Friday, 4 September 2015

Aston Martin DB4: wheels, vents and other differences

Another 309 Aston Martin Competition came in this week from France. As you'll see from the photos below it was covered in transfers that shouldn't have been there but at least they came off easily and hadn't been hiding scratches! It was missed by most people or possibly ignored as there was a risk I suppose of damage below the add-ons.

All the 309s have the free spinning wheels but there are two distinct variants and two shades. The first ones had an open vent on the bonnet. Well, it wasn't really open but it looked open and is quite obviously different to the closed bump of later models. This is the first of the later type I have had. the other two are the earlier types. 

The underside of the bonnet on later types is silver painted but on the early ones it is turquoise. The shade differences are between turquoise and white and a similar, possibly slightly greener turquoise with a distinctly less white cream. Photographs really seldom distinguish these well. This one is cream but looks white! 

As it arrived - in need of a clean and some transfer removal!

Another pair of Astons also came in as I found these two going very cheaply and just in need of some cleaning. The first is quite scarce as it has free spinning wheels. These were only made very late in the model's quite short life and are few and far between. they look really good and I shall be looking around for a red one with these too now.

I think you'll find there are four versions of each of the red and yellow #218s. This is the last, with the free wheels, closed vent, silver under the bonnet and no holes in the base, very similar to the 309 above, in fact.

The first type has flat fixed hubs (or the reversed wheels perhaps, although they're less commonly encountered because the car came with stick-on spoke effect discs that wouldn't stick so well on the shaped side). It has an open vent and holes in the base with the model number too.

The second type has cast wheels. They are still fixed and supposed to look like spoked wheels but really don't, being a bit clumpy and nothing like as intricate as they should be. If only Corgi had had their superb wire wheels available at the time. They have open vents and the same base as before.

The third type may not exist. It would be either the cast or flat bug variety with a closed vent. I haven't seen any of either anywhere so there may just be the three types. You'll find each in several shades of red, from brick red through to quite a dark red and yellow from creamy yellow to very bright, fresh shade of daffodil.

The casting does seem to vary considerably. the latest additions are considerably better than those I had written about before. From what I can tell, though, collectors are not too concerned with ugly cast flaws, provided the models are genuinely original.

The price difference between with box and without is not as extreme as for the Land Rover I wrote about recently but does seem to add £100 or more to the value of a good 309 and not that much less for a good 218! These are well worth collecting and I shall continue to add more. Even if they don't sell that quickly I am happy to ahve them lying around as I work!

I am still looking for one to add wire wheels to but have one possibility. More on that if I get it.

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