Desmond J. Smail
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Feature car


1961 Aston Martin DB4GT 'Zagato'   £4,750,000


This DB4GT was initially registered in 1961 to Sir Max Aitken who kept the car until 1967 when he sold it to Bobby Buchanan-Michaelson, a wealthy enthusiast who decided he wanted the car as a ‘Grand Tourer’ rather than an out and out racer. He took it back to Aston Martin Works in Newport Pagnell where the car was totally dismantled and re-built from scratch to his specifications. The car incorporated a DB5 front end, DB6 rear end, sunroof, wide wheels, chrome coach line, two tone paintwork and many other enhancements as Buchanan-Michaelsons ‘ideal car’ and was designated by the factory as a ‘DBGT Special’. He sold the car after 5 years of ownership by which time this unique car had become well known if not well regarded in Aston Martin circles! It passed through several other hands, including Aston Martin owner (literally!) Victor Gauntlett, until in 2001 its new owner decided on a course of restoration to return it to a more original form. He took it to specialist RS Williams to have it totally re-built again this time to DB4GT Zagato specification with the rolling chassis being delivered by Williams to Zagato in Milan for coachbuilding. The car was completed by Williams in 2003 following the same procedure he devised when constructing the famous four ‘Sanction 2’ Zagatos, however in this case with the added advantage of being built up around a genuine DB4 GT chassis, with a 4.2 enhancement to its original engine and some subtle suspension upgrades.

This car is a genuine Zagato bodied DB4GT and although not one of the original 19 its journey has been well documented and it is undoubtedly an important part of Aston Martin History.