Automobiles of Arizona

21 - 22 January 2010

Thursday - The British Are Coming!

Lot 134

1961 Aston Martin DB4 "GT Zagato" Replica Vintage Racing Car

To be auctioned on Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sold for $192,500

  • Chassis no. DB4/384/R
History is important to us, and all lots offered are fully researched. All corresponding information and accessories, from certificates to tool kits, stays with the lots we sell. All of this is held at our library on site, under the Access the Knowledge banner, so please visit us there or contact us before the auction if you require further information.


Est. 380 bhp, 4.2 liter alloy Aston Martin six-cylinder full racing engine on triple 55 mm Weber carburetion, four-speed DB gearbox with internal modifications, independent front suspension with coil-overs and adjustable anti-sway bar, solid rear axle on four trailing arms, Watts linkage and coil-over shocks, Borrani 7.5/9 X 15" alloy rimmed wire wheels. Normal safety items include six-point roll-over bar, six-point belts, automatic fire system with three nozzles, electric cut-off switches, racing bucket seats, transmission and rear end forced air cooling, ATL 22 gallon fuel cell. Wheelbase: 93" (DB4 GT)


REPLICAS AND CONTINUATION CARS – AN ASTON OVERVIEW

In the UK, replicas by both factories and individuals are a time honored tradition, especially on famous chassis like Bentley, Lagonda, Frazer-Nash and Jaguar. Even Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd. got into the act in the early 1990s with their four DB4 GT Zagato “Continuation Cars” which were built with saloon donor car parts on four unused GT chassis numbers.

A correctly done replica, based on a proper donor chassis and constructed as per the original, is a practical way to save a factory identity which could otherwise have been lost forever.

Very few of the really great Grand Touring cars are nowadays seen at Historic Racing events. Have Ferrari GTOs and Aston Zagatos discarded their automobile status in favor of dehumidified sealed storage in investment portfolios? Probably. In order to counteract this lack, most historic race organizers and the FIA now admit “Rebodies” – essentially period-correct chassis and mechanicals, sporting personality make-overs in the form of smart new replica coachwork, in the original material.

This Aston “Zagato,” originally commissioned by AMOC member Joseph Hish in 1994 is just such a specimen.

A NEW LIFE FOR DB4/384/R AS A “ZAGATO” REBODY

After a long interest in the marque, Joe bought DB4 GT/0143/L in 1993. A few drives later he was hooked on Aston motoring and innocently began to inquire about GT Zagatos. Such rarities were not beyond Mr. Hish’s means, but a seven-digit hobby car offended his sensible side. (Of fourth generation American-German farming stock, his Company builds bridges and other large steel things.) “I just got interested in Astons a bit late,” related the affable Hish, who still owns the AC Cobra that he bought new in 1965!

The retina-etching beauty of an Aston Martin Zagato GT wouldn’t fade, however, so he did the next best thing. He commissioned a perfect replica of “2 VEV,” the famous lightweight DB4 GT racing Zagato. As is typical with such projects, a “donor car” – in this case the remains of DB4/384/R – was acquired. The chassis was shortened five inches to the correct 93-inch wheelbase, and a new Zagato body, from the original “2 VEV” body buck no less, was hand formed in alloy by Shapecraft, an English panel company that carries out body work for the Aston Martin Factory. The steering, suspension and braking systems were rebuilt and installed by the Derby, England based firm of Aston Engineering.

After this, the car was shipped across the pond as a roller, to Jon Clerk’s PTR Inc. Florida shop, where all the mechanicals, including a “full-house” Aston DB4 engine was built and fitted. Instead of the usual Aston Racing color, variously called Almond or Sage Green, Joe opted for a natural polished alloy finish. “Besides getting gorgeous looks, it saves about 75 pounds of paint materials, you know,” he enthused!

384/R’s debut at the 1995 Chicago Historic Races saw Concours wins in the English Car Class and “Peoples’ Choice” as well as fastest race lap in the hands of old pro Brian Redman, competing against a field full of AC Cobras and Ferraris.

Yours truly was privileged to try the beautiful beast next at both VSCDA/Elkhart Lake and SVRA/Summit Point. Two more easy first places resulted. What’s it like out there? Well, at 2,300 pounds and close to 400 bhp, it makes my ordinary standard-weight DB4 racing saloon seem…well, ordinary.

(The majority of the “2 VEV”s description is excerpted from then AMOC Vice-Chairman Jack Boxstrom’s AMOC Quarterly mid-‘90’s magazine article.)

THE DB4/384/R “ZAGATO” TODAY

After many approaches by various parties, Joseph Hish sold his Aston Martin to the current owner in the late 1990s. A major auto dealer and retail store owner, he is also a vintage racing car enthusiast with a substantial collection. Accordingly the Aston DB4 “GT Zagato” has been selectively shown and raced for the past few years at Daytona, Sebring, Road Atlanta and other major historic venues. On these occasions, this spectacular polished alloy Aston Martin is invariably the most admired and most photographed entrant!

While dozens of replica Ferrari 250 GTO and 250 GTBs exist, this is likely the only version of Aston Martin’s fabled aerodynamic Zagato GT “2 VEV” to have been replicated.

This lot will be sold on a Race Car Bill of Sale.

Addendum

Please note that this lot is being sold on "Bill of Sale Only".

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alain Squindo


Detroit, Michigan

Alain Squindo joined RM Auctions in 2007, after graduating from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., with a degree in History. R... read more

Alex Classick

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United Kingdom

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California, USA

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Germany

With post-secondary degrees in Economic Science and Mechanical Engineering, Annette Abaci initially worked part-time at Mercedes-Benz ... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a senior car specialist, after more than a decade in the collector car hobby... read more

Dan Warrener

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Ontario, Canada

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Don Rose

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United States

Don Rose joined RM Auctions in 2006, after many years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputatio... read more

Donnie Gould

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Florida, USA

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

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Ontario, Canada

Gord joined RM Auctions in 1998, initially responsible for the transportation and logistics of the company’s auction and restora... read more

Ian Kelleher

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New York, United States

Ian Kelleher began his automotive career immediately following his graduation from Oberlin College, with a B.A. in Politica... read more

Jack Boxstrom

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Ontario, Canada

Jack Boxstrom joined RM Auctions in late-1996 to assist with the recently acquired, and subsequently record-breaking, auction in Monte... read more

Max Girardo

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United Kingdom

Max Girardo started his career in the vintage automobile industry in 1998, joining Brooks Auctioneers (now Bonhams) as a car specialis... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Auctions, Mike Fairbairn has a longstanding interest in the classic car industry. Graduati... read more

Peter Wallman

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United Kingdom

Peter Wallman joined RM Europe in 2007, following nearly two decades in the international advertising industry, read more

Peter Giddings

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California, United States

A life-long car enthusiast, Peter joined RM’s California office with over half a century of experience in the automotive and rac... read more

Peter Blond

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United Kingdom

Peter Blond joined the RM Europe team in 2013 after being immersed in the collector car industry for more than 60 years. An... read more

Rob Myers

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Ontario, Canada

As chairman and founder of the RM Group of Companies, Rob Myers’s entire career has been devoted to the classic car industry. Ro... read more

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California, USA

Shelby Myers literally grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to w... read more

Vinnie Mandzak

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California, USA

Vinnie Mandzak joined RM Auctions’ California office in 2012 as a car specialist, following more than 30 years’ experience... read more

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Ontario, Canada

Jeff Whiteside joined RM Auctions as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer following almost three decades in a diverse r... read more