If you ask us what one of our most memorable old-timer restorations is, the Aston Martin DB4 Series II-V quickly comes to mind.
It had been the classic car dream of one of our customers for many years, who had his eye on a DB4 in France but was unable to convince the current owner of a sale. That particular owner, a Frenchman from Rennes, had once bought the Aston Martin as his absolute dream car. He drove it for a while and then had the DB4 series II converted to “covered headlights” so that the model corresponded to the later V series. His plan to restore the car a few years later, however, fell apart unexpectedly due to some financial setbacks. For years, his dream classic car was parked, at first in a garage and later in the corner of a courtyard, waiting for its restoration. All these years, the Frenchman hoped he would be able to restore his Aston Martin DB4 in honour. But he failed to manage financially and the state of the old-timer gradually deteriorated, until the customer finally called in our help.
Following six months of negotiations, we finally managed to convince the Frenchman of a sale. A deal that will ultimately remain symbolic for both owners: the Frenchman received a fully restored Jaguar E-Type Series I in exchange for the DB4 and was thus able to live his dream of driving an old-timer for the first time, while the new owner was finally able to embrace his dream car. But above all: both parties would eventually see this unique Aston Martin DB4 Series II-V restored to its full glory after all these years. In fact, we found an agreement that everyone was happy with.
After months of consultation, the DB4 finally entered the workshop, but the major restoration challenge only just started for our team. An unobstructed view of the damaged car, which had to be pulled from the weeds and surrounding car wrecks after years of storage in a place with no sun, rain or a snow cover, provided a clearer prediction of a long and costly renovation. We planned several restoration phases over several months.
In the first phase, the car had to be completely disassembled to see what its actual condition was and which parts should or should not be replaced. To do this, we completely stripped the DB4: our mechanical team deployed the aluminium panels from around the steel pipes and carefully cut the roof at the height of the windscreen pillars. What they found under the body was somewhat surprising: the car proved to have stood the test of time well and the number of parts needing replacement was not too bad. That made the job somewhat easier. We decided to paint all parts with a special insulating primer and filled all cavities in the chassis with a special wax – both of which products were not available at the time, but are essential nowadays for the life of a classic car as it creates protection between the steel tube frame and the aluminium plate and prevents chemical reactions (electrolysis) due to seeping moisture.
It then took our mechanical team at least two months of dedicated work to sand the car down to the base coat in the second phase of the renovation and then repaint the car in its original sky-blue colour. The mechanics also had to be completely overhauled, from engine, transmission and suspension to brakes and steering.
In phase three, we worked on the complete interior. The seat upholstery, the carpets, the roof panel, the steering wheel, the dashboard including instruments and the windows were restored or renewed. All of this was done in the correct materials so that the authentic character of this iconic car was preserved. Finally, all mechanical elements were reassembled.
After months of work, the time had come: the fully-restored Aston Martin DB4 Series II-V left the Marreyt workshop in all its splendour. To this day, the owner is still enchanted by the beauty of this classic car, as are we. It is a restoration that is engraved in our memory, but also one of the most beautiful classic car dream fulfilments in our history.