Under the new car’s bonnet was a race-proven, all-aluminium straight-six. The 3,670cc engine had already proven itself in the DBR2 racer, and was to power (as a 3.0-litre) a prototype DB4GT also entered at Le Mans in 1959.
Someone buying a new Aston Martin DB4 would, therefore, be able to enjoy a car from the winners of the world’s most famous motor race, a 140mph coupé with generous room for two – plus occasional rear seating – and elegant Italian styling effortlessly combined with traditional British craftsmanship.
The DB4 was gradually developed over five series before being succeeded by the DB5 in July 1963. During that period a limited run of shorter-chassis, twin-plug DB4GTs was built for the more committed Aston driver who might also enjoy some racing. It was an uncompromising car, with just two seats, minimum room behind them and a boot dominated by a massive fuel tank.
So, for owners wanting the continent-crossing capability of a DB4 and its comfortable ‘St James’s Club’ characteristics – yet more performance – for the Series IV the factory came up with a solution. It was the ‘Special Series’ engine.
Later to be named with Aston’s signifier of enhanced performance, ‘Vantage’, the DB4 SS engine was quoted as developing 266bhp at 5,750rpm. The changes included fitting triple SU HD8 carburettors, bigger valves and raising the compression ratio to 9:1. The additional cost was £125 in 1962. It’s believed around 20 Series IV cars were built to this specification, with only a fraction in left-hand drive. Some had the faired-in headlamps first seen on the DB4GT, although most owners preferred Touring’s original design.
DB4 Special Series have been produced on DB4 Series 4 & Series 5.
Chassis 965/L is fitted with engine 992/SS. Genuine Vantage Saloon, this Series 4 early production was built in January 1962. Originally delivered in Paris (France) in May 1962.