Aston isn’t the first manufacturer to reissue one of its classics; Jaguar produced six lightweight E-types using chassis numbers that were issued but never used in period and is now doing nine XKSS roadsters. Various other low-volume models have been put back into ultra-limited production, including the Shelby Cobra and the DeLorean. But the DB4 GT is perhaps the most ambitious such project yet, with Aston announcing that it plans to produce 25 “lightweight” GTs. Only 75 cars were produced during the original run, of which only eight were the stripped-out lightweights. Yet, as tends to be the case with limited-edition Aston models, all have already been sold, despite a price of $1.9 million at current exchange rates. Then again, that’s still only about half what original DB4 GTs are selling for.
December is a month of reflection, a time when people look back on the year that has passed, sometimes with rose-tinted nostalgia and sometimes with sobbing melancholy. At Aston Martin, the spirit of introspection has bitten hard—although with some distant coordinates programmed into the corporate time machine. Because the British company has announced it’s going to produce a “continuation” version of the DB4 GT, a car that was first introduced back in 1959.
Buyers won’t be able to enjoy the DB4 GT’s doubtless considerable charms on the road; with no modern safety or emissions gear, they’re being sold for track use only. Aston will be offering a two-year track driving program for owners. It will be held “at a number of the world’s finest racetracks, including the spectacular Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi,” making it very similar in principle to the billionaire track-day scheme under which the Aston Martin Vulcan was sold. The obvious question is whether Aston will choose to offer any other “continuation” model in year to come. The back catalog isn’t exactly short of greatest hits worthy of being reissued.
The new cars will be made in exactly the same way as the originals, with thin-gauge aluminum panels fitted over a tubular frame. Power will come from a straight-six engine with twin spark plugs per cylinder that produces a claimed 331 horsepower and breathes through triple twin-choke Weber carburetors. This is very similar in design to the original engine, but capacity has gone up from 3.7 liters to 4.1 liters, and output has risen by 30 horsepower. Power will be sent to the rear axle through a period-appropriate four-speed manual gearbox and a limited-slip differential. No performance numbers have been given, but since it will weigh just 2706 pounds, the GT’s acceleration will certainly be brisk. In its day, it was one of the fastest cars in the world and won its debut race at the hands of Stirling Moss.