The DB5 may be one of the most popular Aston Martins, due to its career as James Bond’s personal car, but its predecessor, the DB4, is nothing to sneeze at. It was one of the most beautiful grand tourers back in its heyday and it has evolved into a sought-after classic that commands impressive sums at auctions. The latest DB4 to change owners for a price higher than a modern supercar’s is a Series IV Vantage Convertible built in 1962, only a year before the DB4 was replaced by the DB5. The drop-top sold for £1.5 million (about $2.3 million) at a recent Bonhams sale, making it one of the most expensive DB4s in history.

If you’re wondering what makes this DB4 special, I have three facts for you. First, it’s one of only nine DB4 Series IV Convertibles ever made. Second, it was built in the rare Vantage specification, which came with a more powerful engine. Third, and probably more important to collectors, it was originally owned by Sir Peter Ustinov, the English actor and filmmaker that won the Grammy, the Golden Globe, and the Academy Award, among many others.

This ultra-rare DB4 was delivered to him at the Montreux Palace Hotel in Switzerland in July 1962 with left-hand drive. It was equipped with red Connolly hide trim, overdrive, chrome wire wheels and a detachable hardtop. Initially finished in Desert White, its exterior was repainted Royal Claret in 1979. The DB4 was also owned by famous racing driver David Piper in the 1980s.

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Why it matters

While DB5s are known to command prices of more than $4 million, the DB4 aren’t doing bad either, especially when they’re in tip-top shape. Ustinov’s Vantage Convertible is the most expensive drop-top DB4 auctioned as of 2015, beating the previous record of €1.2 million (about $1.3 million) established earlier this year.

What’s important here is that these DB4s keep gaining value. Five years ago, cars like these traded for less than $500,000, while starting 2013 they began fetching close to $1 million. With Ustinov’s car already sold for more than $2 million, it’s only a matter of time until the DB4 Convertible reaches a new benchmark in the classic car market. And this is great news, as it means these historic vehicles will continue to live on thanks to collectors and enthusiasts who know how to preserve them.

Aston Martin DB4

Peter Ustinov's 1962 Aston Martin DB4 Convertible Sold For $2 Million High Resolution Exterior
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Find our more about the Aston Martin DB4 here.

Source: Bonhams

Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
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