ANOTHER classic British sports car is being brought back to life as Aston Martin sets out to recreate the iconic DB4 G.T.
Just 25 of the legendary racing cars are to be built and are likely to command a multi-million price tag.
In a move similar to Jaguar's recent strategy of bringing back to life models such as the XKSS and the lightweight E-TYPE, Aston is to build the track-only continuation models at its famous Newport Pagnell works.
Launched in 1959, the DB4 G.T. became one of the rarest and most revered of all Aston Martins.
Evolved from the production DB4 and introduced in the same year Aston Martin scored its historic outright win in the Le Mans 24 Hours, the DB4 G.T. was a supercar of its day.
Shorter, lighter, sleeker and with a more powerful version of the legendary 3.7-litre straight-six engine, not only was the DB4 G.T. Britain's fastest passenger sports car, it was a born winner, scoring a debut race victory at Silverstone in the hands of Sir Stirling Moss.
A total of 75 DB4 G.T.s were built between 1959 and 1963. Of these only eight were lightweight models, most of which survive today, and values now comfortably exceed £3million.
The first of the continuation models is due for release towards the end of 2017 and their creation also marks the re-start of production at Newport Pagnell - the spiritual home of Aston Martin in Tickford Street which last produced the Vanquish S in 2007.
Remaining faithful to the design of those original eight factory lightweights, Aston Martin says each DB4 G.T. Continuation will be a blend of old world craftsmanship and modern techniques.
The VIN numbers in the new models will carry on from the last original DB4 G.T. ordered - Chassis 0202R - creating an unbroken bloodline.
Each of the continuation cars will use a version of the famous Tadek Marek-designed straight-six cylinder engine with two spark plugs per cylinder, transmitting its 340bhp to the rear wheels through a four-speed manual transmission and limited-slip differential, just as in the original DB4 G.T.
With a shortened wheelbase the DB4 G.T. is a strict two-seater and more agile than the regular four-seater DB4.
Its body follows the original construction, with thin-gauge aluminum panels fitted over a tubular frame. To improve the accuracy and consistency of the panels, the continuation car's bodywork uses state-of-the-art digital technology, before being hand-finished in the time-honoured tradition created in more than 50 years of production at the works..
For the arrival of the continuation cars, Aston Martin Works has created a two-year international track driving programme which will be held at a number of the world's finest race tracks, including the spectacular Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi.
The exclusive arrive-and-drive experience will enable customers to take advantage of Aston Martin's dedicated driver training team of expert instructors, including Aston Martin Racing's multiple Le Mans class winner and Goodwood Revival regular Darren Turner, who will help drivers master techniques from an era when track driving was more art than science.
Paul Spires, commercial director ay Aston Martin Works, said: "For over 60 years Aston Martin Works has devoted unrivalled skill and experience to preserving Aston Martin's heritage. Now we are creating something for the future, with a special series of 25 continuation cars that celebrate one of Aston Martin's greatest cars - the DB4 G.T. Lightweight.
"Built in our recently refurbished, state-of-the-art facilities in Newport Pagnell, the DB4 G.T. Continuation is hand built in the same location as its illustrious forebears, and marks the return of production to the historic home of Aston Martin for the first time since the last Vanquish S was completed in 2007. Combining the authenticity of a hand-crafted David Brown era car with sympathetic application of modern engineering advancements and performance enhancements, the DB4 G.T. Continuation is a fusion of classic design and contemporary methods.
"The result is a truly remarkable machine. One that offers 25 individuals the opportunity of commissioning a classic, built to modern day standards and ready to be enjoyed in an international track driving programme as bespoke and individual as the cars themselves."
Dr Andy Palmer, Aston Martin president and chief executive, added: "Aston Martin has a rich and vibrant heritage, as you'd expect from a company that has been building some of the world's finest sports cars for 103-years.
"Of those the DB4 G.T. stands proud as one of the most coveted of all. It's a mark of Aston Martin's breadth of abilities that in the same year we launched the DB11 - our most advanced ‘DB' production car ever - we can also embark on an adventure such as the DB4 G.T. Continuation. A project that taps into the unique passion and skills that exist within Aston Martin, I'm thrilled we have the imagination and capability to offer 25 enthusiasts the unique opportunity to commission their own piece of Aston Martin history."