The Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato Sanction Sports Car

Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato Sanction – A close look at this sports car including performance, technical data, features, comparing rivals, history, used prices

from Classic to Modern

Aston Martin DB4 Zagato on the Track

Four of the chassis used on the original Zagato sports car (also referred to as Sanction 1) were duly modified to produce lightweight versions that would be ideal for racing.

These racers incorporated the following features to improve aerodynamics: A lower roofline – Enlarged rear wings, with a restyled tail section, and an extended front section.

One of these restyled Zagatos made it debut at the Goodwood race track in early 1961 when, driven by Stirling Moss, it finished in third position, with its arch rival, the Ferrari 250 GT, taking the chequered flag.

However, a couple of months later, two of the quartet, supported by Aston Martin and assigned to Essex Racing, were entered in the Le Mans 24 Hour race, but both were forced to retire.

Not to be outdone, in July 1961, one of these cars claimed the Zagatos first win in one of the races as part of the British Grand Prix.

A further attempt at Le Mans in 1962 ended in early retirement through engine failure.

Aston Martin DB4 Zagato Sanction 2

Production of the DB4 Zagato ended in 1963 with 19 of the sports cars being built.

However, this was not the end of the story. In 1988, having approached Aston Martin, it was decided to modify four of the original DB4 chassis so that they could be transformed into a lighter weight construction, identical to that used in the DB4 GT.

These were then shipped to Milan to receive bodies comparable to those used in the original Zagatos of the early 1960’s, with the distinctive small oval grille, and a smoother, restyled rear section.

The first of these modified rolling chassis was shipped in January 1989, with the fourth three months later.

These four officially approved replicas were designated as Sanction 2 cars.

Although there was little difference, externally, from the originals, modifications were made to improve the handling characteristics, whilst the engine capacity was increased from 3.7 to 4.2 litres, and the size of the road wheels was reduced from 16 to 15 inches.

All four replicas were completed in July 1991, but were not permitted to display the original Zagato badges.

When placed at auction, these replicas were sold for as much as $1.25 million.

Aston Martin DB4 Zagato Sanction 3

Following the sale of the four Sanction 2 Zagatos, it was found that there were still two additional Zagato body shells that had not been used, for whatever reason.

Therefore, in 1992, Aston Martin was approached with a view to creating further Sanction variants.

Following agreement, another two DB4 chassis were discovered, and were duly modified to produce, in conjunction with the newly found Zagato body shells, a final two DB4 Zagato replicas, which were completed in 2000, sporting the original Zagato badges.

These were designated as Sanction 3 sports cars.

Other Replica DB4 Zagatos

By 2000, a total of 19 original and 6 Sanction DB4 Zagatos had been built, and were highly prized, with six figure valuations.

Accordingly, since then, other non-original, and non Sanction replicas have been built, based on the chassis from DB4’s and DB4 GT’s.

However, such replicas did not have the Zagato sports car cache but were, nonetheless, still desirable, and with a ready market.

This concludes my Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato Sanction Sports Car Review

The Aston Martin DB2/4 Sports Car

The Aston Martin DB2/4 Mark 1 and 2 – A close look at this sports car including performance, technical data, features, comparing rivals, history, used prices.

From Classic to Modern

The Aston Martin DB2/4 Mark 1


In 1953, the DB2 sports car, the best-selling Aston Martin to date, was replaced by the Aston Martin DB2/4 Mark 1, priced at £2,621, which was offered as a Drophead Coupe, a 2+2 Hatchback Saloon, and a small number of Bertone designed Spider convertibles.

It had an aluminium body with a kerb weight of 1195 kg, and early cars were prepared by the legendary coachbuilder Mulliner although, by 1954, this was changed to the Tickford Company.

By modifying the area around the back axle, it was possible to introduce two rear seats together with an increase in the rear roofline, and convert the rear section into a hatchback.

Additions included the use of a wraparound windscreen, separate bumpers, and raising the position of the headlights.

When production of the Mark 1 ended in 1955, a total of 565 Mark 1’s had been built, of which 102 were Drophead Coupes, 458 Saloons, and the remaining 5 were Spiders.


The Mark 1 sports car was powered by the same engine as used in the DB2 Vantage, and consisted of a Lagonda 2.6 litre, DOHC, straight six unit that developed 125 bhp at 5000 rpm, and 144 ft/lbs of torque at 2400 rpm.

Fitted with a four speed manual gearbox, it produced a top speed of 111 mph, with a 0-60 mph time of 11.5 secs.

However, by early 1954, both the Saloon and Drophead Coupe were fitted with the larger 2.9 litre, DOHC, straight six Lagonda engine that developed 140 bhp at 5000 rpm, and 178 ft/lbs of torque at 3000 rpm.

Retaining the same gearbox and fitted with two SU HV6 carburettors, it produced a top speed of 118 mph, with a 0-60 mph time of 9.7 secs.

