The Bertone-bodied Geneva Motor Show Aston Martin DB4GT (above) was sold recently by Bonhams for £3,249,500. The one that put Jackie Stewart on the racetrack to fame probably cost Barry Filer £4,500. Even with its Stewart connections it would be hard pushed to get half as much. Still, not a bad investment if you had the money in 1962. Barry had a couple of other hobby cars, an AC Ace and the original plywood Marcos.
Jackie took the Aston (above) and Marcos to Oulton Park together with the Dumbuck Jaguar E-type FSN1. The task was to see if he was as fast as his brother Jimmy, now retired from racing but well enough regarded by Lofty England to offer a works Jaguar at Le Mans with Mike Hawthorn.
Jackie, Gordon Hunter, Jimmy Pirie and I drove to The Rising Sun at Tarporley in a used Mark IX Jaguar from Dumbuck’s stock. Jimmy drove from Scotland in the E-type with singer Dorothy Paul. Barry and a mechanic brought the Aston and the Marcos on a trailer. It never crossed our minds that we were making motor racing history although it may have crossed Jackie’s. He had been around motor racing long enough to know. He had been to Oulton before and done enough warm-up laps to feel confident. He admired Bob McIntyre from Scotstoun, world championship-class motorcyclist who died at Oulton that August; he had talked about a career driving.
Jackie had been dropped from the British shooting team at the Tokyo Olympics but he was competitive. He knew he could pick up paid drives if he shared Jimmy’s genes. Half a century, three world championships and a distinguished career later we know that he did. Yet he also inherited qualities from their father Bob who was, kind and generous, astute and determined. Jimmy had the first two, Jackie the rest, which was why Jimmy gave up racing under pressure from their mother and Jackie didn’t.
The Bonhams Aston? It was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro when he was only 22 and working for Nuccio Bertone. Giugiaro created his own couture house, Italdesign in 1968 with trend setting designs from the Alfasud to the Volkswagen Golf by way of BMW M1 and Bugatti. The Aston Martin ‘Jet’ Coupé was unique, the last DB4GT built (save six ‘sanction’ Zagatos later) and shown at Geneva in 1961. (Below, Barry Filer with the Aston at Oulton, Jackie in the driving seat. Primitive pits with names of former occupiers, John Surtees, Roy Salvadori)