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1958 Aston Martin DB4 Prototype

As a prototype and one of the earliest known examples, this 1958 DB4 is an incredibly important car in Aston Martin’s long history.

1962 and 1963 Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato

To own an Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato is a privilege. To own two, well… Octane.

Editor's comment
‘Not one, but two! Incredibly beautiful GTs yet with a surprisingly raw sports car feel, these two very special Astons drew plenty of attention and were a dream to shoot. I'll take one.' David's superb photography accompanies Glen Waddington s Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato feature on pages.

Celebrating a pair of unsung heroes

If the Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato isn’t Britain’s most expensive road car, then it must be there or thereabouts, presumably sparring with the XKSS for top spot in price and rarity. I can’t think of many others to rival the Ercole Spada-penned beauty that don’t have a significantly more racy bias. To see just one of these 20-off (if you ignore the seasonal raft of ‘Sanction’ cars) rarities anywhere, even static on a concours field, is a major event.

So how about two of the lightened and tightened Zagato masterpieces doing what they were designed to do and being driven? And for good measure let’s do some of that driving on a beach in north-west England in spring, when the weather hasn’t yet decided whether it wants to cling on to winter or slide into summer. Pretty special - probably unique - stuff and all very Octane, yet the fact that this story happened at all also says a great deal about long-serving classic car dealer and industry disciple William Loughran. He owns both cars and that’s pretty much unheard of.

To give you a left-field insight into the man, many of you will know that Octane is the power behind the Historic Motoring Awards. Well, a couple of years ago we wanted to introduce a new award to recognise someone who had navigated the classic car industry for a lifetime with barely a blemish to their name, someone who was not just an ambassador but could be held up as a beacon of honesty, devotion and good practice. We struggled with a name for the gong. It started off plainly as The Integrity Award and ended up morphing into the Classic Car Ambassador of the Year, which embodied the sentiment but was very slightly different. What remained constant throughout, though, was the single criterion for the winner and, in the words of Octane’s Sanjay Seetanah, it should be ‘someone like William Loughran’.

Talking of Sanjay, just last month in this column I briefly mentioned our everpresent advertising team, the dark ops of Octane led by Sanjay from Issue One. Well, such was the reader response that you can find out a lot more about him this month. In response to overwhelming reader demand we’ve made him the subject of Autobiography (basically the old Day In The Life page, but with less cereal and Horlicks) so you can all see what makes him tick - and why he is as passionate about classic cars as anyone on the editorial team.
1958 Aston Martin DB4 Coupe Superleggera 3.7

As the first Aston Martin to be designed by Touring and the first road car to use the company’s new straight-six engine, the DB4 laid the foundations for its later, more famous models. For the car’s 65th anniversary, we look at its history before driving a beautiful, early model.

1962 Aston Martin DB4 Series V Vantage

With a longer body, faired-in headlights and distinctive shape, the DB4 Series V Vantage was a precursor to the all-conquering DB5. Yet the car was more than just a trial and is an important and highly desirable model in its own right. We drive a rare example to explain why.

1963 Aston Martin DB4 Series 1

Aston Martin fan Mark Palmer was tempted to fill his List with ten of Newport Pagnell’s finest – but honed his desire down to the Aston-Martin DB4. Can it deliver on his expectations?

1961 Aston Martin DB4GT/Zagato modified

Rebodied by Zagato, this original Aston Martin DB4GT is elevated above the many GTZ replicas as a test drive reveals.

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