Format: 2017-09-26 19:57:58

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Aston Martin DB4 GT "Zagato" 1962 DB4GT0190L-Vintage Motor Cars in Arizona 2005-01-28

Year:
Chassis number:
DB4GT0190L
Engine number:
Unknown
Body number:
Unknown
Vintage Motor Cars in Arizona
Auction House: RM Auctions
Registration number:
Unknown
Sold for: $ 2.695.000

The car was delivered to its first owner, Commander Murray in June of 1962. Murray took advantage of the “bespoke tailoring” aspect of ordering a new Aston Martin, a concept that survives to this day. He specified that the body should be of a slightly heavier gauge of aluminum in order to minimize stone chips and make it less prone to Parisian parking problems. Special brake covers were fabricated to prevent brake dust from contaminating the shiny finish of the Borrani wheels and a locking glove box lid was ordered – an item not normally included by the factory on these lightweight cars. Since the Perspex of the side and quarter windows tended to deteriorate quickly, proper glass replacements, as on the standard DB4 GT were also factory supplied. A one-off and very attractive grille with vertical bars, designed by Commander Murray himself helped to widen and somewhat soften the normally brutish frontal appearance. Other custom touches, all listed on the original factory buildsheet which accompanies this sale, included DB4 GT seats, dual circuit brakes and special Italiansourced gauges for the instrument panel.
Today, the DB4 GT Zagato is appreciated as one of the most outstanding sports racers of its era – a period when the battles of the racing scene were still fought with cars that could be run on the road.
The second and third owners, Ude Hansen and Lars Wendal, both of Sweden, are believed to have used the car for local club events. In 1972 Englishman Tom Leake (who had owned 0193) acquired the car and had Robin Hamilton fit two Scintilla magnetos for racing. These magnetos remain on the car today. Photographer Julian Cottrell of London became owner number four after Leake successfully raced for four seasons, including many races at Silverstone. Cottrell then campaigned the car successfully for two years, including a six hour event at Donington. With the car’s value now becoming more evident, Cottrell sold the car to the late Richard Forshaw of Wimbourne, Dorset.
In the 1970s the Forshaw family had been appointed service agents for all pre 1963 postwar Aston Martins. Their collection included three DB3Ss and a DB4 GT; the Zagato would stay
in this collection for some time. It is interesting to note that the Zagato was used in a photograph on the Forshaw’s stationary. Essentially, anyone who ever ordered parts or a
build sheet from the Forshaws received a photo of 0190/L.
The car was rarely used or seen while in the hands of the Forshaws but was extensively restored through 1995 to 1997. The body and chassis were refurbished by the well-known restorerAlan Pointer of Bodylines and painted by John Windsor at GTC, both ex-Aston factory craftsmen. At this time 0190/L was resprayed in its original color of Shell Grey, a conservative shade, but one that perfectly showcases designer Ercole Spada’s beautiful body contours. Interestingly, there is no recorded evidence, photograph or mention of 0190/L ever having been crash damaged or rust repaired – remarkable for a car that was raced year after year.
Upon close inspection, the chassis may very well be one of the best original examples in existence. The underside of the bonnet shows the original Zagato hammer marks and the
boot and bonnet frame retain all the Zagato rudimentary build quality from that period, designating again that the car is a great survivor. The beauty of these original cars is that
you truly get a feel for their asymmetrical and hand built nature. As such, they are not perfect by modern massproduction standards and like most Ferrari GTs, (a good example being the GTO) one is struck by the inherent beauty of their lightweight and almost flimsy construction details.
With the untimely death of Richard Forshaw, the Zagato was sold at an auction during the Goodwood Festival of Speed to Les Edgar who maintained the Zagato at the Aston factory
Works Service Department while in his ownership.
Shortly after the current owner acquired the car in the summer of 2002, Aston Martin Ltd. added an interesting bit of history to this example.
0190/L was used extensively in the marketing and promotion of the renewed relationship
between Aston Martin and Zagato as they launched the DB7 Zagato Coupe. Aston Martin certainly felt this chassis was one of the ultimate design examples as it was included in the
brochure of their new Zagato.
0190/L features its original 3,670 cc engine and David Brown built gearbox and has recently benefited from a $30,000 plus detailing and mechanical refurbishment of its brakes,
suspension, transmission, clutch, rear axle and road wheels after which it successfully completed a 500 mile Arizona road rally. Aston Martin specialist Kevin Kay of Redding, California carried out this work and also fitted a new stainless steel exhaust. He confirms that the engine compression and leakdown tests were excellent and meet all normal standards. 0190/L was featured on the cover of the November 2000, issue of Thoroughbred & Classic Car and the May 2003, issue of the Robb Report. An extensive bit of photography and history can also be found in the 1992 book, Aston Martin DB4, DB5, DB6 The Complete Story by Jonathon Wood.
If an Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato had to be described in 50 words or less, the April 13, 1962 Autocar road test article probably says it best; “In sheer performance there are not more than a half-dozen road cars in the world which can match the agility of this special-bodied Aston Martin. Obviously its market is limited by its high price. For those to whom this is no barrier, but who are prepared to pay for an uncommonly well engineered vehicle which has the ability to perform credibly on a racing track, and behave with decorum on the public roads with equal facility, it has few rivals.”

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