22/05/2012 Bonhams Aston Martin Sale at Newport Pagnell, 19 May 2012: Review
£1.2 million, 1991 Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato Sanction II with £338,750, 1971 Aston Martin DBS Estate by FLM Panelcraft
The annual all-Aston sale at Newport Pagnell generally throws up a surprise or two; we’ve had sensational ‘barn-finds’ and even a £41k gearknob. In 2012, after a lengthy bidding battle, auctioneer James Knight sold the 1971 DBS Estate for a hammer price of £300,000 – against an estimate of £50,000 – 70,000.
That equates to nigh-on £340k with buyer’s premium, a sizeable sum for a highly fancied, rare Aston. On display next to the sale-topping (£1.2m) 1991 DB4GT Zagato Sanction II, it impressed the saleroom, and is probably the best-looking estate conversion on a DB-era Aston… and a one-off. Hence the price.
The frenzied bidding on the special DBS set the tone for the majority of the sale, with things slightly easing off towards the finish.
From the ‘restoration project’ angle, while the first example, a 1952 DB2 Sports Saloon Project with non-original engine, sold for a realistic £36,800 some worried that the days of ‘barn-finds’ achieving prices way in excess of fully functioning motor cars was over. That might be the case with cars having no special rarity, but as £611,900 for the 1962 DB4 Vantage Convertible requiring some re-commissioning proves, show collectors a buying opportunity for a genuinely rare car and they’ll jump at it.
The all-new Aston Martin Works provided a stunning location for the sale
Other entries needing substantial work included the 1955 DB2/4 Drophead Coupé (£113,500), the 1963 Lagonda Rapide (£57,500), the 1962 Aston DB4 Series IV (£191,900) and the 1964 Aston Martin DB5, a red with tan car achieving £191,900.
As a guide, a ‘James Bond spec’, silver-with-black-hide 1964 Aston Martin DB5 in good condition sold for £270,300.
1985 'Living Daylights 007 Replica' V8 Vantage and 1994 Aston Martin Vantage
1964 Aston Martin DB5: Sold for £270,300
1989 Aston Martin V8 Volante: Sold for £59,740
Of the V8s, there were some good buying opportunities to be had with any of the four V8 Volantes, only the 1979 7.0-Litre going above £60k. It sold for £91,100.
Your author has missed his vocation as a tipster, as the 1994 Virage Volante 6.3-Litre, formerly the property of HRH The Prince of Wales, sold well at £119,100, just £900 shy of the figure I confidently predicted, having driven it only a few days before.
As always, the Heritage Centre was popular with visitors
The big, four-door 1970s Series 1 Lagondas have their followers. As one of just seven cars constructed, and in the finest of fettle, it was inevitable that the 1975 7.0-Litre Saloon would sell well. It did, for £337,500.
And any other surprises? Eyebrows were raised when a perfectly nice, but not extraordinary 1970 DB6 Mk2 Vantage went for £250,140 (an only slightly less desirable, non-Vantage 1968 DB6 later sold for £152,700). The DB2s in general did not fair so well, although the Graber-bodied 1952 DB2 Vantage Drophead Coupé realized £270,300.
The auction apart, it was the first time many had visited the all-new Aston Martin Works premises. As always, Kingsley Riding-Felce’s team rose to the occasion, presenting spotless workshops and the ever-fascinating Heritage area which served as an inspiration for would-be owners: “Now, that could be MY Aston in there for restoration…” A happy day out among friends.