1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R
Lot 38
1961 Aston Martin DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé
Sold for £551,666 (US$ 708,673) inc. premium

Lot Details
1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R 1961 Aston Martin  DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé  Chassis no. DB4/618/R
1961 Aston Martin DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupé
Chassis no. DB4/618/R
*Faithful replica of DP214 '0195'
*The most accurate of the three DP214 re-creations
*Expertly constructed with no expense spared
*Highly competitive

Footnotes

  • The four Aston Martin Development Project (DP) cars were the final racing iteration of the DB4 and Aston Martin's last pure racers of the David Brown era. Between 1959 and 1963 Aston Martin was locked in a battle to make their cars competitive with the Ferraris. The Astons had the power but were usually at a weight disadvantage. First came the DB4 GT, which was shorter and lighter than the standard DB4 and also had a more powerful twin-plug engine. Then came the DB4 GT Zagato using the same chassis and mechanicals as the DB4 GT but with a still lighter and more streamlined body.

    In 1962 DP212 appeared at Le Mans and led easily with Graham Hill at the wheel before engine trouble put the car out. In 1963 the final three DP cars appeared: two DP214s with DB4 GT chassis numbers, and DP 215, which ran as a prototype. To comply with Le Mans regulations the cars were supposed to be modified DB4 GTs, but in fact considerable gamesmanship was involved as the chassis and body of a DP bore no resemblance whatsoever to the original DB4 GT, even if the engine, running gear, suspension, and brakes were basically standard equipment. The weight reduction and streamlined body of the DP214 raised its top speed to nearly 200mph compared to 150mph for the standard DB4 GT.

    Both the DP214 cars (chassis numbers '0194' and '0195') raced at Le Mans in 1963, and though they showed promise, reaching as high as 5th place, were both let down by piston failure. Without these failures there is every possibility that one of them would have won.

    At the end of 1963 the factory sold the cars to Mike Salmon's Addlestone Engineering. In February 1964 they were taken to Daytona to compete in the 2,000km race, chassis '0194' being driven by Mike Salmon and '0195' by Brian Hetreed, its new owner. The two cars were identical in shape and colour, so to help with identification during the race the Hetreed car had a pale orange nose and door stripes applied. The Astons started well, getting up to 5th place, but the Salmon car suffered engine failure while Hetreed's had gearbox problems and finished the race 17th.

    In May of the same year Hetreed took his car to the Nürburgring for the 1,000km race where during practice, tragically, he crashed and died. The wrecked car was shipped back to the UK and destroyed at Hetreed's widow's behest. Thus '0195' ceased to exist, although the engine was saved. The only surviving DP214 (chassis '0194') is in a private collection in Sussex. A unique and very valuable car, it is unlikely to race again.

    There are three replica DP214s in existence. The first appeared in 1991 and was built in the UK for an American who tried to pass it off as the 'newly discovered and rebuilt 0195'. This claim was quickly debunked. Today, that car is owned and raced by its German owner while the other, built by Post Vintage Engineering, is currently owned by a UK-based motor dealer. The third is this car, '3729 UM', which is owned and raced by a British gentleman driver. It was built between 2010 and 2014.

    The owner had been racing DB4s since 2002, and in 2009 decided that he wanted to race the two ultimate DB4 racers: the DB4 GT Zagato and the DP214. With Zagatos commanding a stratospheric price, and the DP214 simply not available, the only option was to build a replica of each. The remains of two DB4s were sourced and the project commenced.

    From his years of racing DB4s, the owner felt that no single workshop could offer the level of expertise in all the disciplines required to build a replica of the quality he wanted. He decided to manage the two projects himself, farming out the elements to the best in each discipline - chassis, body, race engine, transmission etc.

    Once accumulated, all the parts were delivered to one of the world's leading Aston Martin race preparers, Rex Woodgate, for assembly. Chris Woodgate (Rex's son) and his team have experience of working on and race preparing not only original Zagatos but also the sole surviving DP214. '3729 UM' is based on and carries the registration of a DB4 built in May 1961 with chassis number 'DB4/618/R'.

