With the last of the 25 DB4 GTs finally rolling off the assembly line, Aston Martin has come up with a laudable program that takes owners of the vintage toy for track days on different racetracks across Europe.
Retro is the latest trend these days, be it art, automobiles, food, or a variety of other things. Automakers continually come up with newfangled cars that are essentially modern machines underneath a vintage suit. While this neo-retro approach might work for today’s buyers, there is a certain degree of duplicity to these automobiles that is hard to let pass. Thankfully for purists and enthusiasts like you and me and many more out there, companies like Jaguar and Aston Martin are taking a firm stand against the trend.
Jaguar recently recreated one of its most iconic race cars of all time: the 1956 D-Type, whose scheduled production of a hundred examples was completed this year, after a gap of more than six decades. The D-Type is true to its design which was laid down way back in the fifties. Similarly, Aston Martin also has its own workshop that hand builds immaculate automobiles of a bygone era. Case in point the DB4 GT, seventy-five of which were built back in 1958-1959. Through the Aston Martin Works division, the British automaker announced twenty-five DB4 GT Continuation cars that would be track-exclusive.
The sacrifice you have to make for driving a car that is essentially a sixty-year-old design is that it doesn’t have the safety and driver assistance systems that modern cars just cannot do without, which limits the DB4 GT to just being driven in circles around a track. Aston Martin knew this and devised a clever program that let owners of the DB4 GT Continuation savor their special race cars around racetracks of Europe.
The inaugural track day of the Works program was held at Silverstone where five of the new DB4 GT cars showed up. The five proud owners were extensively trained to handle their vintage race cars that are more than just a hint different from the automobiles of today. On hand for special guidance was one Darren Turner, a class winner for the Aston Martin racing team at Le Mans. Turner was heavily involved in the Continuation project, with his role being that of developer and tester of the DB4 GT.
All 25 Continuation cars were handbuilt at Aston Martin Works’s facility in Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire, England. Precisely like their counterparts separated by sixty years, these DB4 GTs feature a 3.7-liter straight-six petrol motor that makes 374 hp, mated to a four-speed manual tranny and a limited-slip differential. The car weighs just 1260 kg in its 2018 avatar. “For over 60 years Aston Martin Works has devoted unrivaled skill and experience to preserving Aston Martin’s heritage,” said Paul Spires, President of Aston Martin Works. “We are proud to have created something for the future, and to see the cars being driven by their owners on what is the most iconic race track in England- Silverstone.”
Silverstone is the first track in the DB4 GT Continuation Driving Program’s two-year itinerary spread across Europe. The next track day will be held at the Rockingham Motor Speedway in Rockingham, England, followed by Le Mans Circuit, France on July 27.