HomeThe MarketMovie star, movie car: Sellers’ DB4GT heading to auction

Movie star, movie car: Sellers’ DB4GT heading to auction


Peter Sellers may be best-known for portraying the bumbling Chief Inspector Clauseau in those Pink Panther movies, but in The Wrong Arm of the Law, he drove a 1961 Aston Martin DB4GT that he liked so much he bought the car (after the engine was replaced with a 4.0-liter Lagonda Rapide unit).

The car as it heads to auction | Tim Scott Fluid Images photo for RM Sotheby’s

The late actor’s Aston Martin has been consigned to RM Sotheby’s 12th annual London auction scheduled for September 5.

According to RM Sotheby’s, the car originally was delivered in Dubonnet Red but was repainted in green for the movie. Sellers sold the car and afterward it was used for Aston Martin Owners Club racing events in the mid-’60s and at some point left England, returning there in 1998.

Back in the UK, the car underwent a full restoration. The consignor has owned the car since 2004.

“The DB4GT was built by Aston Martin as a lightweight, high-performance iteration of the standard DB4,” RM Sotheby’s notes in its news release. “The ‘GT’ version was constructed with lightweight aluminum metalwork, while the wheelbase was also reduced, resulting in many DB4GTs having no rear seats – though this example retains the ‘occasional seats’ in the back. 

Another still from the film

“The standard DB4 saw production from 1958 to 1963, with a mere 75 standard ‘GT’ models built, making this car the ultimate collector’s coup, whether a film buff or discerning Aston Martin enthusiast. The DB4 was later succeeded by the Aston Martin DB5, which would go on to laud its own film success as a car forever associated with the James Bond movie franchise.”

“This is an historic car,” Felix Archer, RM Sotheby’s car specialist, is quoted in the news release. “Not only is a DB4Gt one of the most desirable grand touring cars of the 1960s, but it’s fitting that this particular Aston Martin, with its close ties to British cinema, should become one of our headline lots at this year’s London Sale. Peter Sellers’ love of cars was undeniable — he owned 83 by the age of 39 — and he’s been long linked with the Aston Martin brand.”

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


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