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THE ASTON MARTIN DB4 GT ZAGATO History of the Originals and Aston Workshop’s Recreations


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CHAPTER ONE

The History and Development of the DB4


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CHAPTER ONE

The History and Development of the DB4


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Forward

T

he DB4 GT Zagato is regarded by many as the ultimate Aston Martin. Not only was this exclusive road car of the 1960s lighter and sportier than the fantastic DB4 GT on which it was based, but it also happens to be one of the most beautiful road cars ever made. No matter which angle you choose to view the car from, it looks absolutely stunning and every line seems perfect, but the real joy is of course reserved for those fortunate enough to get behind the wheel. Today, Aston Workshop can offer to recreate this iconic car in the true spirit of the original DB4 GT Zagato with an eye to absolute accuracy, quality, integrity and authenticity. When we recreate this car, we do so with new components, to the new owners precise specifications, whether mechanical or with respect to the choice of colour and trim. Just as with the original cars created by

HISTORY AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE DB4

A

ny book on the DB4 GT Zagato would be incomplete without a brief summary of the Aston Marin DB4 on which it was based. In 1955, John Wyer, having assumed responsibility at Aston Martin for engineering and model development, initiated a programme for a replacement for the Aston Martin DB2 and DB2/4. The brief required an all - new car and Harold Beach, chief engineer, was entrusted with the development of chassis and body whilst Tadek Marek was asked to come up with a new engine. What follows here is a brief timeline of the origins of the DB4 from the early development through to its final incarnation just before the introduction of its successor – the DB5.

Styling and Body Design

Aston Martin and Zagato, every car we recreate is unique and built to satisfy the new owners wishes. The DB4 GT was conceived as a tuned, lightened and shortened DB4, for those owners who might wish to campaign their Aston Martin. Launched in 1959, it attracted immediate interest and orders for the GT flooded

Development of the all-new DB4 started with a prototype, DP 114, completed early in 1956. It was conceived

in. Zagato were looking for a competitive chassis at the time and could see the potential in the DB4 GT. At the

as a development platform for body design, chassis and engine development. Designed by Frank Feeley, nei-

London Motor Show in 1960, Aston Martin formally offered the lightweight DB4 GT chassis to Zagato, with a

ther John Wyer nor David Brown had been particularly impressed with the result, and for this principal reason

request that the finished car should be even lighter than the standard DB4 GT.

it was thought that the new car should be entrusted to an external styling house.

From the very first car, Aston Martin saw the sales potential and over the next 2 years, some 19 cars were commissioned and sold to wealthy owners, in many cases to be used in competition. The DB4 GT Zagato with its fantastic sporting heritage coupled to one of the greatest car designs of all time

Following a tour of the Italian stylists and designers, John Wyer and David Brown both agreed that the design

is a formidable force, and one that has rarely been matched. They were driven by some of the greatest GT

of the new DB4 should be entrusted to the Italians. Aston Martin favoured fabricating bodies in aluminium, and

racing drivers the world has ever seen, such as Stirling Moss, Roy Salvadori and Jim Clark and with much

having been particularly impressed by the Superleggera concept of body design, decided that the styling of

success.

the DB4 should be given to Touring of Milan. This necessitated a platform chassis, with a trellis of small diam-

With only 19 original cars, many with a distinguished sporting history, the combination of rarity and prove-

eter tubes and channel frames for the main openings, around which the aluminium panels could be clenched.

nance has escalated the value of the original DB4 Zagato cars into the millions of pounds.

Harold Beach designed and then ensured fabrication of a prototype chassis in the remarkably short timescale

This book charts the fascinating history of the DB4 GT Zagato and explains why it is the most iconic and valu-

of 10 weeks, and this was duly dispatched to Touring, in late 1956.

able model in the history of Aston Martin and then goes on to describe how Aston Workshop recreate this car

The DB4 was first shown to the public at the Paris Motor Show in the autumn of 1958 to universal acclaim,

using craftsmanship and methods that are as closely linked to the original process as possible.

and it was subsequently launched into production. It cannot be denied that the DB4 captured the essence of Aston Martin, clothing it in a light, airy, crisp, perfectly proportioned body, both purposeful and beautiful.

Conceived from the outset as a two plus two, the DB4 progressed through 5 production series, the last from the bodywork perspective, being the most significant. Customer feedback had indicated that more headroom was desirable, both for the front and most particularly for the rear seats. Accordingly, the roofline was subtly altered, by slightly raising it and by extending the roofline backwards to the rearmost extremity of the boot, which was also extended backwards by 2 inches. Other refinements in the shape of faired- in headlights and electric windows followed, initially as extra and then with the DB5 as standard equipment. The series 5 DB4 then transitioned into the new DB5, essentially unmodified but with some refinement.


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Page 6

Forward

T

he DB4 GT Zagato is regarded by many as the ultimate Aston Martin. Not only was this exclusive road car of the 1960s lighter and sportier than the fantastic DB4 GT on which it was based, but it also happens to be one of the most beautiful road cars ever made. No matter which angle you choose to view the car from, it looks absolutely stunning and every line seems perfect, but the real joy is of course reserved for those fortunate enough to get behind the wheel. Today, Aston Workshop can offer to recreate this iconic car in the true spirit of the original DB4 GT Zagato with an eye to absolute accuracy, quality, integrity and authenticity. When we recreate this car, we do so with new components, to the new owners precise specifications, whether mechanical or with respect to the choice of colour and trim. Just as with the original cars created by

HISTORY AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE DB4

A

ny book on the DB4 GT Zagato would be incomplete without a brief summary of the Aston Marin DB4 on which it was based. In 1955, John Wyer, having assumed responsibility at Aston Martin for engineering and model development, initiated a programme for a replacement for the Aston Martin DB2 and DB2/4. The brief required an all - new car and Harold Beach, chief engineer, was entrusted with the development of chassis and body whilst Tadek Marek was asked to come up with a new engine. What follows here is a brief timeline of the origins of the DB4 from the early development through to its final incarnation just before the introduction of its successor – the DB5.

Styling and Body Design

Aston Martin and Zagato, every car we recreate is unique and built to satisfy the new owners wishes. The DB4 GT was conceived as a tuned, lightened and shortened DB4, for those owners who might wish to campaign their Aston Martin. Launched in 1959, it attracted immediate interest and orders for the GT flooded

Development of the all-new DB4 started with a prototype, DP 114, completed early in 1956. It was conceived

in. Zagato were looking for a competitive chassis at the time and could see the potential in the DB4 GT. At the

as a development platform for body design, chassis and engine development. Designed by Frank Feeley, nei-

London Motor Show in 1960, Aston Martin formally offered the lightweight DB4 GT chassis to Zagato, with a

ther John Wyer nor David Brown had been particularly impressed with the result, and for this principal reason

request that the finished car should be even lighter than the standard DB4 GT.

it was thought that the new car should be entrusted to an external styling house.

From the very first car, Aston Martin saw the sales potential and over the next 2 years, some 19 cars were commissioned and sold to wealthy owners, in many cases to be used in competition. The DB4 GT Zagato with its fantastic sporting heritage coupled to one of the greatest car designs of all time

Following a tour of the Italian stylists and designers, John Wyer and David Brown both agreed that the design

is a formidable force, and one that has rarely been matched. They were driven by some of the greatest GT

of the new DB4 should be entrusted to the Italians. Aston Martin favoured fabricating bodies in aluminium, and

racing drivers the world has ever seen, such as Stirling Moss, Roy Salvadori and Jim Clark and with much

having been particularly impressed by the Superleggera concept of body design, decided that the styling of

success.

the DB4 should be given to Touring of Milan. This necessitated a platform chassis, with a trellis of small diam-

With only 19 original cars, many with a distinguished sporting history, the combination of rarity and prove-

eter tubes and channel frames for the main openings, around which the aluminium panels could be clenched.

nance has escalated the value of the original DB4 Zagato cars into the millions of pounds.

Harold Beach designed and then ensured fabrication of a prototype chassis in the remarkably short timescale

This book charts the fascinating history of the DB4 GT Zagato and explains why it is the most iconic and valu-

of 10 weeks, and this was duly dispatched to Touring, in late 1956.

able model in the history of Aston Martin and then goes on to describe how Aston Workshop recreate this car

The DB4 was first shown to the public at the Paris Motor Show in the autumn of 1958 to universal acclaim,

using craftsmanship and methods that are as closely linked to the original process as possible.

and it was subsequently launched into production. It cannot be denied that the DB4 captured the essence of Aston Martin, clothing it in a light, airy, crisp, perfectly proportioned body, both purposeful and beautiful.

Conceived from the outset as a two plus two, the DB4 progressed through 5 production series, the last from the bodywork perspective, being the most significant. Customer feedback had indicated that more headroom was desirable, both for the front and most particularly for the rear seats. Accordingly, the roofline was subtly altered, by slightly raising it and by extending the roofline backwards to the rearmost extremity of the boot, which was also extended backwards by 2 inches. Other refinements in the shape of faired- in headlights and electric windows followed, initially as extra and then with the DB5 as standard equipment. The series 5 DB4 then transitioned into the new DB5, essentially unmodified but with some refinement.


