Slot Classic CJ-11

When Aston Martin released the DB4 in Agust of 1958 it made a great impact over the motor racing world. However, it wasn’t a serious competitor for the GT races. The company was aware of that, and just a year later appeared a new coupe featuring a shorter wheelbase and a sharp nose: the DB4 GT.

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This new model, enlightened in more than 220lb, mainly in the coachwork, was a serious contender for the GT races. Still quite heavy, though.

The last word took place in 1960. Zagato made a special coachwork for 19 units of the DB4 GT, showing up in competition in 1961. Of these 19 units, two were official from factory -the registrated as 1 VEV and the 2 VEV- being the rest sold to teams or private pilots. Despite the efforts of the english brand, there were again victims of their contenders. The new, light and brilliant Zagato wasn’t as fast as its competitors, getting only ocasional victories. But they were impressive machines, and probably, the brawniest and prettiest coachwork. The 2 VEV hit the track on the 19th of May of 1961. It was enrolled by the Essex Racing team of John Ogier in Le Mans on June, together with the 1 VEV. The 2 VEV drivers were the australian Lex Davison and Bib Stilwell, while the english Jack Fairmain and the french Bernard Consten would drive the 1 VEV. A lot of support came from the factory, but the race was a disaster: the light green cars were struggling after three hours due to some overused motor nuts. They were running in the 15th and 17th positions, behind the light DBR1s. Another Zagato -driven by the french Jean Kerguen- was in the last hour of race in the 9th position, having to withdraw due to electric problems.

In August another participation of the Aston Martin Zagato in Goodwood took place: Jim Clark with the 2 VEV -again in a strong opossition with Stirling Moss and Parkes with their Ferrari 250 GT- and Roy Salvadori with the 1 VEV. The boxes stops were made in the third hour of competition when Clark was first, making a whole change of the four tyres and gasoline refuel in 65.4 seconds (quite a difference against the present 10 seconds). Finally Salvadori and Clark were third and fourth respectively, being unable to stop the speed of the Ferrari.

Subsequently other pilots took part in other races with these Zagatos: Ireland in Sneterton, Maggs and Whitmore in the 1000 Km of Paris… Recently, in May of 1990, the 2 VEV was put under the hands of a restorer in Monaco. After this new restoration, it was back to work in hands of Nick Cussons, winning the European FIA Classic Car Championship in 1992. It’s a shame that it suffered a serious accident in the Island of Man the next year… needing a total restoration following the original specifications. Nowadays, this car still keeps the glow that fascinated the motor racing world back in 1961.


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