It used hydraulic drum brakes all round, and there was now a marginal increase in weight to 1210 kg.

The Aston Martin DB2/4 Mark 2


Also in 1955, Aston Martin Launched the Mark 2 version.

External styling changes included the addition of small fins at the rear, different rear lights as used in the Morris Minor, and an increase in the use of chrome.

A new two seater Fixed Head Coupe variant was introduced, whilst retaining the Drophead Coupe, although only 34 units were produced using bodies hand-made by the Tickford Company, which had been acquired by David Brown in 1954.

As part of a special order, three of these chassis were dispatched to the Italian coachbuilders Carrozzeria Touring in order to create the Spider Variant.

By the time production of the Mark 2 ended in 1957, a total of 199 units had been built, of which 146 were Saloons, 34 Fixed Head Coupes, 16 Drophead Coupes, and 3 Spiders.


As an optional extra, the Mark 2 sports car was fitted with the more powerful version of the 2.9 litre, Lagonda engine which included larger valves, and the compression increased to 8.6:1.

This enabled output to increase to 165 bhp, and produced a top speed of 120 mph, with a 0-60 mph time of 9.3 secs.


The following sports cars were typical of the competition for the DB2/4: Jaguar XK140, Maserati 3500GT, Maserati A6HG, and BMW 507.


An Aston Martin DB2/4 in good condition would command in the region of $120,000/£75,000 to $250,000/£150,000, whilst a really superb example would fetch around $500,000/£300,000.

This concludes my Aston Martin DB2 Sports Car Review

The Aston Martin DB3 and DB3S Sports Car

The Aston Martin DB3 and DB3S – A close look at this sports car including performance, technical data, features, comparing rivals, history, used prices

from Classic to Modern

The Aston Martin DB3


The final evolution of the DB2 sports car, which was introduced in 1950, took the form of the DB2/4 Mark 3, production of which ended in 1959.

Although based on the DB2, the two seater Aston Martin DB3, launched in 1951, was the pure racing variant of which, by 1953, a total of ten cars had been built.

The first five racers were allocated as works cars, whilst the remaining five were sold into the open market.

Its racing debut was the 1951 Tourist Trophy, during which it was forced to retire.

In 1952, works DB3’s, fitted with the 2.6 litre engine, finished second to fourth at Silverstone against stiff competition from Ferrari and Jaguar’s C-Type.

In all, the DB3 sports car was unsuccessful on the track since, in most cases, it was forced to retire for any number of reasons.

The cars only major victory for Aston Martin was the 1952 Goodwood 9 Hour race.


The early DB3 was powered by a 2.6 litre, DOHC, straight six engine, as fitted to the DB2 Vantage, that developed 140 bhp at 5200 rpm, and produced a top speed of 131 mph, with 0-60 mph in 8.6 secs.

With a compression of 8.2:1, it was fitted with a five speed manual David Brown gearbox, had drum brakes all round, and an aluminium body on a tubular steel chassis.

However, it was soon found that the 2.6 litre unit was inadequate and, in mid 1952, it was replaced by the larger 2.9 litre engine, which produced 165 bhp.

A small number of DB3’s were also produced as a coupe variant.

The Aston Martin DB3S


Due to its weight, the DB3 turned out to be uncompetitive.

However, introduced in 1953, the two seater DB3S sports car was the lightweight version of the DB3, fitted with a shorter wheelbase and lighter chassis.

By the time production ended in 1956, a total of 31 DB3S’s had been built, of which 11 were the works variant (as two fixed head coupes and 9 open tops), with the remaining 20 being sold to customers (as 3 fixed head coupes and 17 open tops).

The coupe variant was more aerodynamic and with lower drag than the open top, and so produced a higher top speed.

Unfortunately, it tended to be less stable at high speed, resulting from additional lift.

In 1954, both works coupes were fitted with 225 bhp engines, which were then modified, by the addition of a supercharger, to develop an additional 15 bhp.

However, instability caused both cars to crash in that years Le Mans.

Reverting back to the open top variant, the DB3S scored a second placing in both the 1955 and 1956 Le Mans 24 Hour, with Stirling Moss at the wheel in the latter race.

The DB3S was succeeded by the enigmatic DBR1, which was victorious at Le Mans in 1959.


The 2.9 litre, DOHC, straight six now developed 210 bhp at 6000 rpm, and produced a top speed of 145 mph.

With a compression of 8.7:1, it was fitted with a manual close ratio four speed David Brown gearbox, three Weber twin choke carburettors, disc brakes all round, and its aluminium body produced a curb weight of 914 kg.


Chief amongst competitors for the Aston Martin DB3S were the following sports cars: Jaguar C-Type, and Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa


One of the DB3S’s was placed at auction with a value in the region of $4m.

This concludes my Aston Martin DB2 Sports Car Review