During scanning, Aston discovered a slight twist in the handmade chassis, which could foul up crucial factors like wheel alignment. The problem likely stemmed from a kink in the original pattern, known as a jig, that workers used to form its shape. Engineers measured the new jig by laser, so it, and thus the chassis, is straight to a fraction of a millimeter.
Features meant to keep drivers alive have improved markedly since the late ’50s, when racers had only seat belts to protect them. The new DB4 isn’t street legal, but to ensure that it’s not a deathtrap on the racing circuit, Aston added lifesavers such as a fire-extinguisher system, a five-point harness, and a burly steel roll cage.
The original DB4 builders cut aluminum body panels by hand, so they didn’t fit perfectly together. The edges of doors and hoods could vary in size and shape, leaving large gaps between panels. For the new version, a press stamps out the pieces and then shapes them against custom molds to create uniform parts that workers then wrap around the chassis.
Engineers used a CT scanner to peek inside an original motor, and found density variations in the aluminum, a byproduct of letting the blocks cool unevenly in the open air after casting. Today, forgers chill the engines in a climate-controlled facility so the metal’s structure remains consistent. That refinement, and others, boosted the car’s horsepower from 266 up to 302.