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CHASSIS DEVELOPMENT

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION DEVELOPMENTS

Early key engineering decisions confirmed the move away from a ladder type chassis used with the DB2 and developed into a perimeter frame, more easily fabricated, leading to some reduction in manufacturing cost. At the same time, the trailing arm front suspension was discarded and a more conventional double wishbone front suspension, in conjunction with steering rack and pinion configuration, was employed. The original intention had been to use a De Dion type rear suspension, developed logically from experience gained in racing with the DB3, DB3S and DBR1 and 2. Other key decisions followed, these being the use of an all wishbone front suspension, use of coil springs and a De Dion torsion bar rear suspension longitudinally located with twin trailing arms and laterally with a Panhard rod, following the same basic design as in the DB3. The rear suspension was an advanced design concept but it was not without development risk and would be costly to put into production. Design Project 114 (DP114) became the development platform for the front and De Dion rear suspension design and it was fitted with the 3 litre DBA engine as used with the then ‘in production’ DB Mk3. The mules for engine and car development were DP184/1 and DP184/2, the prototype DB4s.

Engine design was initiated in 1955. Having taken the decision to develop a new engine for the DB4, there was considerable discussion as to what size of engine to design. Initially the intention had been to develop a 3-litre engine. However, there was a wish to see this engine design also as a future candidate for racing at Le Mans, consistent with the then 3 litre capacity limit for sports racing cars set by the FIA. Tadek Marek was also briefed to consider a design with growth capacity from the outset, as a suitable engine for a new Lagonda. The initial intention had been to design the engine, using cast iron, but there was an absence of available iron foundries with the casting capacity and capability. However, some spare aluminium foundry capacity was available, leading to adoption of aluminium for both cylinder block and head. As a consequence, the engine was redesigned with 7 over size main bearings and generous scantlings thus giving substantial future growth capability. Being cautious, Tadek Marek started development with an engine of 4 litre capacity. It was a natural decision to carry over the use of wet liners and twin overhead camshafts as with the configuration of the previous LG6 engine fitted to the DB2/4. It was Tadek Marek’s fervent wish to develop his engine for road use initially and then later adapt it to go racing. In the event, the racing application came first with the DBR1 in 3 litre form, using an adaptation of the old Early experience indicated a number of major problems; these included a tendency for the splines on the rear

LG6 engine modified with a conventional crankcase design and seven main bearings and then later as a

drive shafts to bind under acceleration. Other problems to surface included cooling of the inboard rear brakes.

DBR2 in 3.7 litre form, using his new engine.

Furthermore, the complexity and form of the installation was costly to build, and it was very clear, that to obtain

Aluminium, while significantly lighter than cast iron, brings with it significant problems of controlling oil pres-

the general serviceability and reliability required, an extensive development programme would be needed. That

sure. While these deficiencies can be largely overcome, early production engines succumbed, as use on the

coupled with the additional cost made this over the conventional rear axle simply not viable, given the intended

then newly opened M1 enabled owners to experience driving their DB4s at near maximum power and engine

DB4 launch date and target price.

speed continuously over many miles. In the event, several solutions were pursued, these being an increase in

This was a shame, as the De Dion arrangement gave simply unrivalled ride comfort with superb road holding.

oil pump capacity, use of an oil cooler, very careful control of main bearing clearances and ensuring there was

In the event, the rear axle design was carried over from the DB2/4 with twin, equal length, trailing arms each

always a generous oil sump capacity to enable aeration and with it oil pump cavitation to be better controlled,

side. The only change came through the adoption of a Watts linkage, which created a rather higher roll centre

this being considered as a major issue.

at the back, which helped to reduce roll angle.


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Page 8

CHASSIS DEVELOPMENT

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION DEVELOPMENTS

Early key engineering decisions confirmed the move away from a ladder type chassis used with the DB2 and developed into a perimeter frame, more easily fabricated, leading to some reduction in manufacturing cost. At the same time, the trailing arm front suspension was discarded and a more conventional double wishbone front suspension, in conjunction with steering rack and pinion configuration, was employed. The original intention had been to use a De Dion type rear suspension, developed logically from experience gained in racing with the DB3, DB3S and DBR1 and 2. Other key decisions followed, these being the use of an all wishbone front suspension, use of coil springs and a De Dion torsion bar rear suspension longitudinally located with twin trailing arms and laterally with a Panhard rod, following the same basic design as in the DB3. The rear suspension was an advanced design concept but it was not without development risk and would be costly to put into production. Design Project 114 (DP114) became the development platform for the front and De Dion rear suspension design and it was fitted with the 3 litre DBA engine as used with the then ‘in production’ DB Mk3. The mules for engine and car development were DP184/1 and DP184/2, the prototype DB4s.

Engine design was initiated in 1955. Having taken the decision to develop a new engine for the DB4, there was considerable discussion as to what size of engine to design. Initially the intention had been to develop a 3-litre engine. However, there was a wish to see this engine design also as a future candidate for racing at Le Mans, consistent with the then 3 litre capacity limit for sports racing cars set by the FIA. Tadek Marek was also briefed to consider a design with growth capacity from the outset, as a suitable engine for a new Lagonda. The initial intention had been to design the engine, using cast iron, but there was an absence of available iron foundries with the casting capacity and capability. However, some spare aluminium foundry capacity was available, leading to adoption of aluminium for both cylinder block and head. As a consequence, the engine was redesigned with 7 over size main bearings and generous scantlings thus giving substantial future growth capability. Being cautious, Tadek Marek started development with an engine of 4 litre capacity. It was a natural decision to carry over the use of wet liners and twin overhead camshafts as with the configuration of the previous LG6 engine fitted to the DB2/4. It was Tadek Marek’s fervent wish to develop his engine for road use initially and then later adapt it to go racing. In the event, the racing application came first with the DBR1 in 3 litre form, using an adaptation of the old Early experience indicated a number of major problems; these included a tendency for the splines on the rear

LG6 engine modified with a conventional crankcase design and seven main bearings and then later as a

drive shafts to bind under acceleration. Other problems to surface included cooling of the inboard rear brakes.

DBR2 in 3.7 litre form, using his new engine.

Furthermore, the complexity and form of the installation was costly to build, and it was very clear, that to obtain

Aluminium, while significantly lighter than cast iron, brings with it significant problems of controlling oil pres-

the general serviceability and reliability required, an extensive development programme would be needed. That

sure. While these deficiencies can be largely overcome, early production engines succumbed, as use on the

coupled with the additional cost made this over the conventional rear axle simply not viable, given the intended

then newly opened M1 enabled owners to experience driving their DB4s at near maximum power and engine

DB4 launch date and target price.

speed continuously over many miles. In the event, several solutions were pursued, these being an increase in

This was a shame, as the De Dion arrangement gave simply unrivalled ride comfort with superb road holding.

oil pump capacity, use of an oil cooler, very careful control of main bearing clearances and ensuring there was

In the event, the rear axle design was carried over from the DB2/4 with twin, equal length, trailing arms each

always a generous oil sump capacity to enable aeration and with it oil pump cavitation to be better controlled,

side. The only change came through the adoption of a Watts linkage, which created a rather higher roll centre

this being considered as a major issue.

at the back, which helped to reduce roll angle.


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THE DB4 GT WITH CAROSSERIE ZAGATO

I

Identifying a need to support an increasing customer demand for a version of the DB4 with which owners could indulge in competition, Aston Martin decided that they should produce a lightened version, with a number of weight saving measures, which they could then homologate. The principal change involved a shortened wheelbase, sacrificing rear seat accommodation and making the car a strict 2 seater. Other chassis lightening changes were also implemented, principally in using lighter gauge sheet metal, drilling lightening holes etc., all in the interest of shaving every last possible ounce of weight. There was also a need to significantly increase the power available. This resulted in major developments of the cylinder head, introducing a twin plug arrangement; higher compression and triple twin choke 45 DCOE Weber carburettors. A technical specification can be found at Annex A

As technical director from 1956 to 1972, Dudley Gershon oversaw solving all of these problems over time and his eventual summing up bears repeating, “I know of no engine which can be thrashed continuously so hard for so long as this engine.� Later, as cars saw extensive service, other problems surfaced, examples being early timing chain failure and valve failure. All of these issues were addressed by careful redesign or through changes to manufacture methods, material selection and assembly procedures. Braking System The DB4 introduced disc brakes as standard on both front and rear wheels. The braking system chosen for the DB4 was a simplex Dunlop braking system, with single vacuum servo assistance. When in excellent condi-

Early cars were also made with thinner 18 gauge aluminium outer panels, as opposed to the standard 16

tion, these prove adequate for the task, but owner experience soon showed up that retention of good braking

gauge. Perspex windows (excepting the windscreen), cowled headlights plus lightweight seats and trim fol-

was not always predictable, especially if the car was used infrequently. Furthermore, the piston seals used

lowed. The result was a potent sports car, capable of in excess of 150 mph, a quarter mile in the low 14 secs

also proved susceptible and gave these brakes a relatively poor reliability record.

and 0 to 100 mph in around 14 secs that no other standard production sports car could better. These performance figures were seriously quick at the time and remain potent to this day.

