26/04/2012 Bonhams Aston Martin Sale at Newport Pagnell, 19 May 2012: Preview
1991 Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato Sanction II: £1.2 million - 1.5 million
This year’s all-Aston sale at Newport Pagnell is significant, as it will be one of the first big events to be held at the all-new ‘Works’ facility in Tickford St. Rising to the occasion, Bonhams will offer a ‘Sanction II’ DB4GT Zagato as the headlining lot.
As many will know, the Sanction II Aston Martin DB4GTs with bodywork by Zagato were a continuation of an original, limited production run that ended in 1963. Only 19 cars were built in period but, under the authorisation of Aston Martin’s then joint chairmen, Victor Gauntlett and Peter Livanos, a further four cars were commissioned using chassis numbers originally allocated to the Zagato project.
With bodywork completed by Zagato in Italy, and superlative craftsmanship by the team at R.S. Williams Ltd (Williams’ own Zagato was used as a template), the four cars that resulted were virtually indistinguishable from restored originals. They also carried a punchy ‘RSW’ 4.2-litre engine and many discreet modifications to aid handling.
Formerly the property of HRH The Prince of Wales, 1994 Aston Martin Virage Volante 6.3-Litre: £50,000 - 70,000
The original 19 rarely come to auction and neither, in truth, do Sanction IIs, so all eyes will be on auctioneer James Knight when Lot 239 comes up. Estimate: £1.2 million - 1.5 million (perhaps a third of the price of a 1960s original).
But, as ever with the Newport Pagnell sale, it’s not all about big figures and high-rolling collectors. No, when Kingsley Riding-Felce opens the doors to the customarily immaculate workshops, it’s an opportunity for all members of the Aston Martin fraternity to get together in the broad church that is Works Service (now known simply as ‘Aston Martin Works’) and bid on cars in all price ranges.
There’s a £12,000 - 15,000 1990 Virage Coupé, for example. Or three DB7s estimated at no more than £28,000 each (the 2002 V12 Vantage Volante for £24,000 - 28,000).
Converted to 'Prince of Wales' specification by Aston Martin Works Service in 2003, 1989 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante: £100,000 - 120,000
And how about the 1952 DB2 that will kick the motor car section off at 14:30 on Saturday afternoon? It’s only £20,000 - 30,000... Now, at this point it’s only fair to say ‘barn-find’ – and this car is its close cousin, a ‘project’ – and regular Works Service sale attendees will know that just about anything can happen to the price of these once bidders really get the bit between their teeth. In addition, there’s a slightly more complete, 'barn-find'-labelled 1955 DB2/4 Drophead Coupé for £70,000 - 90,000.
On a serious note, the catalogue contains some fine examples of cars very much in vogue with marque enthusiasts and collectors alike. Entries such as the 1963 DB5 Convertible (£300,000 - 350,000), the 1962 DB4 Vantage Convertible (£320,000 - 360,000) and the 1964 DB5. The latter, at £240,000 - 260,000 is an earlier car but does have the more desirable 5-speed ZF 'box. It’s also in ‘James Bond’ silver and black hide trim, if that matters to you.
1964 Aston Martin DB5: £240,000 - 260,000
The Earls Court Motor Show, 1952 Aston Martin DB2: £80,000 - 100,000
1987 Aston Martin V8 7.0-Litre: £90,000 - 120,000
Prince William and his new bride caused a stir on their wedding day last year, leaving Buckingham Palace in Prince Charles’s DB6 Mk 2 Volante. Now, you too can enjoy ex-Royal Household Aston Martin motoring when Lot 223 comes up: it’s a 1994 Virage Volante 6.3-Litre, once owned by HRH Prince Charles and latterly to be seen on display at Aston Martin’s Gaydon headquarters. And the price? A princely £50,000 - 70,000.
Of the other, more recent cars, the 1971 Aston Martin DBS Estate (£50,000 - 70,000) is interesting and could well spring some surprises on the day, and we like the two grey V8 Coupés (a 1987 V8 7.0-Litre for £90,000 - 120,000 and a 'Living Daylights 007 Replica', 1985 V8 Vantage at £90,000 - 120,000).
On the DB2 front there are some significant cars such as the Graber-bodied 1952 DB2 Vantage Drophead Coupé (£260,000 - 300,000) and the rather nice Earls Court Motor Show, 1952 DB2 Saloon competitively priced at £80,000 - 100,000.
The only DBS of this type built, purchased by the current owner in 1975, 1971 Aston Martin DBS Estate: £50,000 - 70,000
1988 Aston Martin Lagonda: £15,000 - 20,000
1963 Aston Martin DB5 Convertible: £300,000 - 350,000
Before the motor cars come under the hammer, an extensive selection of over 160 lots of automobilia will be sold, much of it without reserve. If your 'GT is running suspiciously low to the ground, you might be interested in Lot 6, a ‘set of coil springs for an Aston Martin DB4GT, £60 – 130’.
All in all, another great catalogue from Bonhams and a day out in Newport Pagnell that never disappoints.
Bonhams' Saturday 19 May sale will be held at Aston Martin Works, Tickford St, Newport Pagnell, Bucks MK16 9AN. Automobilia 11:00, motor cars 14:30.