Aston Martin rebuilds history with the DB4 G.T. Continuation
What a gorgeous old car, you're probably thinking.
But here's the thing, every part on this Aston Martin DB4 GT is brand spanking new.
It's not an original with a hip replacement, a lung transplant, a set of shiny dentures, and some hair dye.
This is as freshly minted as a newborn baby.
Every single part is interchangeable with an original car from the late 1950s.
And it looks completely authentic.
So accurate is it that when I first sat in it, I actually wondered whether I wasn't the subject of some elaborate deception.
Even the beautifully hand painted number plate and safety signs perfectly imperfect.
Out of the garage and onto a sunny Snetterton.
It's amazing thing how far Aston Martin has come This can't be now as well as its range of road cars.
It's developing the valkyrie and its also [INAUDIBLE].
How cool is that?
If you're not familiar with what the DB4GT is it can feel strange walking up to the front.
Which looks like a regular four seat DB4 5 or 6. Then you see the much more compact wheel base, that means this is a strict two seater.
This particular car is the prototype for the projected 25 car run of DB4 GT continuations.
And it's being styled on the 1950s prototype for the original DB4 GTs.
That car was known as DB 199 And it was raced at Le Mans in 1959 by a Swiss team, hence the red and white stripe over the roof of this one and the Le Mans lighting for the roundels.
Only 75 DB4GTs were built between 1959 and 1963, and just 8 of those were the lightweight specification which the continuation cars mimic, using thinner 1.2 aluminum for the bodywork [UNKNOWN] bumpers so that the scoop for the oil cooler stands proud like the scoop on a World War II Hawker Typhoon.
Like the originals, these will be built in Newport Pagnell at the wonderful Aston Martin Works Department.
[SOUND] So what sort of sensations do you get from a car It was eventually, from 1959.
Well, everything moves around a bit more.
This car has been rosejointed, so they've taken the rubber bushings out.
So where you've got the squidge in the tire so when you turn into a corner.
Like this, you've got a little bit of play just to load out the side walls of the tire.
And then it's very precise.
Whereas if you had the rubber [UNKNOWN] in there,
You'll have that extra squidge and you kind of get it sometimes out of sync, but this it's just beautiful, it's so easy to manage.
So we've still got [INAUDIBLE] dampers at the rear, live rear axle obviously, we've got a [INAUDIBLE] 350 break horsepower and 350 pounds for the torque which is More than enough in a car that weighs just under 1,200 kilos.
[SOUND] The glorious and surprisingly strong engine is an exact replica of the original Double O Vatcam Straight Six, with two spark plugs per cylinder.
The [UNKNOWN] has four Ford ratios, which is now a dog-box with straight-cut gears, as you can hear.
Gearbox is amazing when you get it right.
Not third to fourth, fourth to third.
Back to third for Richie's.
And then you pour it in here, turn it with just a little bit too much speed, and you kind of sort it out at the corner Not great steering in parts, but you drive it on the throttle as well.
Now comes the hairpin here.
And there's a bit of push in the front here, there's a big engine up front and then, can slide off the axis, you don't wanna get to much angle in there.
Shift to third.
Here, so this is the corner, third gear, this is where is feels absolutely at home.
Some people wonder why these cars aren't road registered and it's because they aren't exactly Originals but they're not taking chassis numbers from original cars, they're not chopping up old DB 4's to do this which is very good, that would be sacrilege.
So these are new chassis and therefore you can't sort of take those things in to get road registered.
with [INAUDIBLE] the 60 miles per hour taking you about six seconds, and top speed at just about 150 miles per hour, the performance is in step with today's best 2-wheel drive hot hatches.
That in contrast with anything modern, the [UNKNOWN] involved in requiring those figures is rather more dramatic, and, of course, where this car really comes alive Is when you begin working the lateral grip with the L section Dunlop tires.
At the end of the day, what makes driving so fun is that interaction between the tire and the road.
In this, you just get so much more time because [UNKNOWN] side walls, but the rose joint suspension makes you feel really connected.
You just [UNKNOWN] all the time in this car.
It just floats around.
Well, she deals with the curves remarkably well.
This wonderful wooden rim wheel, it's 15 inches in diameter instead of 16 inches.
But apparently that was actually an option back in the day.
It just dances across the tarmac.
We're going to do one more lap.
There are a lot of driving courses at the moment you can spend one and a half million pounds plus taxes on, but this is without a doubt where my money would go.
I wished just occasionally we can do some innovation Because the smell of fuel in here mixed with the economy leather, it's such a heady mix.
[LAUGH] What a car.
That was pretty intense but wonderful and there are times [INAUDIBLE].
That's brilliant but you're happy to hand the keys back.
With this I could just keep driving this I think for as long as I live.
it's wonderful when you first get into this car, things that you notice.
So you sit in this [UNKNOWN] seat, which this beautiful quality, quilted leather and you get the smell of that.
And it sits you just slightly reclined.
So you normally get into a modern car or [INAUDIBLE] race car, you'd just be that much more upright.
This It instantly puts you in the frame of mind of the sort of car that you're going to be driving.
Equally, the weightings of everything are all slightly sort of it's just beautiful so you've got this gear lever that looks really flimsy but is actually sort of really robust and then the indicator stalks that do feel really flimsy.
So you have to use different weightings for everything.
And everything you touch, the quality in it, the materials, it's just another world.
All these beautiful dials, there's seven plus the clock going on, it's like being in the cockpit of an aircraft.
It is just a beautiful car, and to think that this is being created from scratch pretty much, is Unbelievable, it's amazing, and I love it.
If you haven't already gathered, I'm smitten.
The feeling of driving this car on a sunny day, controlling the slip and grip of the tires with a combination of right foot and thin wooden wheel is up there with the best feelings in any car.
Old New or a combination of the two.