While the Dunlop disc brakes were adequate for the standard production DB4, it was realised that a more capable system was needed for higher performance versions such as the DB4 GT. The Dunlop system was discarded and replaced by a Girling system using 4 pot calipers with a larger brake pad area. These proved highly satisfactory.

All in all, a total of 80 DB4 GTs were built between 1960 and 1961.


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THE DB4 GT WITH CAROSSERIE ZAGATO

I

Identifying a need to support an increasing customer demand for a version of the DB4 with which owners could indulge in competition, Aston Martin decided that they should produce a lightened version, with a number of weight saving measures, which they could then homologate. The principal change involved a shortened wheelbase, sacrificing rear seat accommodation and making the car a strict 2 seater. Other chassis lightening changes were also implemented, principally in using lighter gauge sheet metal, drilling lightening holes etc., all in the interest of shaving every last possible ounce of weight. There was also a need to significantly increase the power available. This resulted in major developments of the cylinder head, introducing a twin plug arrangement; higher compression and triple twin choke 45 DCOE Weber carburettors. A technical specification can be found at Annex A

As technical director from 1956 to 1972, Dudley Gershon oversaw solving all of these problems over time and his eventual summing up bears repeating, “I know of no engine which can be thrashed continuously so hard for so long as this engine.� Later, as cars saw extensive service, other problems surfaced, examples being early timing chain failure and valve failure. All of these issues were addressed by careful redesign or through changes to manufacture methods, material selection and assembly procedures. Braking System The DB4 introduced disc brakes as standard on both front and rear wheels. The braking system chosen for the DB4 was a simplex Dunlop braking system, with single vacuum servo assistance. When in excellent condi-

Early cars were also made with thinner 18 gauge aluminium outer panels, as opposed to the standard 16

tion, these prove adequate for the task, but owner experience soon showed up that retention of good braking

gauge. Perspex windows (excepting the windscreen), cowled headlights plus lightweight seats and trim fol-

was not always predictable, especially if the car was used infrequently. Furthermore, the piston seals used

lowed. The result was a potent sports car, capable of in excess of 150 mph, a quarter mile in the low 14 secs

also proved susceptible and gave these brakes a relatively poor reliability record.

and 0 to 100 mph in around 14 secs that no other standard production sports car could better. These performance figures were seriously quick at the time and remain potent to this day.

While the Dunlop disc brakes were adequate for the standard production DB4, it was realised that a more capable system was needed for higher performance versions such as the DB4 GT. The Dunlop system was discarded and replaced by a Girling system using 4 pot calipers with a larger brake pad area. These proved highly satisfactory.

All in all, a total of 80 DB4 GTs were built between 1960 and 1961.


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ASSOCIATION OF CAROSSERIE ZAGATO

In the late fifties before the onset of stifling regulation and bureaucracy, the commissioning and the construction of imaginative and sensuous cars was often the consequence of a verbal agreement and handshake. One such agreement occurred at Earls Court in 1959 while Aston Martin dominated sports car racing and a new Grand Tourer was being launched at the 1959 London Motor Show, the short wheelbase DB4GT, a central exhibit on the Aston Martin stand. As the owner of Aston Martin, David Brown was extremely keen to produce Aston Martin’s answer to the Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta. It was as a result of this desire that John Wyer, then General Manager of Aston Martin, met with Gianni Zagato.

THE DB4 GT ZAGATO

T

The resulting design shaved no less than 350 pounds from the weight the standard DB4GT. It had striking lines accentuated by tightly drawn elliptical surfaces, meeting precisely the brief that John Wyer had given Zagato.

The chassis for these cars was standard short wheelbase DB4 GT. The chassis was outfitted with all of the necessary running gear and with all other necessary parts to complete the car and then dispatched to Italy. Once there, Zagato panelled the cars, trimmed and painted them, before sending them back to Aston Martin for final completion and dispatch to distributors and onward delivery to their new owners. Those first few cars produced by Zagato were fabricated using 20 gauge aluminium panelling, even more basic trim and lighter weight drilled chassis. Perhaps their zeal in shaving weight was to prove counter productive as they were only partially successful in competition, not least as the drilled chassis proved to be insufficiently stiff. However, in the hands of such consummate drivers as Stirling Moss and Jim Clark, they did notch up some brilliant successes. They have subsequently become regarded by many as design icons and one the finest examples of Italian styling and flair. They exemplify the very best of Aston Martin’s sporting heritage. A total of 19 were eventually commissioned and manufactured, which were then sold to “privateers” and other private owners. A short summary of the sporting successes enjoyed by the DB4 Zagatos in the early to mid 1960s can be found in Annex B.

The Zagato Carosserie was founded by Ugo Zagato in 1919. After forming a close friendship with Fiat engineer Vittorio Jano, the company began to specialise in body designs. That friendship produced many highly successful, stylish and elegant cars, so when Jano moved to Alfa Romeo, Zagato created a look that was to make him famous - the Alfa Romeo sports and racing cars. However, the arrival of World War 2 heralded the end of that period for Zagato. There was a second period of Zagato from the mid forties to the late fifties when the custodianship was entrusted to his eldest son Elio, who utilised aerodynamic principles derived from his experience as a racing driver, to produce some highly original and ground breaking car designs, many of which were to prove successful in motor sport. Unfortunately, Elio was involved in a road accident so Gianni, the younger son, joined the company, modernised the operation, and asked a brilliant new star to join them - Ercole Spada – This was to lead to a new series of outstanding, stylish and original designs, which kept Zagato at the forefront of car design. All this at a time when such competitors as Bertone, Touring and Pininfarina were at their most fertile and active, also producing many superb examples of ground breaking car design and the art of the coach builder. Following that agreement between John Wyer and Gianni it was early in 1960 that the first DB4GT chassis was delivered to the Zagato facilities on the outskirts of Milan. Ercole Spada, then only 23 years old, was assigned to Aston Martin, and it was he who created the beautiful shape of the DB4GT Zagato.


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Page 12

ASSOCIATION OF CAROSSERIE ZAGATO

In the late fifties before the onset of stifling regulation and bureaucracy, the commissioning and the construction of imaginative and sensuous cars was often the consequence of a verbal agreement and handshake. One such agreement occurred at Earls Court in 1959 while Aston Martin dominated sports car racing and a new Grand Tourer was being launched at the 1959 London Motor Show, the short wheelbase DB4GT, a central exhibit on the Aston Martin stand. As the owner of Aston Martin, David Brown was extremely keen to produce Aston Martin’s answer to the Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta. It was as a result of this desire that John Wyer, then General Manager of Aston Martin, met with Gianni Zagato.

THE DB4 GT ZAGATO

T

The resulting design shaved no less than 350 pounds from the weight the standard DB4GT. It had striking lines accentuated by tightly drawn elliptical surfaces, meeting precisely the brief that John Wyer had given Zagato.

The chassis for these cars was standard short wheelbase DB4 GT. The chassis was outfitted with all of the necessary running gear and with all other necessary parts to complete the car and then dispatched to Italy. Once there, Zagato panelled the cars, trimmed and painted them, before sending them back to Aston Martin for final completion and dispatch to distributors and onward delivery to their new owners. Those first few cars produced by Zagato were fabricated using 20 gauge aluminium panelling, even more basic trim and lighter weight drilled chassis. Perhaps their zeal in shaving weight was to prove counter productive as they were only partially successful in competition, not least as the drilled chassis proved to be insufficiently stiff. However, in the hands of such consummate drivers as Stirling Moss and Jim Clark, they did notch up some brilliant successes. They have subsequently become regarded by many as design icons and one the finest examples of Italian styling and flair. They exemplify the very best of Aston Martin’s sporting heritage. A total of 19 were eventually commissioned and manufactured, which were then sold to “privateers” and other private owners. A short summary of the sporting successes enjoyed by the DB4 Zagatos in the early to mid 1960s can be found in Annex B.

The Zagato Carosserie was founded by Ugo Zagato in 1919. After forming a close friendship with Fiat engineer Vittorio Jano, the company began to specialise in body designs. That friendship produced many highly successful, stylish and elegant cars, so when Jano moved to Alfa Romeo, Zagato created a look that was to make him famous - the Alfa Romeo sports and racing cars. However, the arrival of World War 2 heralded the end of that period for Zagato. There was a second period of Zagato from the mid forties to the late fifties when the custodianship was entrusted to his eldest son Elio, who utilised aerodynamic principles derived from his experience as a racing driver, to produce some highly original and ground breaking car designs, many of which were to prove successful in motor sport. Unfortunately, Elio was involved in a road accident so Gianni, the younger son, joined the company, modernised the operation, and asked a brilliant new star to join them - Ercole Spada – This was to lead to a new series of outstanding, stylish and original designs, which kept Zagato at the forefront of car design. All this at a time when such competitors as Bertone, Touring and Pininfarina were at their most fertile and active, also producing many superb examples of ground breaking car design and the art of the coach builder. Following that agreement between John Wyer and Gianni it was early in 1960 that the first DB4GT chassis was delivered to the Zagato facilities on the outskirts of Milan. Ercole Spada, then only 23 years old, was assigned to Aston Martin, and it was he who created the beautiful shape of the DB4GT Zagato.


