Production of 25 continuation cars is about to start at the historic Newport Pagnell site
Aston Martin is to build 25 new DB4 GT continuation cars at its historic Newport Pagnell site, the first full car production there for ten years.
The new cars will be sold as track-only models, with their £1.4-million price including a two-year support package of circuit events and optional training with Aston Martin works drivers, including multiple Le Mans class winner and Historic racer Darren Turner. The circuits include Abu Dhabi’s spectacular Yas Marina.
The cars will be assembled in a new three-bay, glass-walled area at the front of the recently renovated service centre at Aston Martin Works on Tickford Street, Newport Pagnell. is is where Aston Martins were produced from the early 1960s until 2007, when the last Vanquish rolled off the production line. Now the site, retaining many of the original buildings, includes the service centre, a flagship sales centre, restoration workshops, bodyshop, metalworking rooms, trim shop, parts centre and, in the historic ‘Olympia’ building, the new Heritage showroom.
The Continuation cars will be based on the specification of the DB4 GT Lightweights, of which just eight were originally built, of the entire 75-strong DB4 GT production run. The Lightweights featured lighter chassis, with aluminium sections where structural integrity allowed, and thin-gauge aluminium bodywork.SEE RELATED: Continuation Jaguar XKSS unveiled in LA
Although the specification of the new cars will be as close as possible to that of the original Lightweight, they will be built to modern production standards and with much-improved safety levels. A removable, bolt-in FIA rollcage will be fitted, along with upgraded brakes and suspension, and the engine will produce more power than the 340bhp claimed for the originals.
Aston Martin Works managing director Paul Spires is heading up the project. He’s been investigating its feasibility since early 2014 and was given the green light in May this year. ‘We’ve held back and held back to make absolutely certain that we’re making them to the best possible specification,’ says Paul. ‘We’re re-starting production here after ten years, so it has to be for something that everyone here – over 100 staff – will be proud of.
‘The car has got to be a true representation of the Lightweight but with a really nice level of driveability – so you don’t have to be Darren Turner to get the best out of it. We will be able to tailor each car to owners’ requirements. It’s the Heritage equivalent of the Aston Martin Vulcan.’
The build of ‘Production Prototype 1’ (PP1) began in the first week of December and is expected to be completed in May 2017. This will be the engineering development car, built to perfect the production techniques, and will be retained by Aston Martin. Production of the 25 customer cars will start in the summer at a rate of two per month, with chassis numbers following on from the last DB4 GT built in period, 0202R.
Words: David Lillywhite