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ASTON MARTIN WORKS TO BUILD A LIMITED RUN OF ‘CONTINUATION’ CARS; POSSIBILITY OF RACE SERIES / WORDS RICHARD MEADEN / IMAGE AMHT ARCHIVE
As we closed for press, news was emerging from Aston Martin Works of an extraordinary plan to produce a special series of DB4 GT Continuation cars. Details were sketchy, but it seems the cars will be completely new, rather than relying on original DB4 donor cars. As you would expect, numbers will be limited. The precise quantity is unknown, but is unlikely to approach the 75 original DB4 GTs built in period. If one were in the mood to speculate, a further 25 cars would round things up nicely.
Practically and emotionally, Works’ recently refurbished facilities at Newport Pagnell are the perfect place in which to build this new batch of cars, and the combined pool of knowledge and experience at the Tickford Street premises is second-to-none.
The decision to build these cars is sure to divide the Aston Martin community, just as the four Sanction II and a further two Sanction III DB4 GT Zagatos did in 1991 and 2000. Contentious at the time – despite being built using donor cars and given ‘works approved replica’ status by the factory – the Sanction cars are now classics in their own right, albeit with values a long way behind those of the original batch of 20 cars.
Like much of the project, the precise specification of the Continuation cars remains undisclosed, but it’s reasonable to assume they will adopt some of the engine and chassis enhancements that have become the default specification for all but the most committed purist. There’s also the question of whether the Continuation cars will be road-registered, as all original DB4 GTs were in period, or whether they will be built as FIA-approved race-cars (like the batch of six Lightweight E-types recently built by Jaguar Heritage), or track-only cars in the vein of Aston Martin’s own Vulcan. Price? Well with the aforementioned Lightweight E-types reputed to cost around £1.2m (plus taxes) we can expect the DB4 GT Continuation to be in the same seven-figure ballpark. As Astons have always been reassuringly expensive when compared with Jaguars, perhaps even a little more.
Though controversial, the DB4 GT Continuation project is a bold and interesting move by Works. Combining Aston Martin’s proven business models for so-called ‘boutique’ supercars such as the One-77 and Vulcan, and special limitedseries models such as the V12 Zagato, Taraf and new Vanquish Zagato, the DB4 GT Continuation promises to tap into the same rich seam of top-tier Aston Martin enthusiast who until now has perhaps not considered a owning a classic Aston. We envy them already.