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THE ASTON MARTIN DB4 GT ZAGATO

TThe first 2 chassis were sent to Zagato in the spring of 1960, these being DB4GT/0176 and DB4GT/0177, with a specific brief to become ‘works’ competition cars. As such, it was requested that as much additional weight saving be made as possible. The end result was a worthwhile saving of 350 lbs from the production DB4 GT. However, in the zeal to pare weight to the absolute minimum, the rigidity of the chassis was compromised and the subsequent flexing produced some undesirable handling that really prevented the cars from being as competitive as they should have been on paper. The DB4 GT Zagato was in production from mid 1960 to the last and 19th car being dispatched to its new owner in 1962. Each batch of cars, and they were commissioned in very small batches, were given detail differences, ranging from various bonnet designs to some with flared wheel arches etc.

A few were dispatched to the USA and given vestigial front and rear bumpers. There were detail differences between every car, each new owner being able to tailor their car to their precise requirements. One car in particular (DB4GT/0188/L) was given some unique changes with DB4 headlights, bonnet scoop and Zagato styling from the door A-posts back. The 2 prepared by the Essex Racing Team were registered 1 VEV and 2 VEV and were campaigned over at least 2 seasons before being finally retired from GT sports car events. Later production cars used thicker 18 gauge body panels as previously mentioned, whilst the chassis remained as standard DB4 GT. The engine specification called for even higher output than the standard DB4 GT. Using the GT twin plug head, 45DCOE carburettors and a higher compression ratio of 9.7 to 1. The result was an increase in top end power from 302 BHP to a claimed 314 BHP, giving it a truly remarkable level of performance for the time that even now can be regarded as seriously quick. The DB4 Zagato cars were given chassis numbers from DB4GT/0176 to 0191, 0193, 0199 and finally 0200.


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THE ASTON MARTIN DB4 GT ZAGATO

TThe first 2 chassis were sent to Zagato in the spring of 1960, these being DB4GT/0176 and DB4GT/0177, with a specific brief to become ‘works’ competition cars. As such, it was requested that as much additional weight saving be made as possible. The end result was a worthwhile saving of 350 lbs from the production DB4 GT. However, in the zeal to pare weight to the absolute minimum, the rigidity of the chassis was compromised and the subsequent flexing produced some undesirable handling that really prevented the cars from being as competitive as they should have been on paper. The DB4 GT Zagato was in production from mid 1960 to the last and 19th car being dispatched to its new owner in 1962. Each batch of cars, and they were commissioned in very small batches, were given detail differences, ranging from various bonnet designs to some with flared wheel arches etc.

A few were dispatched to the USA and given vestigial front and rear bumpers. There were detail differences between every car, each new owner being able to tailor their car to their precise requirements. One car in particular (DB4GT/0188/L) was given some unique changes with DB4 headlights, bonnet scoop and Zagato styling from the door A-posts back. The 2 prepared by the Essex Racing Team were registered 1 VEV and 2 VEV and were campaigned over at least 2 seasons before being finally retired from GT sports car events. Later production cars used thicker 18 gauge body panels as previously mentioned, whilst the chassis remained as standard DB4 GT. The engine specification called for even higher output than the standard DB4 GT. Using the GT twin plug head, 45DCOE carburettors and a higher compression ratio of 9.7 to 1. The result was an increase in top end power from 302 BHP to a claimed 314 BHP, giving it a truly remarkable level of performance for the time that even now can be regarded as seriously quick. The DB4 Zagato cars were given chassis numbers from DB4GT/0176 to 0191, 0193, 0199 and finally 0200.


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THE ASTON MARTIN DB4 GT ZAGATO

L The Sanction 2 DB4 GT Zagatos An additional 4 “Sanction 2” DB4 GT Zagatos were authorised by Aston Martin in 1987, to complement the V8 Zagato project that Aston Martin had commissioned earlier. The “Sanction 2” project was entrusted to Richard Williams of RS Williams, with Zagato being approached to fabricate 4 new bodies and trim them. The project was duly completed and the 4 cars shown to the public in July 1991.Unused DB4 GT chassis numbers were given to each of the 4 cars, these being DB4GT/0192, 0196. 0197 and 0198. The Sanction 2 cars have benefited significantly from the experience, improved materials and general up- rating of the specification. Notable changes include an increase in engine capacity from 3670cc to 4212cc, new high lift camshafts and revised carburation using 50 DCO1/SP carburettors. The result increased power yet again from the nominal 314 BHP to a staggering 352 BHP. A back-to-back comparison between the original 19 Zagatos and the Sanction 2 cars can be found in Annex A. The Sanction 3 DB4 GT Zagato Following on from the commissioning of Zagato to produce body shells for the 4 Sanction 2 cars, Zagato actually made 6 body shells, leaving 2 unused. Richard Williams who had been entrusted with the production of the Sanction 2 cars, went back to Aston Martin and asked their permission to use the final 2 shells in yet another small batch of 2 cars. Known as Sanction 3 cars, they were allocated original DB4 chassis numbers. As such these cars are replicas in the true sense of the word. The mechanical specification was as Sanction 2.


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THE ASTON MARTIN DB4 GT ZAGATO

L The Sanction 2 DB4 GT Zagatos An additional 4 “Sanction 2” DB4 GT Zagatos were authorised by Aston Martin in 1987, to complement the V8 Zagato project that Aston Martin had commissioned earlier. The “Sanction 2” project was entrusted to Richard Williams of RS Williams, with Zagato being approached to fabricate 4 new bodies and trim them. The project was duly completed and the 4 cars shown to the public in July 1991.Unused DB4 GT chassis numbers were given to each of the 4 cars, these being DB4GT/0192, 0196. 0197 and 0198. The Sanction 2 cars have benefited significantly from the experience, improved materials and general up- rating of the specification. Notable changes include an increase in engine capacity from 3670cc to 4212cc, new high lift camshafts and revised carburation using 50 DCO1/SP carburettors. The result increased power yet again from the nominal 314 BHP to a staggering 352 BHP. A back-to-back comparison between the original 19 Zagatos and the Sanction 2 cars can be found in Annex A. The Sanction 3 DB4 GT Zagato Following on from the commissioning of Zagato to produce body shells for the 4 Sanction 2 cars, Zagato actually made 6 body shells, leaving 2 unused. Richard Williams who had been entrusted with the production of the Sanction 2 cars, went back to Aston Martin and asked their permission to use the final 2 shells in yet another small batch of 2 cars. Known as Sanction 3 cars, they were allocated original DB4 chassis numbers. As such these cars are replicas in the true sense of the word. The mechanical specification was as Sanction 2.


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CHAPTER TWO

Recreation of the DB4 GT Zagato


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CHAPTER TWO

Recreation of the DB4 GT Zagato


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RECREATION OF THE DB4 GT ZAGATO

Part 2 of this book outlines Aston Workshop’s methods in recreating a DB4 GT Zagato. Remaining absolutely faithful to the original, ensuring that it is a true Aston Martin, manufactured with all of the benefits of modern materials, manufacturing processes and machinery, tailored, trimmed and painted to the owner’s choice and equipped fully in accordance with the owner’s specifications. Each recreation will be unique and precisely manufactured according to the owner’s specifications. The following guide sets out in detail how we go from agreeing on a commission to ensuring that the end result is exactly what the owner wants.

Specifying your Aston Martin DB4 Zagato The foundation of this model is the DB4 GT chassis, DB4 front and rear suspension including the rear axle and differential, and an engine which has as its foundation, the 6 cylinder engine block, cylinder head, preferably the DB4 GT twin plug and Zagato style dash board. Those areas of the car that we will need to agree prior to the contract to build one of these cars includes: •

The engine specification

Choice of transmission

Whether PAS

Any special commission regarding modification to the body shell. (Such items as ensuring that wider wheels and tyres can be accommodated may require additional and increased size flared wheel arches.)

Recognising that recreating such an iconic Aston Martin is not for the many, only for the fortunate few and that each car will be highly personal to the new owner’s specifications, we start by describing how we will go

A case history of the recreation of a DB4 GT Zagato

about agreeing the commission to build such a car. This particular DB4 started in life as a series 2 DB4 saloon and was first registered in October 1960, and the Establishing the Aston Martin provenance We establish the provenance of the ‘donor’ car and ensure that it is capable of being registered and made road legal as a true Aston Martin, before we start the process of agreeing a commission to build one of these iconic models. This is a most important preliminary step, as without being able to badge this car as an Aston Martin DB4, the value of the completed car will be compromised. We will take steps to ensure that this can be done prior to any down payment being made to implement the commission that you give us.

specification was standard DB4.


