BookShelf: Aston Martin DB4 G.T. Continuation Review

This must have been a difficult book to write. Where do you start? James Page does his usual excellent job and the book is extremely well produced, as you would expect from Porter Press.  

The difficulty, strangely, is the narrowness of the subject matter because, by its very nature, the DB4 G.T. Continuation is an homage to a car of the past. Therefore there isn't any new design or breakthrough in technology, instead, Aston Martin's challenge has been to produce a car as close to the original as possible, and that doesn't provide a huge opportunity for content.

What Page has done, therefore is to produce a book with a potted history of Aston Martin, from the very earliest days, competition background (particularly from the '50s and '60s) and a comprehensive overview of the genesis of DB4 G.T. back in period. All of this is very well done, beautifully illustrated and lovingly produced. The end result does have the feel of a very lavish sales brochure, and in many ways is none the worse for that but you are left wondering just who the book is aimed at.DB4 G.T.  

This probably would not have been the place to discuss the rights and wrongs of producing these cars but the questions hang in the air; is each of the Continuation cars 'real' DB4 G.T. or a pastiche? It's understandable that, although the production run sold out quickly, the list of owners is a closely guarded secret and so their comments are not available.  It is an intriguing thought as to whether these cars are going to go into temperature controlled hibernation as investments or otherwise. The conundrum is also that, because of European crash test legislation, these cars are not road legal but, because they are built to original specification they would need to undergo significant development to be a competitive proposition in 'modern' historic racing. James Page does mention in the book that there was originally talk of a one make race series for the cars but owners were reluctant to get involved with such expensive machinery. That probably, more than anything else, answers the question about the way these cars should be seen; investment pieces and not racing cars. It would be nice to have explored some of these issues.

All-in-all this is a pleasant read which satisfies the soul with some excellent images, both from the period and more modern day photographs. It leaves a lot of unanswered questions and a lot of areas for debate, but perhaps that was the plan.

Aston Martin DB 4 G.T. has 128 pages in 240 x 280 mm landscape format with 120 images, and is available from for £40.00.

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