    The build commenced in 2010 with the intention of making the car an exact replica of the Brian Hetreed car, chassis '0195'. The world's leading Aston Martin historian, Stephen Archer, was brought into the project to help with some of the historical detail. He has written the two definitive books on DB4 GTs published by Palawan Press: 'Aston Martin Zagato' and the recently published 'Aston Martin DB4 GT'. Stephen in turn brought in various DP214 experts including a previous owner, Dr Michael Ottway, and also Ted Cutting who designed the original car.

    Original drawings and photographs were sourced and the various specialists began their work. In parallel there began the hunt for parts such as the switches, air vents, windscreen washer system, fuel tap, etc. Some unique parts like the filler cap and Perspex windows had to be remanufactured.

    Dr Ottway, who owned and rebuilt the only surviving DP214 in the 1980s, also provided input and gave the team access to photographs taken of his restoration. His knowledge and advice were of great value. The intention from the outset was that '3729 UM' would be the most accurate replica that could be made without compromise. This entailed sourcing many period parts, often at enormous cost, for example: the chronometric tachometer with 'telltale'.
    The other replicas were carefully examined to ensure that any errors were avoided in the build of this one. As a consequence, the front and rear of this car are much closer to those of the original, with a longer nose and higher tail.

    The mechanicals are all original DB4, the owner resisting the temptation to bore out the engine to 4.2 or 4.5 litres given that the surviving DP214 (now retired from racing) has a 3,760cc unit, so the engine is built to the original specification with the permitted Le Mans overbore of 1mm for a capacity of approximately 3.8 litres.

    Being essentially those of the DB4, the mechanicals (engine, gearbox, axles, steering etc) were relatively easy to source. Nevertheless, great care was taken to achieve the correct relationship between the wishbones and steering arms to remove bump steer. Although the running gear was fairly easy to sort out, the same cannot be said of the instruments, switches, and ancillary gear. Post WW2 there was an abundance of ex-military equipment that had been made with reliability as the sole priority with no thought to cost; Aston saw them as perfect for their racing car. Thus the switches come from the Lancaster bomber, the fuel tap from a Spitfire.

    Aston Martin also raided all kinds of other sources; the (white) air duct and huge Bakelite air vent coming from a bus of that period while the handbrake was from the DB3S (a genuine DB3S handbrake is fitted to this car). All these parts were sourced by the team and fitted to '3729 UM'. The bucket seats were specially made to the original design and trimmed in the correct Bedford cord (the very material used in the HM The Queen's limousines) using the last original roll left in the UK. The interior has been trimmed by ex-Aston Martin craftsmen and is totally correct. To meet FIA regulations the car has also been fitted with a roll cage, fire extinguishing system, electrical cut out, and a racing seat and harness.

    This car had to be absolutely correct, the only concessions to historic racing being those required by safety regulations and to ensure reliable fuel delivery. These include a modern Holly fuel pump, with the fuel lines bypassing the Spitfire fuel tap. However, brackets are there to fit an original twin fuel pump, and pipes can be fed via the fuel tap if required.

    Peter Sutcliffe drove a DP214 in the 1964 Le Mans, co-driving with Mike Salmon. He was invited to try '3729 UM', fifty years after driving the original, and give his impressions:

    'In the (1964) event, we were disqualified at about 0900 on the Sunday due to a minor infringement whilst in the pits, at which time we were in 7th place and the leading British entry. This experience had left me with many memories of the fine characteristics and performance of 214 so I was delighted when Stephen Archer asked me if I would like to try it. The 'it' is the most painstaking and accurate re-creation of that same car. Looking around it, I could see no obvious marks to distinguish it from the original. Chris (Woodgate) and his team of craftsmen have built the entire car from scratch, with only minor changes to comply with current regulations.

    'I have to say that the country roads of Northamptonshire are not closely related to the wonderful roads and surfaces of La Sarthe. Thus sitting in the passenger seat whilst being expertly driven by Stephen, the experience is one of a very hard and uncompromising ride. His mastery was a sufficient testimony to the handling qualities, and the amazing performance.