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Page 20

RECREATION OF THE DB4 GT ZAGATO

Part 2 of this book outlines Aston Workshop’s methods in recreating a DB4 GT Zagato. Remaining absolutely faithful to the original, ensuring that it is a true Aston Martin, manufactured with all of the benefits of modern materials, manufacturing processes and machinery, tailored, trimmed and painted to the owner’s choice and equipped fully in accordance with the owner’s specifications. Each recreation will be unique and precisely manufactured according to the owner’s specifications. The following guide sets out in detail how we go from agreeing on a commission to ensuring that the end result is exactly what the owner wants.

Specifying your Aston Martin DB4 Zagato The foundation of this model is the DB4 GT chassis, DB4 front and rear suspension including the rear axle and differential, and an engine which has as its foundation, the 6 cylinder engine block, cylinder head, preferably the DB4 GT twin plug and Zagato style dash board. Those areas of the car that we will need to agree prior to the contract to build one of these cars includes: •

The engine specification

Choice of transmission

Whether PAS

Any special commission regarding modification to the body shell. (Such items as ensuring that wider wheels and tyres can be accommodated may require additional and increased size flared wheel arches.)

Recognising that recreating such an iconic Aston Martin is not for the many, only for the fortunate few and that each car will be highly personal to the new owner’s specifications, we start by describing how we will go

A case history of the recreation of a DB4 GT Zagato

about agreeing the commission to build such a car. This particular DB4 started in life as a series 2 DB4 saloon and was first registered in October 1960, and the Establishing the Aston Martin provenance We establish the provenance of the ‘donor’ car and ensure that it is capable of being registered and made road legal as a true Aston Martin, before we start the process of agreeing a commission to build one of these iconic models. This is a most important preliminary step, as without being able to badge this car as an Aston Martin DB4, the value of the completed car will be compromised. We will take steps to ensure that this can be done prior to any down payment being made to implement the commission that you give us.

specification was standard DB4.


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CHASSIS RECONSTRUCTION AND FABRICATION

BODYSHELL FABRICATION

T

he chassis of a DB4 GT is very similar to that of a standard saloon DB4, except that in the case of a DB4 GT the wheelbase is shortened by 5ins or 127mm. This makes the car a strict 2 seater in the GT style; enabling some weight saving. The lengths of the doors are also shortened to match the shortened chassis. A rebuilt DB4 chassis to the standard DB4 GT dimensions was first fabricated. The original chassis cross member and front suspension mountings were recoverable, but the front bulkhead, engine bay panels and much of the rear of the chassis, including the floor sections were not and had to be fabricated using new materials, as were the A and B posts. All of the upper sections of the chassis were newly fabricated to accord with the shape of the Zagato style body.

The fabrication of the new body shell was entrusted to Mr Clive Smart of Shapecraft. A very well respected coach builder and restorer, there have been a number of new fabricated bodies in the style of the original DB4 Zagato built by his organisation. The accuracy, quality, integrity and authenticity of the end result is extremely high. Not only was the outer shell and supporting structure fabricated, but also all of the other details that are required to complete the bodyshell, including among many major items, complete door frames and skins, roof and complete rear section from the boot floor upwards. The upper parts of the A and B posts, dashboard, radiator grille, front and rear screen trims are but a few of the many smaller new parts also fabricated by Shapecraft. Engine and suspension build Depending upon the owner’s wish, the engine for the Zagato can be specified with a strengthened and rebuilt original engine block, or perhaps better still a new engine block that has been strengthened so that it can safely accommodate a higher level of tuning and increase in capacity. In the case of the Zagato featured here, the original engine block was retained, but very fully examined, Other important structures replaced included the sills, both front outriggers, large section of the chassis lead-

defects addressed, liner seatings and main bearing housings line bored and the whole machined to extremely

ing back from the front cross member which supports the front suspension, and new jacking points. At the

tight tolerances. A new “twin plug” cylinder head was specified and this was then gas flowed and fully ‘lead

rear, virtually the complete rear suspension supporting structure had to be replaced, as well as the support

free’ prepared with every component replaced from the original with new and with Aston Workshop fast road

legs leading backwards to support the boot floor. It will come as no surprise then, to learn that the chassis

camshafts.

reconstruction alone consumed some 750 hours of painstaking work.

The engine was then assembled with a new forged steel crank, fully balanced with new pistons and liners to 4.2 litre. Naturally such items as oil pump, camshaft and oil pump chain drives, chain tensioners etc were all renewed.


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CHASSIS RECONSTRUCTION AND FABRICATION

BODYSHELL FABRICATION

T

he chassis of a DB4 GT is very similar to that of a standard saloon DB4, except that in the case of a DB4 GT the wheelbase is shortened by 5ins or 127mm. This makes the car a strict 2 seater in the GT style; enabling some weight saving. The lengths of the doors are also shortened to match the shortened chassis. A rebuilt DB4 chassis to the standard DB4 GT dimensions was first fabricated. The original chassis cross member and front suspension mountings were recoverable, but the front bulkhead, engine bay panels and much of the rear of the chassis, including the floor sections were not and had to be fabricated using new materials, as were the A and B posts. All of the upper sections of the chassis were newly fabricated to accord with the shape of the Zagato style body.

The fabrication of the new body shell was entrusted to Mr Clive Smart of Shapecraft. A very well respected coach builder and restorer, there have been a number of new fabricated bodies in the style of the original DB4 Zagato built by his organisation. The accuracy, quality, integrity and authenticity of the end result is extremely high. Not only was the outer shell and supporting structure fabricated, but also all of the other details that are required to complete the bodyshell, including among many major items, complete door frames and skins, roof and complete rear section from the boot floor upwards. The upper parts of the A and B posts, dashboard, radiator grille, front and rear screen trims are but a few of the many smaller new parts also fabricated by Shapecraft. Engine and suspension build Depending upon the owner’s wish, the engine for the Zagato can be specified with a strengthened and rebuilt original engine block, or perhaps better still a new engine block that has been strengthened so that it can safely accommodate a higher level of tuning and increase in capacity. In the case of the Zagato featured here, the original engine block was retained, but very fully examined, Other important structures replaced included the sills, both front outriggers, large section of the chassis lead-

defects addressed, liner seatings and main bearing housings line bored and the whole machined to extremely

ing back from the front cross member which supports the front suspension, and new jacking points. At the

tight tolerances. A new “twin plug” cylinder head was specified and this was then gas flowed and fully ‘lead

rear, virtually the complete rear suspension supporting structure had to be replaced, as well as the support

free’ prepared with every component replaced from the original with new and with Aston Workshop fast road

legs leading backwards to support the boot floor. It will come as no surprise then, to learn that the chassis

camshafts.

reconstruction alone consumed some 750 hours of painstaking work.

The engine was then assembled with a new forged steel crank, fully balanced with new pistons and liners to 4.2 litre. Naturally such items as oil pump, camshaft and oil pump chain drives, chain tensioners etc were all renewed.


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PAINTING THE CHASSIS AND BODYSHELL


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PAINTING THE CHASSIS AND BODYSHELL


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PAINTING THE CHASSIS AND BODYSHELL

PAINTING THE CHASSIS AND BODYSHELL

One of the foremost objectives in restoring any “classic car” is to ensure that it is well protected from the ravages of age and corrosion. To that end, it is our policy for all of our restorations to ensure that prior to any painting, the chassis is bead blasted clean, primed, and then powder coated. As part of the reconstruction process all of the inaccessible internal channel sections are given a full wax treatment. The combination will provide many years of protection. The bodyshell was actually fabricated around the newly prepared chassis. Upon receipt of the body shell following its fabrication, our first task was to ensure that the shell was in as perfect condition as possible. This meant ensuring that the panel work was free of any dimples, minor dents and bumps. Once we were satisfied, we then applied an etch primer and a further high build primer, the purpose of which was to ensure the best possible adhesion of the primer to the aluminium shell. This surface was then rubbed down with a very fine wet and dry paper and blocked until perfectly smooth. Only at this stage were the colour coats and lacquer coats applied. The painted body shell was then rubbed down with extra fine wet and dry. The final part of the process was then to polish the body shell to a mirror finish. In all some 3 weeks of work and around 170 hours of skilled work went into the painting process. The end result surely justified the time and expense taken many times over. Chassis, Body and suspension system assembly It is the general practice in Aston Workshop to entrust assembly of a restored car to a single team of two who will be responsible for every aspect of the car’s assembly, all the way to the final road test and hand over. Bob Garside and Keith Slater are both highly experienced and skilled mechanics, having served most of their entire working life in the Motor Trade. As our most experienced team, they were given the job of assembling this very important car. They have been with the Aston Workshop now over 10 years and have completed many restorations to the highest possible standard. Our trimmer Colin Brown and our highly experienced electrician, Geoff Bell, complemented their efforts. The first task on commencing the assembly process was to ensure that all of the threaded captive nuts, bosses and bearing surfaces were cleaned and where appropriate, lubricated. The first be installed were the main brake and fuel lines. Extreme care was taken to ensure that these were all precisely aligned and neatly installed, as the quality of this work distinguishes a restoration of the highest quality form those that just aspire to be good. The next stage was the fitting of the front and rear suspension, steering linkages and the steering rack. The fitting of hubs, discs, brake and calipers came next, followed by the fitting of the brake and clutch pedal box assembly, master cylinders, fluid reservoirs and servos. Final assembly of the hydraulic pipe work could then be completed and at this point the car was fitted with some “slave” wheels and became mobile. An extensive amount of soundproofing and heat insulation for the car floor and front engine bulkhead followed. This makes a major improvement to the cabin temperatures and noise and is one of the many hidden improvements that come with an Aston Workshop restoration. The fitting of the windscreen wiper linkages, gearboxes and washers jets etc then followed. The heater box was then installed, in unit with the fitting of the air conditioning system evaporator and associated ducting and pipe work. Assembly of light fittings, front and rear bumper assemblies also commenced at this point.


