Aston Martin DB 4Contact us
- DB4 series 2
- for 14 years with the current owner
- previous owner was Syd Greene, owner of a Formula 1 team
- „matching numbers“ engine
- 2005-2008 complete restoration by LeRiche Automobiles
- fully documented restoration
- very well documented history
This gorgeous Aston Martin DB4 is an attractive model of the series 2 with “matching numbers” and an exciting and well-documented history. First delivery was to Syd Greene, race car driver, Formula 1 team owner, entrepreneur and Royal Air Force pilot. In 2007 and 2008, the car was completely restored.
The Aston Martin DB 4 was built from 1958 to 1963 and until today is considered to be one of the most beautiful and most important cars in history. The development of the DB4 took Aston Martin a while. The company’s boss John Wyer asked the Carozzeria Touring from Milano to take care of the design. There, a stunning body was designed, according to the own patented “Superleggera”-principle. This construction consists of handmade aluminium sheets on a spaceframe which is fixed to the chassis. The DB4 was available as Coupé and as Cabriolet, plus in special versions such as the DB4 GT, the DB4 GT Zagato and the “Jet” as a single piece made by Bertone.
An aluminium straight six-cylinder 3670 cc engine designed by Aston Martin’s Tadek Marek powered the DB4. In combination with the standard twin SU HD8 carburettors it was said to deliver 240 bhp. This brought the car from stillstand to 60 mph within a dashing 9 seconds. The car’s maximum speed was a 140 mph. On their own website, Aston Martin admits that with today’s standards, the performance would be defined closer to around 200 bph, but it was still massive compared to its period competition. A 4-speed manual gearbox made by the David Brown Corporation was paired with the motor.
In total, there were five series of the DB4. The main points of differentiation were the introduction of window frames with the series 2, which were accompanied by the needed bigger oil volume to avoid motor overheating. With series 3, the rear lights were changed to now three single lights replacing the former elegant lights made from one piece. A new grill and a smaller air scoop were introduced with series 4. Series 5 went back to recessed one-piece lights. Most of the series 5 cars had the covered headlights and a higher roof line, which was compensated by smaller wheels.
The DB 4 offered here is from the series 2 and carries the chassis number DB4/432/R.
The series 2 became available in January 1960. The majority of enhancements from series 1 to series 2 are not visible at first sight. The most prominent distinguishable visible change would be the opening rear quarterlights with flat glass instead of curved glass. When presented with the bonnet up, the difference becomes very obvious: it hinges from the front, which makes it less dangerous in case of a failure of the catch.
On the technical side, the sump was enlarged to 17 pints (14 before) to enhance the cooling of the engine, and the oil pump was uprated. As an option, an oil-cooler was available, but at the time installed at just a small number of cars. It is indicated by an air intake under the front bumper. An overdrive became available as well as electric windows.
Like the series 1, the series 2 was equipped with Lucas rear lights that were also used with some Rolls Royce and Bentley cars and became known as cathedral rear lights due to their shape that resembles the windows of a cathedral.
In total 349 of the series 2 DB4 were built until the series 3 was introduced in April 1961.
There’s no arguing about taste, but to us, the series 2 is the most beautiful version of the DB4. It connects the technical enhancements over the first series with the big hood scoop, the low roof, the nicest rear lights and the classical grill.
According to Aston Martin’s records, DB4/432/R was delivered on September 19, 1960 to Pierpoint and Sons (BLDR) Ltd in Heath Road, Weybridge, Surrey. This was the address of British touring car race driver Roy Pierpoint. He was good friends and a business partner of Alan Mann. The two even ran a garage at Rusper together. In 1965, Roy Pierpoint became champion in the British Saloon Car Championship.
The car had been ordered in the rare colour combination of “Wedgewood Blue” with beige leather. This is a non-metallic light blue. Interesting also the fact that the buyer had asked to install the extra-long gear transmission ratio of 3.31:1 enabling the car to reach higher top speeds. The price for a new DB4 at that time was 3,967 pounds Sterling including tax, which was 46,000 DM on the German market. A Mercedes-Benz 300 SL gullwing was available for 29,000 DM.
It is well possible that Roy Pierpoint ordered the expensive Aston Martin as a trader, because according to Neil F. Murray from the Aston Martin Heritage Trust the actual first owner of the car was Syd Greene. He also was a colourful personality from the British racing scene. Aged 16, he lost his left arm in a traffic accident: He rode his cargo bike for work reasons, fell and a London bus ran him over. This made Greene keep hiding away in his widowed mother’s house for several months, but then he accepted his fate and worked hard day by day to make the most out of it. He became a technical draughtsman and spent his first hard earned money on a MG Magnum Magnette and, later on, an Aston Martin International. With both cars, he participated successfully in races at Silverstone, Donington and others before World War II. He did not have any of his cars adapted but instead operated the gearshift with his right hand, while his legs kept the steering wheel in position. But one day a competitor complained about this special procedure and Greene had his license withdrawn due to his impairment.
