BL17 FINAL - Page 67



PURSUITS
an Aston Martin in his upcoming
motion picture: Goldfinger.
It was also the only car factory in
the world to have its own cricket pitch.
Aston Martin chose this site in
Buckinghamshire due to its proximity
to the M1, the UK’s first motorway,
which it used as a test track. There were
no speed limits then.
Now, the service centre on the other
side of Tickford Street remains a hive
of operations, maintaining Aston’s back
catalogue. Aston built 13,300 cars in
Newport Pagnell over the course of 52
years, ending in 2007 with the
Vanquish that Pierce Brosnan destroyed
as James Bond in Die Another Day.
Today, the company builds more than
6,000 units every year at their Gaydon
plant, 40 miles away in Warwickshire.
Now, though, with models from the late
1950s and ’60s regularly reaching
seven-figure sums at auction, Aston has
turned back the clock and begun
building extremely limited-run models,
just as they were under the Macmillan
government of the day.
The DB4 GT Zagato is among the
most valuable and lusted-after sports
cars of all time. Nineteen were built
between 1960 and 1963 in the very
workshop that Aston Martin still
occupies here today. Essentially, they
were race versions of the DB4 GT,
lightened and restyled by Italian
coachbuilder Zagato. Fifty-six years
later, the company is now building
another 19 ‘continuation’ units.
Aston are not alone in engaging the
flux capacitor and going back to simpler
times. While they were probably the first
to float the idea of continuation cars,
back in 2014, Jaguar beat them out of the
blocks by delivering six Lightweight
E-types and nine XKSS continuation
cars in 2016, priced in excess of £1
million each. Two years later they
produced 25 more D-Type racers.
Bentley is about to go back even further
Aston is building
limited-run models
just as they were
under Macmillan’s
government
Above: An original
Aston Martin DB4 GT
Zagato. Right: The new
limited-edition DB4s in
production. Opposite
page: The new edition
DB4 Zagatos are being
built according to
artisan traditions
passed down at
Newport Pagnell
in time, to their 90-year-old 4½-litre Blower. The price of these
extra 12 bellicose British Le Mans winners is strictly POA,
though Aston assure me it’s less than their Zagato, not least
because the Aston comes with a stunning bonus track. The
DB4 GT Zagato Continuation is being sold as a twin-pack with
the state-of-the-art Gaydon-built 211mph DBS Superleggera,
skinned in a bespoke GT Zagato suit and, again, limited to just
19. The price reflects demand: £6 million for the pair.
Sorry for dribbling. Sitting under its original 1955 roof and
watched over by a wooden owl that’s been perched on a
truss, scaring off pigeons for all these years, the workshop
feels like a Hornby factory.
S
talwart Paul Spires, president of Aston Martin Works,
tells me: “Everything is in miniature here,” compared
to the Gaydon plant, “but the problems are the same
size”. It’s not a museum, it is a working atelier. In addition
to 40-odd customer-owned Astons undergoing service
or restoration, there are three of the continuation DB4 GT
Zagatos having their final parts installed. All the parts are
new, but based on digital scans of the originals.
67
BOISDALELIFE .COM
AUTUMN 2019
ISSUE 17







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