1c 2 3 4
Manufacturer Aston Martin
Production 1963-1965

1,210 produced

100 DB4GT/Zagato

Predecessor Aston Martin DB Mark III
Successor Aston Martin DB5
Class Sports Car
Body style(s) 2+2 coupé

2-seat coupé

2+2 drophead
Layout FR layout
Engine(s) 3.7 L Tadek Marek I6
Wheel base 98 in (2489 mm)
Length 177 in (4496mm)
Width 66 in (1676 mm)
Height 52.5 in (1334 mm)

DB 4 GT Zagato

Lagonda Rapide

Aston Martin DB4

The DB4 was sold by Aston Martin between 1958 and 1963.  It was a very different car to the DB Mark III, though the 3.7 L engine was visually related to the 2.9 L unit found in that car.  The DB4?s specialist design and performance would later form the basis for future Aston Martin classics, such as the DB4 GT Zagato, the Lagonda Rapide 4-door saloon, and its ultimate replacement the Aston Martin DB5.

The DB series was named after David Brown who was the head of Aston Martin from 1947-1972.


The lightweight superleggera (tube-frame) body was designed by Carrozzeria Touring in Milan, and its Continental looks caused a sensation on its unveiling at the 1958 London Motor Show.  Although the design and construction techniques were Italian, the DB4 was the first Aston to be built at the company's Newport Pagnell works in Buckinghamshire, England.


The 3.7 litre engine dual overhead cam straight 6 engine was designed by Tadek Marek and, though prone to overheating, it produced 240 hp in twin-SU carburettor form.  Servo assisted Disc brakes were fitted, 11.5 in Dunlops giving way to later Girlings. The independent front suspension used ball-jointed wishbones and coil springs and the live rear axle also using coils springs with location by a Watt linkage.

Rack and pinion steering was used and there was a choice of final drive ratios:

British and European – 3.54:1|
United States – 3.77:1
High speed option – 3.31:1


The Motor magazine published a test in 1960 where their car produced a top speed of 139.3 mph, accelerating from 0-60 mph in 9.3 seconds.  They recorded fuel consumption of 17.7 miles per gallon and the test car cost £3,967.


“Series” DB4s

There were five "series" of DB4s, with the most visible changes being the addition of window frames in Series II and the adoption of a barred (rather than eggcrate) grille in Series IV.  The Series V cars of September 1962 have a taller and longer body to provide more interior space, though the diameter of the wheels was reduced to keep the overall height the same. The front of the Series V was updated with a more aerodynamic look that was later carried over to the DB5 cars.

DB4 Convertible

In 1962 a convertible was introduced, featuring styling similar to the Touring saloon, and a hardtop was also available; though these were extremely rare.  In all, 70 DB4 convertibles were made from a total production run of 1,110 cars.


Introduced in 1959, the DB4 GT was a special lightweight, high-performance version of the DB4 with enclosed headlights and thinner aluminium skin for lighter weight. The wheelbase was also reduced and therefore very few cars were fitted with rear seats.

Performance was considerable enhanced, however and 3.7 litre and 3.8 versions were made, both with twin sparkplugs per cylinder, two distributors and three twin-choke Weber carburettors.  Modifications to the cylinder head brought compression to 9.0:1 and power output was 302 hp.


With the introduction of the Series IV in 1961, a high-performance DB4 Vantage was also offered.  Featuring three SU carbs and special cylinder heads it increased the power to 266 bhp and most used the enclosed headlights of the DB4 GT.

In all, there were 136 saloons and 32 convertibles produced with the Vantage engine.

Vantage GT

A tiny number of non-GT DB4s used the GT's more-powerful engine. This combination is often called a Vantage GT, though not all included the Vantage package and none was technically a GT.  Three Series III, five Series IV, and six Series V cars have this unusual combination of body and engine for a total of 14.

[Image Credit]