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PAINTING THE CHASSIS AND BODYSHELL

PAINTING THE CHASSIS AND BODYSHELL

One of the foremost objectives in restoring any “classic car” is to ensure that it is well protected from the ravages of age and corrosion. To that end, it is our policy for all of our restorations to ensure that prior to any painting, the chassis is bead blasted clean, primed, and then powder coated. As part of the reconstruction process all of the inaccessible internal channel sections are given a full wax treatment. The combination will provide many years of protection. The bodyshell was actually fabricated around the newly prepared chassis. Upon receipt of the body shell following its fabrication, our first task was to ensure that the shell was in as perfect condition as possible. This meant ensuring that the panel work was free of any dimples, minor dents and bumps. Once we were satisfied, we then applied an etch primer and a further high build primer, the purpose of which was to ensure the best possible adhesion of the primer to the aluminium shell. This surface was then rubbed down with a very fine wet and dry paper and blocked until perfectly smooth. Only at this stage were the colour coats and lacquer coats applied. The painted body shell was then rubbed down with extra fine wet and dry. The final part of the process was then to polish the body shell to a mirror finish. In all some 3 weeks of work and around 170 hours of skilled work went into the painting process. The end result surely justified the time and expense taken many times over. Chassis, Body and suspension system assembly It is the general practice in Aston Workshop to entrust assembly of a restored car to a single team of two who will be responsible for every aspect of the car’s assembly, all the way to the final road test and hand over. Bob Garside and Keith Slater are both highly experienced and skilled mechanics, having served most of their entire working life in the Motor Trade. As our most experienced team, they were given the job of assembling this very important car. They have been with the Aston Workshop now over 10 years and have completed many restorations to the highest possible standard. Our trimmer Colin Brown and our highly experienced electrician, Geoff Bell, complemented their efforts. The first task on commencing the assembly process was to ensure that all of the threaded captive nuts, bosses and bearing surfaces were cleaned and where appropriate, lubricated. The first be installed were the main brake and fuel lines. Extreme care was taken to ensure that these were all precisely aligned and neatly installed, as the quality of this work distinguishes a restoration of the highest quality form those that just aspire to be good. The next stage was the fitting of the front and rear suspension, steering linkages and the steering rack. The fitting of hubs, discs, brake and calipers came next, followed by the fitting of the brake and clutch pedal box assembly, master cylinders, fluid reservoirs and servos. Final assembly of the hydraulic pipe work could then be completed and at this point the car was fitted with some “slave” wheels and became mobile. An extensive amount of soundproofing and heat insulation for the car floor and front engine bulkhead followed. This makes a major improvement to the cabin temperatures and noise and is one of the many hidden improvements that come with an Aston Workshop restoration. The fitting of the windscreen wiper linkages, gearboxes and washers jets etc then followed. The heater box was then installed, in unit with the fitting of the air conditioning system evaporator and associated ducting and pipe work. Assembly of light fittings, front and rear bumper assemblies also commenced at this point.


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TRIMMING THE CAR

T

COMMISSIONING AND TESTING

he next major task was to fit out the engine bay with the associated relays, fuse boxes, coolant header tank,

In a rebuild of this type where every component has been removed, replaced or overhauled and installed, it is

throttle linkage assemblies and washer bottle, pump and associated pipe work. This was then followed in

important before any attempt to start the engine that a series of crucial checks are made. First among these

short order by the engine bay wiring loom and the main loom running the through to the boot and rear light

was checking the electrical system for continuity, which is checking that every wiring connection is correct,

assemblies.

then checking for any unwanted earth. When that thorough check had been completed and only then, the

The installation of the steering column and linkage followed.

battery was connected and the electrical system was enabled. Each and every electrical circuit was then

Independently, the engine was now mated to its gearbox ready for installation. At the same time the process of

checked for correct operation, starting with the lights and going on to check the ammeter, fuel gauge, clock

trimming the interior of the car commenced with the fitting of the headlining, which was essential to complete

and the radio function. Other functions such as the door windows, the electric cooling fan, heating and

prior to the fitting of windows and windscreen.

ventilation blowers etc followed. With those complete, attention was then turned to checking the engine

While all this work was going on, the task of painting, assembling and trimming the dashboard commenced.

cooling system for the correct levels, engine and transmission oil levels, and the integrity of the fuel system

Every instrument was sent away for checking and for calibration and a revised and much improved LED based

and exhaust.

instrument lighting system installed, which replaced the old bulb based illumination. New switches were also

At this stage all fluid levels were checked, replenishment where necessary undertaken and charging of the air

installed. Once completed, the complicated task of connecting all of the wiring could now begin.

conditioning system with refrigerant and comprehensive leak checks completed.

It was now time to install the engine, now in conjunction with its gearbox. A task that requires some consider-

Finally, a very thorough check of the cleanliness of the engine intake system was undertaken. Then and only

able care, the engine is hoisted above the car and the gearbox and engine were then threaded in, and with

then was the car signed off for its initial engine checks.

new engine and gearbox mountings, bolted securely into the car. The next stage was then to fit the propshaft and complete assembly of the clutch hydraulic system and linkages. The hanging and connecting up the custom exhaust system followed the installation of heat shields. At the same time, the water radiator and oil cooler was now installed, followed by the installation of the airconditioning system condenser. An electric cooling fan followed and the water and fuel pipe connections were completed. The transmission cover was now fitted, thus enabling the carpeting of the cabin to start. Black Wilton carpets, leather bound, were specified throughout. Trimming the car Black Bridge of Wear soft leather was used throughout for all seats, door trim and boot with corresponding black piping. Expertly undertaken by Gary Wright, the re-trim also included a complete refit of all seats with new webbing, padding and re-chroming of the seat hinges and reclining mechanism. In addition, the re-trim of all of the door trim, dashboard under-tray, radio console, and all of the smaller black trim pieces around the side windows and windscreen pillar were recovered and installed with new chromed headed screws and cup washers. While all this was going on, the door, bonnet and boot lid assembly commenced. Final alignment and fitting could only be completed with the doors etc fitted to the car, together with all weather seals and door trims. This was a time consuming task to get just right, but essential if windows, doors and latches were to function smoothly and easily and panel alignment was to be ensured. Final Finishing The final part of the assembly process involved the fitting up of a new stainless steel exhaust system, installing the fuel tank, and connecting the fuel lines. Light and external trim installation followed with other items such as the boot and bonnet liners. The bonnet would remain unfitted until all of the under-bonnet systems had been checked and proven. Doors were hung and connected; window frames and window operating systems assembled, aligned and checked for full functionality. The boot lid was finally hung and hinges adjusted to achieve the best possible fit and alignment. Finally the seats were installed, and that was that, we had our completed DB4 GT Zagato re-creation…well, not quite.


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TRIMMING THE CAR

T

COMMISSIONING AND TESTING

he next major task was to fit out the engine bay with the associated relays, fuse boxes, coolant header tank,

In a rebuild of this type where every component has been removed, replaced or overhauled and installed, it is

throttle linkage assemblies and washer bottle, pump and associated pipe work. This was then followed in

important before any attempt to start the engine that a series of crucial checks are made. First among these

short order by the engine bay wiring loom and the main loom running the through to the boot and rear light

was checking the electrical system for continuity, which is checking that every wiring connection is correct,

assemblies.

then checking for any unwanted earth. When that thorough check had been completed and only then, the

The installation of the steering column and linkage followed.

battery was connected and the electrical system was enabled. Each and every electrical circuit was then

Independently, the engine was now mated to its gearbox ready for installation. At the same time the process of

checked for correct operation, starting with the lights and going on to check the ammeter, fuel gauge, clock

trimming the interior of the car commenced with the fitting of the headlining, which was essential to complete

and the radio function. Other functions such as the door windows, the electric cooling fan, heating and

prior to the fitting of windows and windscreen.

ventilation blowers etc followed. With those complete, attention was then turned to checking the engine

While all this work was going on, the task of painting, assembling and trimming the dashboard commenced.

cooling system for the correct levels, engine and transmission oil levels, and the integrity of the fuel system

Every instrument was sent away for checking and for calibration and a revised and much improved LED based

and exhaust.

instrument lighting system installed, which replaced the old bulb based illumination. New switches were also

At this stage all fluid levels were checked, replenishment where necessary undertaken and charging of the air

installed. Once completed, the complicated task of connecting all of the wiring could now begin.

conditioning system with refrigerant and comprehensive leak checks completed.