    'When it came time to change places, the memories of 50 years ago came flooding back. Everything was where I recalled it. The driving position is as perfectly adapted to completion work as one could wish - the long flat bonnet ahead, the smell of petrol and warm oil, all present and correct. Most important of all, the knowledge that one is surrounded by a strong, safe machine that will look after you, generating the confidence that one needs to push towards the 10/10ths limit.

    'Anyway, engage the starter, switch on the ignition and the familiar sound of a competition Aston engine is all around you. Clutch out, first gear engaged, clutch in and. Stalled! I had forgotten the sharp engagement of the competition clutch! But once on the move all the thoroughbred qualities showed through. Of course I was not able to extend the car to establish its real potential, but its performance on the track in recent races is testimony to preparation and set-up by the Woodgate team. I drove home later in my own, rather less impressive Aston, savouring this wonderful, nostalgic few hours when I was reunited with my past, and so grateful to Stephen for one of the best motoring days out I have experienced for years.'

    During 2013 the build was completed and the car and made its debut in the Spa 6 Hours in September of that year driven by the owner and Richard Meaden of Octane magazine. The Aston performed well in practice but three hours into the race a throttle linkage broke, forcing its retirement. The car competed in the Spa 6 Hours again in 2014, getting into the top 30 before bad luck hit in the form of a very long fuel stop which knocked the car back to the 40s. It finished the race despite appalling weather.

    During 2013 and 2014, '3729 UM' raced at the Donington Festival, the Silverstone Classic (in 2014 it finished well ahead of the two other DP214 replicas), Brands Hatch Historic Festival, and the AMOC's Innes Ireland Cup.
    In 2015 the Aston was invited to enter the Le Mans Legends support race that takes place the morning before the start of the Le Mans 24 Hours. The owner and Stephen Archer drove the car, which performed very well until Stephen missed a braking point and cracked the sump on one of the high kerbs. The autumn 2015 issue of Vantage magazine devoted an 11-page article to this adventure.
    Daytona in 1964 was not only the last significant race DP214 chassis '0195' took part in before it was destroyed, but also the only race in which the car wore the distinctive nose and side markings. It was with this in mind that the owner decided to enter the car in the Daytona Historics race meeting in November 2016. The car made a highly favourable impression at the track, being much admired and the subject of various press articles.

    Daytona's banked track allows cars to effectively run flat out for about 70% of the lap; this was potentially very punishing on the engine, so while qualifying times placed the car 6th, the owner was not prepared to make such demands on the engine for an entire race and the car finished the races between 12th and 17th. The owner's account of the meeting - 'A Rookie at Daytona' - appears in the February 2017 edition of Historic Motor Racing News. A copy of the latter is available, and the car also comes with an Aston Martin Heritage Trust dating letter and FIA/MSA Historic Technical Passport valid to 31st December 2018.

    The Aston remained in the USA and was shipped from Daytona to Sebring to take part in the Sebring 12 Hour Historics event. This, like the Le Mans Classic, is made up of a series of shorter races, in this case four 45-minute races, one of which is at night. Once again '3729 UM' received a great deal of attention and surprised many with its turn of speed. The car was one of the oldest on the very competitive grid made up of Ford GT40s, Lola T70s, and a swarm of Porsches. Though the car is in standard FIA specification and was running on road tyres, it finished the series of four race in 6th position overall with only slick-shod GT40s and T70s ahead of it, a quite outstanding achievement.

    The car comes with the spares package that accompanied it to the USA: namely a spare set of tyres and wheels; spare fog lamp covers; essential electrical parts; and the usual consumables. It also comes with a full under-tray that has never been fitted.

    Altogether, this faithful DP214 replica is an amazing car that is easy to drive and not only looks wonderful but also can compete at the highest international level. To build a similar car today would cost in excess of £750,000 and take around three years. Due to the rarity and unprecedented value of certain Aston Martins, replicas and continuation cars are becoming increasingly accepted, as evidenced by Aston Martin's announcement of continuation DB4 GTs at £1.5m each.

Saleroom notices

  • The vendor confirms this car is sold with clear title and is free of financial encumbrances.
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