Lacking one arm, the Army did not accept him, and so he joined the Royal Airforce. Here, he became a Spitfire pilot, and he was given the slightly morbid nickname “Wingless Wonder”. Several shots are recorded for him, and he made it up to Squadron Leader.
In 1946, after the war, Greene founded the company Gilby Engineering together with his business partner Monty Gilby. Although the company was named after Gilby, Green kept the majority of the shares. The company grew year by year, and in 1960 it had 250 employees producing parts for fridges, Ford cars, Armstrong shock absorbers and more.
The economic success enabled Syd Greene to have his racing team Gilby Engineering taking part in motorsport. In 1961, Sir Stirling Moss won the British Empire Trophy driving Greene’s Frazer Nash, and many famous drivers such as Jim Russel and Mike Hawthorn drove for him. Most widely known was his cooperation with Roy Salvadori who first drove a Maserato A6GCS for the Gilby Engineering team and later even participated in the Formula 1, driving the first Maserati 250 F that was ever imported to Great Britain. Syd Greene’s son Keith took up motorsports in the 1950s and even represented his father’s team in the Formula 1. In total, Gilby Engineering took part in twelve Formula 1 races, in the last two even in a car they had constructed and built themselves – the Gilby 61 and the Gilby 61. Later, Keith Greene became Manager of the Brabham Formula 1 team and was head of David Piper’s team that took rank 4 at LeMans 1971.
So for sure, this Aston Martin DB4 has seen a lot and most likely visited many racetracks within England and Europe. An article of the 1984 June edition of British Motorsport Magazin describes a funny anecdote about Syd Greene and his DB4: „With a chuckle, he still likes to recall the look on hitch hikers’ faces when he’d stop for them in, say, an Aston Martin DB4 and they’d look at his one arm and the manual gearbox and hesitate…“
Until 1969, all servicings are listed in detail in the original documents.
The Aston Martin Build Sheets mentions the following owners:
- Chaseside Motor Co., Enfield, Middx.
- B.M. Lee, Belling & Lee Ltd., Enfield Middx.
- J.T. Adams, Ipswich, Suffolk
- 1985 Mr. Cohen
- A.K. Jonas Esq., Brundau, Norwich
- 1989 Adrian Julian Levy, Threads Clothing Company, Leicester
Many invoices from the time of Adrian Julian Levy’s ownership are existing as original version. In 1990, he had the car restored by David Wall Vintage & Classic Cars in Wroxham, Norfolk. The registration at that time was HEX6 – rather interesting considering the fact that in the 1970s, Keith Greene ran the motorbike division of Hexagon of Highgate. All works are also documented in many photos. These show that before restoration, the car was still in very original condition albeit a respray in a blue metallic.
A businessman from Richmond, Surrey, bought the DB4 in June 1995. He was the founder of a clothing company with dozens of chain stores. Unfortunately his company went into receivership in February 1996 and was sold. This might have caused him to sell the car to the next owner, who had the DB4 registered at Jersey in October 1996.
From this time also a large number of invoices and documents are available. The owner kept the car for eight years and, via the company LeRiche, sold it to its actual owner in 2005.
The new owner had the car remain in Jersey to have it completely restored at the workshop of LeRiche. Ian LeRiche and his team are highly experienced in restoration, and some of his works gained prizes at Pebble Beach and Villa d’Este.
All works executed are documented very well through invoices and photos, and the quality of the restoration is high. As painting, the owner chose the original Aston Martin colour “Snow Shadow Grey”. The interior is upholstered with Connolly leather in matching Bordeaux red. The original Wilton carpets blend in very well, too.
In the course of the restoration, the original motor was changed to the increased power-rated Vantage or SS (“Special Series”) specifications. This is a rather common change and could be revised if wanted.
Still today, eleven years after the restoration, the car’s exterior as well as the interior is in a good condition. Motor and gearbox work impeccably. Der Motor ist der originale “matching numbers” Motor zu dem Fahrzeug.
The car is registered in Germany with a historic license plate.
This DB4 has interesting previous owners from the British racing world, is extraordinarily well-documented and in a great condition. Plus, as a series 2 it is one of the most beautiful versions of all Aston Martin DB4s.
We asked the expert Klaus Kukuk to thoroughly check the car. Kukuk is one of the most renowned motor vehicle experts with decades of experience and a vast expertise in the field of classic cars, sports cars and racing cars. His assessment can be made available to any serious buyers.
The car is available for an inspection by appointment only in 33415 Verl, Germany. We are happy to show you the car and the documents and have a lift available as well.Please contact us if you wish to obtain further information.