Here’s a story we’d wager you never knew. During the preliminary shoots for the James Bond film Goldfinger, and before Aston Martin’s iconic DB5 was ready to roll off the production line and into the ownership of Sean Connery’s superspy, the British car brand offered the production of another car: The DB4.
In Ian Fleming’s original novel, of course, Bond drove a DB Mark III, and in the finished film he can be seen behind the wheel of a prototype DB5. But the humble DB4 was actually the first Aston a Bond drove on set. And it is all but forgotten.
Allow this shining example, then, to remind you of the sports car’s unrivalled sophistication. One of only 17 left-hand drive models ever made, this DB4 Series V Vantage is one of the rarest and most desirable of the DB range. And it’s not hard to see why.
Virtually identical to the DB5 in styling, but with a couple of mechanical and design differences, this was the first Aston Martin to carry Carrozzeria Touring’s ‘Superleggera’ bodywork, in which light alloy panels were fixed to a framework to reduce weight and improve performance. Perfect for evading villains, we’d say.
Sleek lines and a 3.7-litre, six-cylinder engine makes this car as capable as it is beautiful. At the time it launched in 1962, in fact, it was just about the fastest thing on the road. This particular model, offered for auction through Bonham’s, has spent most of its life coasting around California, with those chrome wheels glinting in the San Francisco sun.
But, even if you can’t stump up the money to own a true piece of overlooked Aston Martin history, at least acknowledge and appreciate that this was the precursor to that sleek DB5 most fans love most. In our opinion, we prefer the pioneering DB4 and, while we all know Bond’s a gambler, we think this was one time he should have stuck…
1962 Aston Martin DB4 Sports Saloon
Into German motors more than our own? Why not check out this 1957 Porsche Speedster…