'Prettiest 1963 Aston Martin' will auction priced £220,000

Since its introduction at the 1961 London Motor Show, the 1963 Aston Martin DB4 Convertible has been described by many as "one of the prettiest Aston Martins ever made", and is arguably the British equivalent of the Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder.

Some four years in the making, the DB4 was designed in-house and overseen by the marque's technical director, John Wyer. Wyer reportedly fought with Polish Designer Tadek Merak over whether to power the DB4 with a more competition-friendly 3-litre engine unit.

Merak's ideas won out, and the DB4 became powered by a new all-alloy DHOC straight-six engine with "square bore" dimensions (92mm x 92mm) displacing 370cc.

Meanwhile, Aston Martin's Chief Engineer Harold Beech developed a robust sheet-steel platform chassis to accommodate coachbuilder Carrozzeria Touring of Milan's "Superleggera" or "Super Light" method of body construction (whereby aluminium panels were fit over a cage-like frame).

A true icon: the 1963 Aston Martin DB4 Convertible

The Aston DB4 boasted 240bhp and 250lbft of torque on tap, complimented by a four-speed all synchronised manual gearbox, as standard. As a result, the DB4 was reputedly capable of 0-60mph in 8.5 seconds and 0-100mph in 21 seconds.

The designers and engineers apparently got it right: the DB4 was released to rave reviews from leading publications including Autocar and Motor magazine.

Along with its specifications, the car's aesthetics included painting its dashboard and instrument binnacle body colour, rather than black. The marque's "Saville Row" approach to car making also meant that the car was sold with an abundance of optional features.

As a result, the historic DB4 remains iconic among 1960s automobiles. Famous Aston Martin DB4 Convertibles include a model driven by Michael Caine's character Charlie Croaker in one of the greatest car films ever made, The Italian Job.

More recently, a hard-top 1962 DB4 almost used in the production of a James Bond film was sold by Bonhams for 84,000 inclusive of buyer's premium.

The DB4's dashboard (bottom right) was painted to match its body colour

For this example appearing for sale at H&H - chassis number DB4C/1092/R - the copy build sheet reveals that the factory fitted a new engine prior to its delivery to the first owner, Sefton Myers Esq, on March 28 1963.

And car collectors on the lookout for an Aston Martin that was in the thick of the "Swinging Sixties" are in luck: Mr Myers was a successful property developer, theatrical agent and manager who fostered the careers of Sir Tim Rice and Baron Lloyd-Webber, among others.

Later subjected to another full engine all in 1974 and some repairs to the pistons by renowned marque specialist Robin Hamilton, this DB4 has passed through some exceptionally careful hands. It has remained with its current owner since April 14, 1980.

The 1963 Aston Martin DB4 Convertible will be sold by H&H in Buxton, Derbyshire, UK, next Wednesday (June 9) with a pre-sale estimate of £180,000-220,000.

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