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Aston reforges DB4 GT

Rocket reloaded: With 250kW and lighter construction, the Aston Martin DB4 GT Lightweight is still a quick car even by today’s standards.

Hyper rare Aston Martin DB4 to be resurrected with 25 ‘continuation’ GT Lightweights

28 Dec 2016

ASTON MARTIN is following the lead of fellow British sportscar-maker Jaguar and has confirmed that it will recreate one of its rarest and most desirable models to date in an exclusive run of 25 ‘continuation’ DB4 GTs.

It would appear the project has been inspired by Jaguar’s highly publicised plans to resurrect not just one of its historic ultra-rare models but two, with a run of lightweight E-Types now completed and shipped to customers and another nine XKSS racers on the way.

Like Jaguar’s reborn cars, the new Aston Martin DB4 GTs will be a strictly track-only proposition with all 25 examples built to Lightweight specification.

Just 75 of the original DB4 GTs were ever crafted at the UK factory but lightweight versions are an even rarer beast with just eight completed.

Deliveries of the exclusive DB4s will start in the third quarter of 2017 but Aston Martin has not advertised how much it is asking customers to stump for their piece of the company’s history, although original examples might offer a guideline. If you can find an original DB4 GT Lightweight for sale you’ll need a budget of about $A5.1m to make it yours.

The original cars were produced between 1959 and 1963 and while Aston will construct the 25 new versions to exacting standards, a number of upgrades will be included for the engine, handling and braking in the name of performance and safety.

In its day, the 3.7-litre straight-six engine was a significant accomplishment featuring twin spark-plugs per cylinder and a dual distributor ignition, but even by today’s standards its output of 250kW is no mean feat.

Power is sent to the rear wheels via a four-speed manual gearbox and limited-slip differential, while its shortened wheelbase made the GT versions more agile and faster in tighter corners – albeit trickier to control on the limit.

For the exclusive lightweight editions, thinner aluminium body panels hide a tubular space frame which will be redesigned and refined in the digital world but constructed using time-honoured skills.

Manufacturing at the company’s Newport Pagnell site in England ended in 2007 with the Aston Martin Vanquish S, but the revenant DB4 GTs will mark the return of production at the site, following a state-of-the-art refurbishment.

Unlike the pair of Jaguar models, which were built to be almost identical to the ordinal cars using the same production methods, the Aston will represent “a fusion of classic design and contemporary methods”.

Despite a gap of more than half a century, Aston says the new vehicles will continue the bloodline of the original cars with chassis numbers continuing from where the 1963 GTs finished up and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) 0202R.

Customers who are quick enough to slap down a cheque for one of the new GT Lightweights are also invited to participate in a two-year international track driving programme.

Owners will have access to a number of exotic driving locations including Yas Marina in Abu Dhabi, while expert instructors will be on hand to teach the techniques essential for piloting historic vehicles at speed.

Despite its vintage, Aston Martin President and CEO Andy Palmer said the rarest DB4 was still representative of the company’s modern-day principles.

"Aston Martin has a rich and vibrant heritage, as you’d expect from a company that has been building some of the world’s finest sports cars for 103 years," he said. "Of those the DB4 GT stands proud as one of the most coveted of all.

"It’s a mark of Aston Martin’s breadth of abilities that in the same year we launched the DB11 - our most advanced ‘DB’ production car ever – we can also embark on an adventure such as the DB4 GT continuation. A project that taps into the unique passion and skills that exist within Aston Martin.

"I’m thrilled we have the imagination and capability to offer 25 enthusiasts the unique opportunity to commission their own piece of Aston Martin history".

In the case of the reborn Jaguars, all examples were snapped up softly after the projects were made official, but Aston Martin has not yet said if all 25 DB4 GTs have been spoken for or if any will be heading to owners Down Under.

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