The the world of classic Aston Martins, the DB4 and DB5 command much higher prices than the models that came immediately before and after them. But, there is one variant of these that stands high above the rest, making it what is generally considered to be the most desirable and most expensive of all classic Aston Martins. That car is the DB4 GT Zagato, a factory race car built to challenge the dominance of the Ferrari 250 GT cars in sports car racing. Debuting in 1960, the DB4 GT Zagato wasn’t a sales success, even with the very modest goals set by Aston Martin, but today that just makes it more valuable.

The car was built using the very best of Aston Martin’s racing technology, and then it was lightened and made even more shapely by Zagato. Unfortunately, this combination didn’t win quite as many races as Aston would have liked, but it did make for an absolutely beautiful car — even in the context of the gorgeous cars being produced by Zagato during the ’60s. It might not have the association with James Bond that the DB5 has, but for serious car collectors, the DB4 GT Zagato is as good as classic Astons get.

Continue reading to learn more about the 1962 Aston Martin DB4GT By Zagato.

  • 1962 Aston Martin DB4GT By Zagato
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    314 @ 6000
  • Torque @ RPM:
    278 @ 5400
  • Displacement:
    3670 cc
  • 0-60 time:
    6 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    150 mph
  • car segment:
  • body style:


1962 Aston Martin DB4GT By Zagato High Resolution Exterior
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1962 Aston Martin DB4GT By Zagato High Resolution Exterior
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1962 Aston Martin DB4GT By Zagato High Resolution Exterior
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The DB4 is a beautiful can in any form, but the Zagato has a very different look from that of the standard car.

The DB4 is a beautiful can in any form, but the Zagato has a very different look from that of the standard car. The DB4 first debuted in 1958, and although the Zagato would come just two years later, it already has more of a ’60s look to it than the design of the regular car that clearly has its roots in the 50s. The bodywork is much more rounded, making for a more aerodynamic shape. The signature Zagato “double bubble” roof doesn’t feature into this design, but that is because the roof is actually functional, allowing enough headroom for a driver and passenger to wear racing helmets. In cars that already had enough headroom, the roof was unnecessary and was left out.

There is still a double bubble on the car though, in this case on the hood. This is again functional, because the hood sloped down toward the front so much more than it did in the original design. The hood bulges were needed to make room from the engine’s valve covers. The body is really quite an impressive feat, since the original body of the DB4 was already designed to be light, using a superleggera tube frame made by Carrozzeria Touring. So, Zagato had to find a way to trim even more weight off of this superlight. The result was a car that weighed 100 pounds less with its new body.

Exterior Dimensions

Wheelbase 2,362 MM (93.0 Inches)
Front track 1,372 MM (54.0 Inches)
Rear track 1,359 MM (53.5 Inches)
Length 4,267 MM (168.0 Inches)
Width 1,557 MM (61.3 Inches)
Height 1,270 MM (50.0 Inches)


1962 Aston Martin DB4GT By Zagato High Resolution Interior
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1962 Aston Martin DB4GT By Zagato High Resolution Interior
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1962 Aston Martin DB4GT By Zagato High Resolution Interior Exterior
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Having been built as a race car, you might be expecting the DB4 GT Zagato not to have an interior at all, but in 1960, the line between road cars and race cars wasn’t as well defined, and it wasn’t unheard of for a race car to have an interior like this one. It is a fairly simple interior, but not unusually so, for a sports car of the time.

This one has been restored, and now both the exterior and the interior are in matching British Racing Green. The seats, though, which are not exactly what we think of now when we think of racing buckets, do offer a good deal more lateral support than you would generally find on a car in 1960 — even a race car.


1962 Aston Martin DB4GT By Zagato High Resolution Drivetrain
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Aston Martin applied the best of its race car technology to the task of making the DB4 faster. This meant a lot in 1960, as Aston Martin was fresh off of an overall 1-2 win at Le Mans in 1959 (a certain Carroll Shelby was driving the winning car, you might have heard of him). Like the regular DB4, the Zagato uses a 3.7-liter, inline-six engine, but compression is bumped up to 9:1 and horsepower is up to 314.

This extra power, combined with the reduced weight, cut the 0-60 time down from 9.3 seconds to just 6.1 seconds. Helping with this was a dual-plate clutch and a close-ratio manual transmission. The difference in the bodywork is obvious, and possibly the best ever produced by Zagato. The only unfortunate thing about this is that it sometimes steels focus from what an excellent machine it really was underneath that bodywork.

Drivetrain Specifications

Engine Aluminum, Twin Spark, Inline-6
Displacement 3,670 cc
Power 314 HP @ 6,000 RPM
Torque 278 LB-FT @ 5,400 RPM
Top speed 150 MPH
0 - 60 mph 6 seconds


1962 Aston Martin DB4GT By Zagato High Resolution Exterior
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The DB4 GT Zagato is extremely rare, with only 19 units ever produced. 25 had been planned, but when sales proved slow, Aston Martin gave up before the production run was completed. The Ferrari 250 GTO is often blamed for the slow sales of the Zagato. The car was a top notch machine when it was new, able to hold its own against the 250 GT SWB. But production was slow, and by the time this car — the 14th unit — was built, it was 1962 and Ferrari had brought out the GTO, making the Zagato obsolete. But, despite being rarer, the DB4 GT Zagato isn’t worth quite as much as the GTO. Still, RM Auctions is expecting the car to fetch about $16 million when it goes up for auction in New York in December.


Ferrari 250 GTO

1962 - 1964 Ferrari 250 GTO High Resolution Exterior
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As much as the GT Zagato is the ultimate form of the DB4, the GTO is the ultimate form of the 250, the DB4’s biggest rival. The GTO is also one of the all-time most valuable classic cars, with those three little letters allowing it to sell for sometimes 10 times what a regular 250 will go for. It was an incredibly successful car in racing, and it would inspire quite a few products to be named GTO in the future.

Read more about the Ferrari 250 GTO here.

Shelby Daytona

The Daytona technically came to be one year after Aston Martin gave up on the DB4 GT Zagato, but it competed in all of the same big races and like the Aston, was built to take on the Ferrari 250. It is even more rare than the Zagato, with just six ever built. Because it was based so heavily on the existing Cobra, homologation rules didn’t require an actual production run. But, the Daytona did what the Zagato couldn’t — it beat Ferrari.

Read more about Shelby Daytona here.


1962 Aston Martin DB4GT By Zagato High Resolution Exterior
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For the people working at Aston Martin in 1962, the Zagato’s mediocre results on the track must have been very frustrating. But today, the fact that a Ferrari was able to finish a race a few seconds faster isn’t that important. The DB4 GT Zagato is a thing of beauty, and moreover, a far more civilized machine to drive than a Ferrari 250 GT SWB. Now that these cars no longer have to shoulder the burden of their respective manufacturers’ reputations on the track, the DB4 GT Zagato can be seen for the magnificent work of art that it is.

  • Leave it
    • Doesn’t have quite the pedigree of a 250
    • So much British Racing Green, bordering on cliché
    • Costs so much more than a regular DB4 or DB5, and is so much hard to find

Source: RM Sothebys

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