 21 Oct 2017

    I want to see pictures of that DB5 / DB6 mash-up! Oh and personally I’ve always found the standard DB4GT more attractive than the Zagato version.

  • 964Cup 21 Oct 2017

    10/1 that the eventual buyer will already have a DB4GT Z. They'll buy this to have one they can use without diminishing the value of the original.

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