Every so often a classic car comes to an auction and fetches a tremendous amount of money after avid collectors end up in a bidding war. It is not every day that you can expect a classic car to sell for a whopping $8 million. That is the ludicrous sum of money a 1959 Aston Martin DB4GT Prototype is expected to fetch.
The unique one-off Aston Martin was the world’s most advanced GT car back when it was announced in September 1958. The prototype DB4GT was made by cutting a very early DB4 platform chassis in two with the floor join reinforced by a fishplate (the same piece of metal commonly used to attach two pieces of railroad together), still visible today. Despite the simple engineering, the DB4GT was a true supercar of its day. Shorter, lighter, sleeker and with a more powerful version of the legendary 3.7-litre straight-six engine, not only was the DB4 GT Britain’s fastest passenger sports car, it was a born winner, scoring a debut race victory at Silverstone in the hands of Sir Stirling Moss and proving lucrative at LeMans.
The DB4GT prototype was the work horse for Aston Martin that eventually lead to the creation of one of the brand’s most renowned and prosperous models. Besides having driven the legendary circuits of LeMans and Silverstone at blisteringly fast times for its time, the prototype was driven not only by Stirling Moss, but also the famed John Wyer. After its successful stint on the track, the car was homologated to continue its life as a press car and development car, where it would serve as the underpinnings of the legendary Zagato version and DP214.
The history of the DB4GT prototype runs deep, not only with its performance attributes, but also with the numerous owners the car has seen. Subsequent to its homologation conversion, the Queen’s cousin got to enjoy the car, after which a handful of racing enthusiasts owned the car for various periods of time. After being sold to the current owner in 1986, Aston Martin was commissioned to restore the car in 1989. The Aston Martin engineer responsible for the restoration said: “[the owner] was a great patron and customer and was keen to preserve the car rather than rebuild it. We went to great lengths to retain everything that was original. We even riveted the fish plate back onto the chassis!”. Since that time the car has had two other owners, including notable Aston Martin enthusiast Rowan Atkinson, before returning to the current owner, who restored the car in 1989.
The car has strayed far from being a garage queen, having been pushed to its limits on tracks and roads around the world, in the hands of various great names within the motorsport industry. Nevertheless, the car has never been subject to any accidents, and can therefore be auctioned in a highly original state, with its original delivery engine. The bodywork too, is all still original, as well as the interior.