It was now time to install the engine, now in conjunction with its gearbox. A task that requires some consider-

Finally, a very thorough check of the cleanliness of the engine intake system was undertaken. Then and only

able care, the engine is hoisted above the car and the gearbox and engine were then threaded in, and with

then was the car signed off for its initial engine checks.

new engine and gearbox mountings, bolted securely into the car. The next stage was then to fit the propshaft and complete assembly of the clutch hydraulic system and linkages. The hanging and connecting up the custom exhaust system followed the installation of heat shields. At the same time, the water radiator and oil cooler was now installed, followed by the installation of the airconditioning system condenser. An electric cooling fan followed and the water and fuel pipe connections were completed. The transmission cover was now fitted, thus enabling the carpeting of the cabin to start. Black Wilton carpets, leather bound, were specified throughout. Trimming the car Black Bridge of Wear soft leather was used throughout for all seats, door trim and boot with corresponding black piping. Expertly undertaken by Gary Wright, the re-trim also included a complete refit of all seats with new webbing, padding and re-chroming of the seat hinges and reclining mechanism. In addition, the re-trim of all of the door trim, dashboard under-tray, radio console, and all of the smaller black trim pieces around the side windows and windscreen pillar were recovered and installed with new chromed headed screws and cup washers. While all this was going on, the door, bonnet and boot lid assembly commenced. Final alignment and fitting could only be completed with the doors etc fitted to the car, together with all weather seals and door trims. This was a time consuming task to get just right, but essential if windows, doors and latches were to function smoothly and easily and panel alignment was to be ensured. Final Finishing The final part of the assembly process involved the fitting up of a new stainless steel exhaust system, installing the fuel tank, and connecting the fuel lines. Light and external trim installation followed with other items such as the boot and bonnet liners. The bonnet would remain unfitted until all of the under-bonnet systems had been checked and proven. Doors were hung and connected; window frames and window operating systems assembled, aligned and checked for full functionality. The boot lid was finally hung and hinges adjusted to achieve the best possible fit and alignment. Finally the seats were installed, and that was that, we had our completed DB4 GT Zagato re-creation…well, not quite.


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COMMISSIONING AND TESTING The first time that the engine was run in the car, particular attention was turned to ensuring that there was plenty of oil pressure. It there should be any untoward indication the engine would have been immediately stopped while a thorough check would then be carried out. In this case there were no problems encountered. The next most important check was to look for any signs of fuel, coolant and oil leaks of any kind. Again, all was leak free. The engine was then allowed to idle to its normal operating temperature, while all the time monitoring the oil pressure, temperature and looking for any exhaust leaks and blows. At this stage the radiator water levels were monitored and topped up as the system slowly self-bled and trapped air was released. All was well. So far so good. On completion of the rebuild, the engine had already been on the dynamometer, so there was a good degree of confidence that the engine would run reasonably well, but experience has generally indicated that some adjustments are nearly always necessary. The next stage was to check that the throttles were precisely synchronised. In other words it was to check that the throttles on each of the 3 Webbers opened and closed together. While all these checks were going on, the engine charging system was also fully checked. The braking system was bled during its assembly. It was now time to check, with engine running, that the servo operation was correct and with full operating pressure, the system was leak free. While that was going on, the operation of the clutch was checked plus ease of gearbox operation. With these now completed satisfactorily, the engine was shut down and allowed to cool and once cooled, another thorough external examination was made, looking for any untoward problems. With these now completed, the bonnet was fitted and aligned. The car suspension system alignment was then checked for toe-in, camber and castor angles and any needed adjustments made. In this case it was a minor adjustment for toe-in, while ensuring that the steering wheel was correctly aligned. Finally the car was now ready for road testing.

The first road test was to check for smoothness of operation, any noise, vibration or harshness in any of the car controls. At this stage any misalignment of the exhaust, for example would have come to light. However, this initial road test also checked out the general handling, as well as the basic tune of the engine. A number of minor routine items needed attention. Finally the car was then taken to acquire its new MoT. There followed a 50 mile shake down to ensure all the systems on the car were fit for purpose and to demonstrate acceptable reliability. And that really was it; the new owner was able to take delivery of one of the most stunning and lovingly crafted road cars available anywhere in the world today.


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COMMISSIONING AND TESTING The first time that the engine was run in the car, particular attention was turned to ensuring that there was plenty of oil pressure. It there should be any untoward indication the engine would have been immediately stopped while a thorough check would then be carried out. In this case there were no problems encountered. The next most important check was to look for any signs of fuel, coolant and oil leaks of any kind. Again, all was leak free. The engine was then allowed to idle to its normal operating temperature, while all the time monitoring the oil pressure, temperature and looking for any exhaust leaks and blows. At this stage the radiator water levels were monitored and topped up as the system slowly self-bled and trapped air was released. All was well. So far so good. On completion of the rebuild, the engine had already been on the dynamometer, so there was a good degree of confidence that the engine would run reasonably well, but experience has generally indicated that some adjustments are nearly always necessary. The next stage was to check that the throttles were precisely synchronised. In other words it was to check that the throttles on each of the 3 Webbers opened and closed together. While all these checks were going on, the engine charging system was also fully checked. The braking system was bled during its assembly. It was now time to check, with engine running, that the servo operation was correct and with full operating pressure, the system was leak free. While that was going on, the operation of the clutch was checked plus ease of gearbox operation. With these now completed satisfactorily, the engine was shut down and allowed to cool and once cooled, another thorough external examination was made, looking for any untoward problems. With these now completed, the bonnet was fitted and aligned. The car suspension system alignment was then checked for toe-in, camber and castor angles and any needed adjustments made. In this case it was a minor adjustment for toe-in, while ensuring that the steering wheel was correctly aligned. Finally the car was now ready for road testing.

The first road test was to check for smoothness of operation, any noise, vibration or harshness in any of the car controls. At this stage any misalignment of the exhaust, for example would have come to light. However, this initial road test also checked out the general handling, as well as the basic tune of the engine. A number of minor routine items needed attention. Finally the car was then taken to acquire its new MoT. There followed a 50 mile shake down to ensure all the systems on the car were fit for purpose and to demonstrate acceptable reliability. And that really was it; the new owner was able to take delivery of one of the most stunning and lovingly crafted road cars available anywhere in the world today.


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A PAIR OF ASTON WORKSHOP RECREATIONS


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A PAIR OF ASTON WORKSHOP RECREATIONS


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ANNEX A


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ANNEX A


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Annex A

DB4 GT Technical Specification and description as 1961

DB4 GT Zagato Specifications Production dates: October 1961 – June 1962 Top Speed: 152.5 mph Acceleration: 0 – 60 in 6.4 seconds, 0 – 100 in 14.2 seconds

Transmission David Brown 4 speed Front suspension Unequal transverse wishbones with Armstrong shock absorbers with co-axial coil springs and anti roll bar Rear suspension coil springs parallel trailing links and Watts linkage

Team car chassis no: DP199/1

locating a live axle with Armstrong double acting lever shock absorbers

Length 14 feet 3.375 inches (435.3 cm)

Steering Rack and pinion

Width 5’ 6” (1.68 m)

Brakes Girling disc with Lockheed vacuum servo assistance

Height 4 feet 3.5 inches (131 cm)

Swept area of 527 square inch

Track Front 54inches(1372mm) Rear 53.5inches(1360mm) Wheelbase 93 inches (2362mm) Turning circle 34 feet Dry weight 2798 pounds (1269 Kg) Engine 3.7 litre Capacity 3,670 cc Cylinder bore 92mm (stroke 92mm) Compression ratio 9:1 Power output 302 bhp @ 6000 rpm Carburettors 3 twin choke 45 DC0E4 Chassis Square section tube frame, aluminium body.


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Annex A

DB4 GT Technical Specification and description as 1961

DB4 GT Zagato Specifications Production dates: October 1961 – June 1962 Top Speed: 152.5 mph Acceleration: 0 – 60 in 6.4 seconds, 0 – 100 in 14.2 seconds

Transmission David Brown 4 speed Front suspension Unequal transverse wishbones with Armstrong shock absorbers with co-axial coil springs and anti roll bar Rear suspension coil springs parallel trailing links and Watts linkage

Team car chassis no: DP199/1

locating a live axle with Armstrong double acting lever shock absorbers

Length 14 feet 3.375 inches (435.3 cm)

Steering Rack and pinion

Width 5’ 6” (1.68 m)

Brakes Girling disc with Lockheed vacuum servo assistance

Height 4 feet 3.5 inches (131 cm)

Swept area of 527 square inch

Track Front 54inches(1372mm) Rear 53.5inches(1360mm) Wheelbase 93 inches (2362mm) Turning circle 34 feet Dry weight 2798 pounds (1269 Kg) Engine 3.7 litre Capacity 3,670 cc Cylinder bore 92mm (stroke 92mm) Compression ratio 9:1 Power output 302 bhp @ 6000 rpm Carburettors 3 twin choke 45 DC0E4 Chassis Square section tube frame, aluminium body.


