Classic Investments sold this amazing 1960 Aston Martin DB4 and the new owner commissioned us to complete a #1 concours quality restoration. After many months of work, and countless hours of research, the car was completed in time for the 2016 show season and has, so far, gone on to win four top level awards on the national stage, as well as two other honorary awards. The following is a periodic report and description of the restoration process. Enjoy!
-Restoration is underway! The beautiful DB4 has been stripped down to bare metal–a difficult and time-consuming task with the delicate aluminum skin. Most steel bodied cars can be carefully blasted with a variety of media to expose the bare finish underneath paint, primer and filler. However, the thin aluminum panels on this Superleggera bodied Aston dictate that we take a special approach and hand-strip the entire surface using a much gentler chemical process. This may take longer in the first stage but will help save countless hours of metal repair in the long run. It also allows us to assess the bodywork without having to “see through” the minute imperfections that media blasting can leave on the surface of the metal–ultimately saving even more time with no sacrifice to quality.
-The drivetrain has been removed and engine disassembled. After sitting for many years, this simply could not have been avoided! Now, our technicians have all the “insider info” on this car and we can go about the next step of the process… parts. What needs to be ordered? What can be refurbished? How can we tell the difference? Stay with us as this exciting restoration continues.
-Metal work has been completed and the suspension is being removed for complete nut and bolt restoration. While every last bit of this car is being refinished by hand, and in-house, the body will be set on a temporary dolly where it will receive the full “spa-treatment” in body and paintwork excellence. Internal engine components have been ordered and assembly will soon begin followed by a test run on the stand for tuning and proof. This is a sensitive time for restorations and planning and preparation are critical. Every gear in the shop has to be perfectly synchronized and our expert team if up to task!
-Every nut, bolt and bezel on the car is being replated to original specification and the highest “show-quality” standards. Many new and rebuilt parts have been organized and are awaiting placement while the body is being painted. The owner has been in to see progress made on this exciting vehicle and to personally customize some alterations for their driving experience and overall enjoyment. As soon as the engine machine work is complete, we will begin reassembly of the 3.7L powerplant. The engine (which will be receiving several performance enhancing upgrades) will be dressed as original to provide a modern driving experience while retaining concours winning aesthetics. Check back soon for the latest on paint, interior and engine work progresses into the new year!
-The body is about to be bathed in its new color! Currently sitting in third-prime, the fresh paint should be visible on this page within a couple of weeks. Meanwhile… all new plating for hardware is complete, fresh Connoly hides are being cut and applied to interior surfaces and seats, engine assembly is drawing near (followed with a full dyno test and tune) and refinished small parts are awaiting their return home in what should be a record-setting assembly here at Classic Investments. Stay with us!
-With the Oystershell color applied, cleared, sanded and buffed, the car is now perched on the lift where she will remain for the final assembly! The front and rear suspension systems have been installed, wiring and plumbing are being snaked throughout the car and every mechanical section of the car was meticulously inventoried and categorized to expedite assembly and ensure accuracy. The (now 4.0L) engine has been tested and tuned on a stand and will be run once more to ensure proper function before installation. Check back for photos of the drive train and interior joining back up soon!
-The DB4 is on the way to her maiden event at Amelia Island, 2016! With the final trimmings installed just hours prior to her departure, we are very excited to display this freshly restored classic at one of the premier events in the country. We have paid very careful attention to materials on this car and are proud to have installed several items in this car that many specialists of the Aston Martin marque do not offer on theirs. And with items like the Aston Martin Motorola radio and authentic fitted luggage, we feel that this car offers some of the finest modern touches at no sacrifice to originality. We hope the judges think so, too!
-After a long trip in our own trailer, the DB4 showed up to the 2016 Amelia Island Concours on time and looking beautiful. Following the anxious wait after judging, the announcement was made – “Best In Class!” The entire team at Classic Investments is excited to have produced one of the most accurate DB4 restorations on record and, most importantly, to have thrilled the new owner with their investment.
-In June and July of 2016, the DB4 was also shown at the Colorado Concours d’Elegance and St. John’s Concours of the Americas – It was awarded Best In Show and Best In Class, respectively, as well as receiving two other honorary awards. In September the DB4 was shown at the Santa-Fe Concorso and again was awarded First in Class! For 2017, she has already been shown at the Arizona Concours – at the Biltmore Hotel – where it was well received and honored with a Class Award. The owner will continue to show this car for some time; look for it at the top events in the country!