'Lost' and found: Rare 'missing' Aston Martin DB4GT Lightweight offered at no reserve
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'Lost' and found: Rare 'missing' Aston Martin DB4GT Lightweight offered at no reserve
1961 Aston Martin DB4GT 'Lightweight'. Estimate £2,000,000 – 3,000,000. Photo: Bonhams.

LONDON.- An ultra-rare 1961 Aston Martin DB4GT 'Lightweight' – one of only nine examples completed to the special Lightweight specification by Aston Martin - first owned by renowned hill climb competitor Phil Scragg, is to be offered in next month’s Bonhams Bond Street Sale (Saturday 7 December) at NO RESERVE, with an estimate of £2,000,000 to 3,000,000.

In the hands of only its third owner since 1965, this example is offered to the global car collectors’ market with a full, known ownership history and the kudos of being one of the ultra-rare Lightweights built for competition and road use.

If the DB4 was considered the ultimate Gran Turismo of its day, marrying state-of-the-art British engineering with Italian flair in the form of its Carrozzeria Touring aluminium body, the 200lbs lighter racing GT version was the crème de la crème, of which only 45 right-hand drive versions were produced.

Modified with a shorter wheelbase, a luggage platform instead of rear seats, lighter 18-gauge bodywork and lightweight Borrani wire wheels and its twin spark engine tuned to produce over 300bhp, the DB4GT achieved a top speed of 153mph, a 0-60mph acceleration in 6.1 seconds and was also the first car to go from a standstill to 100mph and stop in under 20 seconds.

Sanctioned by John Wyer, Aston Martin’s acclaimed team manager, in 1960, the competition Lightweight made its mark in international racing in the hands of Stirling Moss with Equipe Endeavour, Jim Clark, Innes Ireland and Roy Salvadori with Essex Racing and German circuit driver and Aston Martin importer Peter Lindner. This was the ultimate Touring bodied DB4GT and remains both elusive and revered.

The handful of special ‘Lightweight’ versions were built outside the main production line at Newport Pagnell, with their even greater lightness achieved by extensive use of aluminium in the chassis which was also drilled front and rear. Perspex was used everywhere except the screen, and the trim was lightened.

This example is finished in 'Elusive Blue' having been originally one of the two cars delivered in ‘Wedgewood Blue’. Incredibly the black Connolly trim and carpets are original as are the lightweight interior trim panels.

With the GT being such a respected racing car in its day, it is fitting that this car was first owned by another gentleman racer of the period, Phil Scragg, a prosperous Northern industrialist, car collector and noted hill climber, who successfully campaigned it, with a specially-lowered axle ratio, at venues including Loton Park, Aintree and Prescott in 1961.

Benefitting from an engine rebuild carried out by Aston Martin Works Service, including a conversion to 4.2 -litre capacity in 2007, this very special DB4GT is eligible for the most prestigious historic motoring events around the world.

According to Aston Martin authority Stephen Archer: “This is an opportunity that cannot be repeated. For such an extremely rare car to have had just three owners and the last for 55 years is extraordinary enough. But the originality of this car is breath-taking. This has to be one of the greatest preservation opportunities of the century. There are not many Astons today where you can still see the maker’s hand in every aspect of the car.

"This DB4GT deserves a very appreciative and sympathetic home because it will give the owner enormous satisfaction. The DB4GT was one of David Brown’s greatest cars, this is one of just nine at the very pinnacle of that achievement.

Sholto Gilbertson, Bonhams Motor Cars Department Director UK, added: “The Bonhams motoring team is thrilled to be offering one of the ‘Holy Grail’ Aston Martins. We are delighted that our consistent track record of achieving good results for the marque has led to the consignment of this important motor car.”

The DB4 GT will be available to view in the Bonhams’ flagship Sale Room in New Bond Street, on Friday 6 and Saturday 7 December, the day of the Bond Street Sale.

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