12/05/2003 10th May 2003 - Auction Review - Bonhams Aston Martin Sale at Newport Pagnell
Once again Bonhams, Kingsley Riding-Felce’s ‘Works Service’ team and marque specialist Nicholas Mee showed how it's done at Newport Pagnell with the smooth running of their annual all-Aston Auction. All the big-ticket lots went, as did the majority of cars, the highlight being the 1961 DB4GT at £309,500 including premium.
Auctioneer James Knight was clearly in the mood for a marathon session as he elected to chair not only the cars but the automobilia as well which, as ever, started proceedings and the DBR4/5 single cylinder Grand Prix Development Engine topped this section with a right-on-estimate figure of £5,175. The special ‘Bond’ memorabilia, a first for the event, gave many people the opportunity to trade some interesting items at relatively small money.
For those who have not been to the event before it is not only a chance to pick up a car, but also meet friends in the Club and view the magnificent Works Service facilities available to owners. The photos shown here were taken the night before the event and will, hopefully, give an idea of the professionalism of the setting.
To business. In general fair to good market prices were achieved for lots which had realistic reserves. £18,400 bought a V600 Twin-Supercharged engine on stand – the ultimate development of the 5.3 litre engine, only fitted to last-in-the-line cars. Two DB2s were entered, a nice black 1954 2/4 sold for £24,150 while a car which attracted a lot of attention, a 1955 DB2/4 MkII Drophead, £58,700 and this represented a superb opportunity to buy a concours winner. Of the latest models a 2000 DB7 V12 Vantage was bid to £54,000 but did not sell but the LHD 1997 DB7 Volante did, at £52,650. Good price for a 6 year-old straight six car.
A good proportion of the sale was the company’s mainstay model, the V8 model of the 70s and 80s, and highlights included a LHD 1987 V8 Volante, with one lady owner from new, going for £66,400, as well as a very nice LHD 1990 V8 Vantage Series 3, in all the right colours, for £43,300. The V8 Zagato did not sell, being bid to £62,500 surely a whisker short of its reserve.
First of the big-hitters was the 1961 DB4GT. Totally restored and ready to go in all the big race, and owner’s meetings, it achieved a hammer price of £280,000, that’s £309,500 including premium. Most present agreeing the price was spot-on for buyer and seller alike. The 2000 Vantage Le Mans, with the 600bhp V600 upgrade, went for £166,500.
James Bond being a sub-theme to the sale in the automobilia section, also featured large in the cars with the ex-Die Another Day Vanquish. A 2002 car, totally unmodified, but used in the ‘normal’ driving sequences of the film, it sold for £210,500 including premium and will no doubt be worth a lot more in years to come.
In your writer’s opinion some of the bargains of the meeting were several very nice DB6s such as the 1967 DB6 Saloon (18 miles since restoration) for £32,200 or the 1970 DB6 Mk2 Vantage, with extensive work by specialists Aston Engineering, for £45,500.
All done, many owners moved from Newport Pagnell to Waddesdon Manor, where the Club’s Spring Dinner was to be held, and then on the Sunday Waddesdon was again the magnificent setting for the annual Concours.