The Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato Sports Car

                                         Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato           Image

                                          from Classic to Modern


     The DB4 sports car was launched at the 1958 London Motor Show as the two door Series 1.

     Following its popularity, the lighter DB4 GT was launched in 1960, at the same venue, with a view to its appearance in the track.

     This involved, primarily, reducing the DB4's wheelbase by 5 inches, and using thinner, lighter 18-gauge aluminium body panels, which subsequently reduced the curb weight to 1270 kg.

     However, when it came to track performance, the DB4 GT fell well short of its stablemate, the DBR1, which won the 1959 Le Mans 24 Hour race.

     Consequently, Aston Martin then decided to approach the renowned Italian styling house of Zagato, which specialised in lightweight body construction.

     The intention was to create a racer, based on the DB4 GT, that would be serious competition for the Ferrari 250 GT which was, at that time, in an unassailable position in the World Sportcar Championship.

     Following agreement, the first chassis were shipped to Zagato in 1960 with the goal of producing 25 units of the new sports car, which was to be designated the DB4 GT Zagato.

     The Zagato was both smaller, lighter, and more aerodynamic than the DB4 GT.

     By removing non-essential components, such as bumpers, substituting aluminium for as many steel components as possible, and using Perspex instead of glass, a further 45 kg was removed from the overall weight.

     It used an aluminium alloy body on a chassis composed of steel and aluminium, to produce a curb weight of 1225 kg.

     It was fitted with Girling hydraulic disc brakes, independent front suspension with a live axle at the rear, and 16 inch wheels.

     A feature of the body styling was the addition of two bulges in the bonnet to allow for the protruding rocker covers.

     However, once again, Aston Martin could not overcome the supremacy of Ferrari, with the DB4 Zagato no match for the Ferrari GTO.

     Of the 19 Zagatos built when production ended in 1963, most were sold to privately entered race teams, although four were produced as road legal sports cars. 

                                      1960 Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato                                                                      Seen during the Sprint Race at the 2015                                                                                       Jefferson 500 

                                          Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato          Image

                                     1960 Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato                                                               This classic racer was driven by Herb Wetanson                                                         during one of the Sprint Races at the 2015                                                                                     Jefferson 500

                                               Full Screen                                                                                                                                        Full Screen


The Aston Martin DB4 GT

     The DB4 GT was powered by a 3.7 litre, straight six, 12 valve, DOHC engine, with a 9.0:1 compression, three twin choke Weber carburettors, and two spark plugs per cylinder, that developed 302 bhp, and 270 ft/lbs of torque.

     Linked to a four speed manual close ratio gearbox, this enabled it to reach a top speed of 152 mph, with a 0-60 mph time of 6.1 secs. 

The Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato

     The Zagato was to be powered by a modified version of the engine used in the DB4 GT, that included raising the compression from 9.0 to 9.7:1, which duly developed 314 bhp at 6000 rpm, and 279 ft/lbs of torque at 5400 rpm.

     This produced a top speed of 154 mph, with 0-60 mph in 6.1 secs.

Technical Data                DB4 GT Zagato           DB4 GT              DB4
Production                         1960-1963           1959-1964      1958-1963
Engine, cc                               3670                     3670                3670
Cylinders, bhp                       6, 314                   6, 302              6, 240
Torque ft/lbs                           279                       270                  240
Top Speed mph                       154                       152                  141
0-60 mph, secs                       6.1                         6.1                   8.5
0-100 mph, secs                    14.1                         -                    21.0
Standing 1/4 Mile, secs          14.5                       14.0                 16.1

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     Comparable competitors to the Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato included the following spots cars: Maserati Ghibli, Series 2 Jaguar E-Type, and Ferrari 250 GTO

                                                            Maserati        Jaguar         Ferrari
Technical Data         DB4 GT Zagato      Ghibli       E-Type S2    250 GTO
Production                   1960-1963         1967            1969            1963
Engine, cc                         3670              4718            4235            2953
Cylinders, bhp                 6, 314           12, 310         6, 265         12, 296
Torque ft/lbs                     279                289              283               217
Top Speed mph                 154                 161             150               174
0-60 mph, secs                 6.1                  6.5              6.7                4.4
0-100 mph, secs              14.1               15.6             16.7                 -
Standing 1/4 Mile, secs    14.5                   -               15.1              12.7


     An original DB4 GT Zagato in showroom condition would be valued at anything between $2m and $2.5m.


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