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ANNEX B


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ANNEX B


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Annex B A short racing history of the DB4 GT Zagato The front rank racing history of the DB4 GT Zagatos really only took place over the 1961 and 1962 racing calendar. The cars were prepared for private racing teams, principally John Ogier racing stable, the Essex Racing Team and a privateer French Morrocan, Franc Kerguen who it was believed may have been sponsored by the main Aston Martin distributor in Paris. The first car completed was given the last allocated chassis number DB4 GT/0200R, a practice to convince the FIA to homologate the car. Entered by John Ogier, the car made its competition debut at the Goodwood Fordwater Trophy race for GT cars on the 3rd April 1961. It was driven by Stirling Moss and was to finish 3rd behind another of John Ogier’s car’s, a DB4 GT driven by Inness Ireland, and Mike Parkes the winner, driving a Ferrari 250GT. Just in time for the 1961 Le Mans, the Essex Racing Team took delivery of 2 lightened DB4 Zagatos. The race took place over the 10th and 11th June and the drivers being Fairman/Costen and Australians Davison/Stilwell. They were well supported with factory assistance but both succumbed early in the race with blown head gaskets, following a failure to ensure that the head studs had been re-torqued down. The next race a Zagato featured in was at Aintree on the 15th July 1961 for GT cars. Thinly competed for, DB4 GT Zagato 2 VEV (0183R) was driven by Australian Lex Davison and won with another DB4 GT driven by Sir John Whitmore which came 3rd. Another privateer (DB4 GT 0200/L) was entered by Pozzoli and driven by Kerguen and Franc. It performed like a Swiss watch until when placed in 9th , it arrived for a scheduled pit stop in the 24th hour and then refused to start. This car, the heaviest car at Le Mans had none of the lightening measures taken with 1 VEV and 2 VEV, yet it performed very creditably against very stiff competition. Both Essex Racing Stable Zagatos 1 VEV and 2 VEV (0182R and 0183R respectively) were entered for the Goodwood Tourist Trophy on the 19th August, to be driven by Roy Salvadori and Jim Clark. They were in company with the John Ogier DB4 GT car driven by Inness Ireland against a strong Ferrari contingent. Salvadori came in 3rd behind 2 Ferraris with Jim Clark 4th and Inness Ireland 5th and in doing so the Essex Racing team captured the Team prize.

There were two more races that year in which a DB4 GT Zagato was entered, the Coppe Inter-Europa at Monza on the 10th September. VEV1 was driven by Tony Maggs to come a very creditable 2nd behind. The race was won in Ferrari 250GT (again!!) Another DB4 GT Zagato was also entered and driven by Kerguen and to come 4th. The last competitive outing came at the Paris 1000km on 22nd October 1961. Just one Zagato was placed 1 VEV. Driven by Jim Clark and Inness Ireland, there was little hope that the higher weight and some time difficult handling could overcome a gaggle of fast, reliable Ferraris. It finished a distant 5th. Ferrari launched the all conquering 250 GTO into top flight GT racing for the 1962 season. The DB4 GT and DB4 GT Zagatos were hopelessly outclassed, as the Ferraris swept all before them, though a number of brave attempts were made in the early part of the racing season. On the 7th April at Oulton Park, just one Aston Martin was placed coming in 3rd. Entered by the Essex Racing Team, 1 VEV was driven by Tony Maggs in the GT Touring car race. The last top flight GT race in which the DB4 GT Zagato was to feature was at the Spa Grand Prix on the 20th May 1962. Driven by Mike Salmon it was a brave attempt, but the car was too heavy, and in virtually every department, the Ferraris out performed with further competition coming from a rejuvenated Jaguar corner with the light weight E Types. The Zagatos continued in competition, but would never again be able to feature against lighter, more powerful and better handling competition to be found in international GT racing. From then on, competitive outings were in either club racing or at relatively small regional based circuits and events. Instead, Aston Martin concentrated what racing resources it could spare to compete with Project 212/1, then later Project 214 of which 2 cars were built and raced as works entries at Le Mans and in the other European international GT racing meetings. At club level, the DB4 GT Zagato was a popular car to use, with a number making regular appearances throughout the 1960s. All private entries, the cars were liked and often highly competitive against the available competition. Cars were regularly entered and driven by such drivers as Inness Ireland, Mike Salmon and Roy Salvadori.


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Annex B A short racing history of the DB4 GT Zagato The front rank racing history of the DB4 GT Zagatos really only took place over the 1961 and 1962 racing calendar. The cars were prepared for private racing teams, principally John Ogier racing stable, the Essex Racing Team and a privateer French Morrocan, Franc Kerguen who it was believed may have been sponsored by the main Aston Martin distributor in Paris. The first car completed was given the last allocated chassis number DB4 GT/0200R, a practice to convince the FIA to homologate the car. Entered by John Ogier, the car made its competition debut at the Goodwood Fordwater Trophy race for GT cars on the 3rd April 1961. It was driven by Stirling Moss and was to finish 3rd behind another of John Ogier’s car’s, a DB4 GT driven by Inness Ireland, and Mike Parkes the winner, driving a Ferrari 250GT. Just in time for the 1961 Le Mans, the Essex Racing Team took delivery of 2 lightened DB4 Zagatos. The race took place over the 10th and 11th June and the drivers being Fairman/Costen and Australians Davison/Stilwell. They were well supported with factory assistance but both succumbed early in the race with blown head gaskets, following a failure to ensure that the head studs had been re-torqued down. The next race a Zagato featured in was at Aintree on the 15th July 1961 for GT cars. Thinly competed for, DB4 GT Zagato 2 VEV (0183R) was driven by Australian Lex Davison and won with another DB4 GT driven by Sir John Whitmore which came 3rd. Another privateer (DB4 GT 0200/L) was entered by Pozzoli and driven by Kerguen and Franc. It performed like a Swiss watch until when placed in 9th , it arrived for a scheduled pit stop in the 24th hour and then refused to start. This car, the heaviest car at Le Mans had none of the lightening measures taken with 1 VEV and 2 VEV, yet it performed very creditably against very stiff competition. Both Essex Racing Stable Zagatos 1 VEV and 2 VEV (0182R and 0183R respectively) were entered for the Goodwood Tourist Trophy on the 19th August, to be driven by Roy Salvadori and Jim Clark. They were in company with the John Ogier DB4 GT car driven by Inness Ireland against a strong Ferrari contingent. Salvadori came in 3rd behind 2 Ferraris with Jim Clark 4th and Inness Ireland 5th and in doing so the Essex Racing team captured the Team prize.

There were two more races that year in which a DB4 GT Zagato was entered, the Coppe Inter-Europa at Monza on the 10th September. VEV1 was driven by Tony Maggs to come a very creditable 2nd behind. The race was won in Ferrari 250GT (again!!) Another DB4 GT Zagato was also entered and driven by Kerguen and to come 4th. The last competitive outing came at the Paris 1000km on 22nd October 1961. Just one Zagato was placed 1 VEV. Driven by Jim Clark and Inness Ireland, there was little hope that the higher weight and some time difficult handling could overcome a gaggle of fast, reliable Ferraris. It finished a distant 5th. Ferrari launched the all conquering 250 GTO into top flight GT racing for the 1962 season. The DB4 GT and DB4 GT Zagatos were hopelessly outclassed, as the Ferraris swept all before them, though a number of brave attempts were made in the early part of the racing season. On the 7th April at Oulton Park, just one Aston Martin was placed coming in 3rd. Entered by the Essex Racing Team, 1 VEV was driven by Tony Maggs in the GT Touring car race. The last top flight GT race in which the DB4 GT Zagato was to feature was at the Spa Grand Prix on the 20th May 1962. Driven by Mike Salmon it was a brave attempt, but the car was too heavy, and in virtually every department, the Ferraris out performed with further competition coming from a rejuvenated Jaguar corner with the light weight E Types. The Zagatos continued in competition, but would never again be able to feature against lighter, more powerful and better handling competition to be found in international GT racing. From then on, competitive outings were in either club racing or at relatively small regional based circuits and events. Instead, Aston Martin concentrated what racing resources it could spare to compete with Project 212/1, then later Project 214 of which 2 cars were built and raced as works entries at Le Mans and in the other European international GT racing meetings. At club level, the DB4 GT Zagato was a popular car to use, with a number making regular appearances throughout the 1960s. All private entries, the cars were liked and often highly competitive against the available competition. Cars were regularly entered and driven by such drivers as Inness Ireland, Mike Salmon and Roy Salvadori.


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Aston Workshop Zagato  

Zagato recreation book from Aston Workshop

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