This year some of the world’s best Aston Martins were on display at the 2016 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
But these were scattered around in the various classes, as Pebble’s focus for 2016 was racing GT40s, Delahayes, early indy cars and Chapron Coachwork.
All images by Richard Michael Owen with car descriptions by Pebble Beach Company.
1935 Aston Martin Ulster Sport
The Aston Martin Ulster, one of the most successful British-built prewar race cars, was based on the 1500 cc–engined Aston Martin Mark II. After Aston’s success at the 1934 Tourist Trophy, 21 Aston Martin Ulsters were built for sale to privateers. This particular Ulster (chassis K4 509 U) was built in 1934 for amateur driver Peter Donkin, who finished 11th overall in his first race at Le Mans with co-driver Lord Malcolm Douglas-Hamilton. Seven Astons entered Le Mans that year, including three team cars and four privateers—and all but one finished. This Ulster went on to race successfully at the Donington 12 Hour race in 1937 and the nternational Ulster Tourist Trophy Race in 1946. It has been raced virtually all of its life and has now been fully restored.
1960 Aston Martin DB4GT Touring Coupé
This is one of only 30 left-hand drive Touring-bodied DB4GTs from the total production run of 94 DB4GTs, including 19 built by Zagato. The DB4GT accelerated from 0 to 60 in 6.4 seconds, with a maximum speed of 152 mph, and it was the first sports car in the world to do zero to one hundred and back to zero in 20 seconds, thanks to its four-wheel Girling competition disc brakes. This car was raced in period at the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1961, driven by Sherman Decker and Bob Bucher, and has been driven regularly on road and track by each of its four owners. It raced competitively in the ’80s and ’90s at the Lime Rock Sprints and in 1989 at Laguna Seca when Aston Martin was the featured marque.
1958 Aston Martin DB2/4 Mark III Drophead Coupé
This elegant Drophead Coupé Mark III was built alongside regular saloons at the Feltham factory although the coachwork was by Tickford in Newport Pagnell. The Mark III was the first road car to wear Aston’s famous radiator grille (as fitted to the racing DB3S) as well as Girling’s new disc brakes. Thus equipped, the car could reach 60 mph in 9.3 seconds and could hit 120 mph. This car was bought new by the current owner’s father,
but it changed hands a few times over the years. Joe Clark found the car again in 2012 and has overseen its complete restoration. It is very close to his heart as he received his first speeding ticket in it at the age of 17!
1963 Aston Martin DB5 Touring Convertible
This Aston Martin DB5 is one of 19 left-hand drive examples built from a total of 123 convertibles. The convertible (chassis DB5C/1253/L) was shown at the New York and Los Angeles Auto Shows, and differs slightly from the production models: inside it has several fittings borrowed from its cousin, the Lagonda Rapide, and under the bonnet the aluminum cam covers are polished instead of painted and the carburetors, intake manifolds and various aluminum fittings are polished and chromed instead of nickel plated. This DB5C show car, complete with chromed Borrani wire wheels, was purchased immediately after the Los Angeles Show by retired US Admiral Robert Miller, who kept the Aston Martin at his home in Santa Barbara, California, until he died in 1993. The car was bought by its current owner in 2013 with just 34,916 miles on the clock.
1966 Aston Martin Short Chassis Volante Convertible
The Aston Martin Short Chassis Volante was an interim model between the DB5 and the DB6. It was the first Aston to adopt the Volante name as used by all subsequent Aston Martin Convertibles. It has a DB5 engine, chassis and suspension, but with several styling features seen on the new DB6, and it is generally considered to be one of the most attractive Astons of the David Brown era. During the single year of production between 1965 and 1966, only 37 Volantes were produced at the Newport Pagnell factory before the introduction of the DB6 Convertible at the 1966 London Motor Show. In 2009, this car was fully restored at Aston Martin by a team of technicians that included some people who had originally built the car in 1966!
1962 Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato Coupé
This car (chassis DB4GT/0186/R), the 14th to be built, was the only one delivered to Australia, where it had a short but successful racing career in 1962. Its first owner, Laurie O’Neill, shared the driving there with Doug Whiteford and Ian Georghegan, and the trio scored many class and overall wins down under. After O’Neill sold the car, it remained in Australia for the next 30 years but was rarely seen. The current owner recently acquired the car from Peter Read, who restored it in 2002.