David Brown's personal Aston Martin DB4 is the coolest barn find of 2020
It will need a little more than a dusting though
It’s England, 1946, and a man is reading a copy of The Times. He notices a small advertisement – a sports car company is selling for £20,000. Up until this point, he has been mostly working with tractors and gearboxes, but he does love a good sports car. After all, he had designed a straight-eight engine in his bedroom and got a Vauxhall to do 140 mph (225 km/h), on sand.
The man decides to make an offer.
So that’s who David Brown is. And his initials have been plastered on the back of Aston Martin’s flagships ever since. The DB bloodline did pause after 1972 when he left but it came back and currently takes the form of the DB11.
Photo: Aston Martin Lagonda Media
It all started a few days after the offer when Mr Brown visited the company headquarters in Feltham and test drove a prototype they were working on. It was called the Atom and he thought it handled well but lacked power.
The papers are signed in February of 1947 and a short while later, the Atom has been turned into a production car. It's called the Aston Martin 2-Litre Sports, or as we would come to know it, the DB1.
We’ve all heard of the DB5 for reasons I won’t mention (James Bond), but before any of that was the 1958 London Motor Show where the DB4 was unveiled.
Video: Aston Martin Lagonda Media
It was styled by an Italian company called Carrozzeria Touring of Milan, and constructed using their patented method of “Superleggera” (Super Light) where hand-beaten aluminium body panels are fastened to a tubular frame. It was incredibly pretty, and thanks to a 3.7-litre straight-six engine, fast as well.
The DB4 was the first production car that could go from 0-100 mph and back down to zero in under 30 seconds.
DB himself usually drove about in a Jaguar XJ as it was more economical, but he did buy one of these in 1960. And now the very same one is up for sale on Facebook Marketplace.
It’s maroon in colour and has a few optional extras fitted including electric windows, a rear-window demister, Radio Motorolla, and a ‘power-lock rear axle’.
He only had it for a year before it ended up on the other side of the world in Melbourne, Australia.
The current owner bought it in 1979, with only one other owner before him. It’s unknown whether or not either of them has cleaned the steering wheel where the great man’s hands once rested.
Given ‘LAS062’ doesn’t show up in Victoria’s registration records, it hasn’t been on the road for a very long time. It sure doesn’t look like it either.
Apparently, all the bits are present and accounted for even if some of them have done the British hand-built thing and fallen off. The original workshop manual may be able to offer some help there.
It has 146,020 km on the clock and is listed for $1 million AUD. Which begs the question: