Unique Aston Martin DB4 Convertible Headed to Retromobile Paris

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Aston Martin DB4 Convertible Chassis Number 1173

Only DB4 Convertible with the GT engine is being displayed mid-restoration at Retromobile in France.

Running through Feb. 10, Paris’ recently opened Retomobile show offers attendees a chance to check out one of the rarest classic Aston Martin convertibles in a very unusual form. DB4 Convertible chassis number 1173 is currently being fully restored by Aston Martin Works, and as the only one built with the powerful DB4 GT engine, it is being shown to the crowd without the body.

While showing such a rare piece of automotive history at a major show like Retromobile without a body seems like a strange move, this will allow spectators to see the unique engine and the quality of the undercarriage restoration process in the best way possible.

DB4 Convertible #1173

Aston Martin DB4 Convertible chassis number 1173 was built at the company’s factory in Newport Pagnell back in 1963. That location is used today by the Aston Martin Works division, which handles sales, service and restoration of classic Aston Martin vehicles, so #1173 is being fully restored in the same place that it was first built.

Aston Martin only made 70 examples of the DB4 Convertible built between 1961 and 1963, but chassis number 1173 is the most unique, as it was built with the engine from the spicier DB4 GT. This car was originally built for a personal friend of David Brown, owner of Aston Martin at the time, explaining why it was the only one built with the 314-horsepower GT engine rather than the standard 240-horsepower mill.

This classic Aston is currently being restored to like-new condition and once completed, it will be ready for sale. But before it gets its new skin, DB4 #1173 will be displayed at Retromobile through Feb. 10 as just a chassis and engine.

No Body

While it seems crazy to showcase such a special car without the body, this event gives guests a rare chance to see under the skin of a legendary sports car. Those people who come to Retromobile will know what a DB4 Convertible looks like, but the odds are good that none of them have seen one without its body and it is a guarantee that none have seen a GT-powered DB4 Convertible without its skin.

The picture above is the only one offered by Aston Martin thus far, but in it, we can see that the rolling chassis of DB4 Convertible #1173 has the transmission, wheels, brakes, fuel tank and steering wheel, so it can be moved around, but it lacks the body or other interior bits. Some people won’t understand why an incomplete car is on display, but those who can appreciate the uniqueness of this display are sure to love getting a chance to see under the sleek skin of the classic DB4 Convertible.

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"Before I was old enough to walk, my dad was taking me to various types of racing events, from local drag racing to the Daytona 500," says Patrick Rall, a lifetime automotive expert, diehard Dodge fan, and respected auto journalist for over 10 years. "He owned a repair shop and had a variety of performance cars when I was young, but by the time I was 16, he was ready to build me my first drag car – a 1983 Dodge Mirada that ran low 12s. I spent 10 years traveling around the country, racing with my dad by my side. While we live in different areas of the country, my dad still drag races at 80 years old in the car that he built when I was 16 while I race other vehicles, including my 2017 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and my 1972 Dodge Demon 340.

"Although I went to college for accounting, my time in my dad’s shop growing up allowed me the knowledge to spend time working as a mechanic before getting my accounting degree, at which point I worked in the office of a dealership group. While I was working in the accounting world, I continued racing and taking pictures of cars at the track. Over time, I began showing off those pictures online and that led to my writing.

"Ten years ago, I left the accounting world to become a full-time automotive writer and I am living proof that if you love what you do, you will never “work” a day in your life," adds Rall, who has clocked in time as an auto mechanic, longtime drag racer and now automotive journalist who contributes to nearly a dozen popular auto websites dedicated to fellow enthusiasts.

"I love covering the automotive industry and everything involved with the job. I was fortunate to turn my love of the automotive world into a hobby that led to an exciting career, with my past of working as a mechanic and as an accountant in the automotive world provides me with a unique perspective of the industry.

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