11/05/2004 Bonhams Aston Martin Sale at Newport Pagnell, 8th May 2004 - Review
Despite the best attempts of the British weather to spoil an important event in the Aston Martin and Auction calendar, last Saturday’s Newport Pagnell Sale passed as efficiently as ever. Prices for V8 models showed a definite upturn, honours for top-selling car went to the ex-Bond Vanquish (£144,500) and the two competition cars also sold well.
1995 DB7GT Factory Prototype 001 sold for £78,500
As ever, proceeding commenced with a marathon session of nearly 200 items of marque and Bond automobilia, the highlight of which being five signed 'James Bond' photographs (Connery, Lazenby, Moore, Dalton and Brosnan) selling for nearly ten times estimate at £14,950 (including buyers’ premium).
Jamie Knight started the motor car auction proper in his customary humorous, yet efficient, style and the first ten lots (with the absence of the DB AR1 Roadster which ‘missed the cut’ due to transport delays by 24 hours) were sold. The automatic 1970 DB6 Mk2 Saloon going for well over estimate at £38,900, likewise the 1990 Virage Coupé, a car that drew many admirers on the day, for £33,350. The 1995 DB7GT Factory Prototype 001 ‘Gentleman’s Racer’ looked magnificent and was sold, we believe, to a current Club racing driver for £78,500. Fantastic car that deserves to be maintained as it is.
The other racing car, the ex-Lord Downe/Richard Williams/Mike Salmon, 1960 DB4 4.2-Litre sold £67,500, a price that’s spot-on in the market. Another beautifully prepared RSW car that - despite lacking a 4.5 litre motor - would be very competitive in the right hands for Club competition.
The Pur Sang-Rose DBR1 Half-Scale Child's Car 001 went for £10,000 plus commission (£11,500) so someone will be jumping the waiting-list for these exquisite miniatures by paying the list plus premium for it.
1953 DB2/4 MkI Saloon sold for £23,575
Calm before the storm, set-up on the Friday
Of the non-sellers, the DB4GT proves there is a line to be drawn in the sand on model-pricing and perhaps with this car we have reached it. A reasonable example that would have been more desirable in green, black or silver grey, the car just didn’t find the buyer on the day. Neither did the 1950 Prince Bertil DB2 Drophead (that may well be ‘post-saled’ as I write) nor the 1966 ‘Zagato Replica’ based on a DB6 that in all honesty was an unhappy combination of (incorrect) shapes with only a single-plug engine, albeit nicely finished. In your writer’s opinion the best car in the sale should have found a buyer, a superbly presented 1961 DB4 Series III Coupe to DB4GT Specification in Aston Green and yellow nose, with the bucket seats trimmed in DBR1 green check and all sorts of little racing touches - and a full 4.5 litre motor.
1960 DB4 'Project' sold for £33,350
DB7GT and DB4 Lightweight - both sold
Two restoration projects found new homes. The 1965 DB5 for £27,025 and the 1960 DB4 Series 2 £33,350, the latter going directly to the new Heritage Restoration Centre to be the subject of a complete restoration under the careful guidance of Kingsley Riding-Felce, Director Aston Martin Works Service. As far as the DB5 ‘Project’ is concerned, an apparently reasonable 1963 example (complete and running) went for £54,300 - how much work on the pile of bits can you get done for £27,000? Ah, the romance of the restoration project.
One interesting aspect of the sale was the definite firming of prices on V8s. The excellent 1986 Aston Martin V8 Vantage selling for £52,100 was around £11,000 more than a similar model sold at 2003's auction. With this and the good Virage prices achieved, people are realising the true value of the last-of-the-line, bespoke V8-engined cars from Newport Pagnell.
As ever, a superbly organised and interesting event, and although prices were somewhat subdued a fairly healthy 65% of motor car entries was sold, on top of a successful automobilia sale.
Bonhams next Motor Car sale is at the Monaco Historic meeting on 15th May. CLICK HERE to see all the entries in the Classic Driver Car Database.
Please CLICK HERE to see the full results of the Aston Auction.
Bonhams Motor Cars Dept.
10 Salem Rd
London W2 4DL