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Bonhams sells Aston at world record price in Paris

As part of Rétromobile 2015, Bonhams held an auction at the Grand Palais in Paris – at which it recorded a new world record for an Aston Martin DB5 Convertible. The sale price of the rare LHD car topped out at just under 1.9 million euros…

World record for an Aston Martin DB5 Convertible

The record sum of 1,897,500 euros (including premium) shouldn’t have come as a huge surprise, however, as Bonhams had set its pre-sale estimate at a high but clearly not-unrealistic 1.6 to 1.9 million euros – a value helped by the fact that only 39 left-hand-drive examples of the open-topped DB5 were built, and that the winning bidder for the 1965 Aston had to compete against a rival on the phone. The final figure is considered the highest amount ever paid for a production version of this Aston model. Another high-seller was the Aston Martin DB4 Convertible, of which only 21 LHD examples were built, hence the expectation of over 1.2 million euros… a figure that was reached, but only just. Meanwhile a 1966 AC Cobra 289 Mark II, formerly the  property of Amschel Rothschild, sold for 937,250 euros.

Good results for pre-War cars

This was swiftly followed by the sale of the 1930 Alfa Romeo 6C-1750 Grand Sport – a car that was once driven by the famous Russian racer Boris Ivanowski – for 1,184,500 euros. And the fact that early automotive history continues to have a place on the collector scene was further cemented, if such proof is needed, by the sale of the 1922 Gerin Aérodyne Saloon Prototype for 184,000 euros, and the 1904 Panhard-Levassor Four-cylinder 35hp Sports Two-Seater (a car eligible for the London to Brighton Run) for 750,000 euros.

Senna's kart and Pope's Harley

In the relatively lower price segment, there were some interesting results that once again illustrated how illustrious previous owners can drive up the price. The Harley-Davidson once “blessed with the signature of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI (and later received by Pope Francis)” found a buyer willing to pay 46,000 euros for arguably the world’s most sacred motorcycle; and a 1981 kart that was raced by Ayrton Senna sold for nearly 60,000 euros. With total sales proceeds of almost 21.5 million euros, Bonhams recorded its highest-ever results at a Paris auction – partly due, however, to a huge sales catalogue of some 145 vehicles. As with the RM Auctions sale the day before – and at the Arizona auction week earlier this year – there was a feeling that the market’s buying frenzy has weakened, just a little.

All lots from the Bonhams sale can be found in Classic Driver.

Photos: Rémi Dargegen for Classic Driver © 2015

The top 5 Bonhams results from Paris:

Lot 345 / 1965 Aston Martin DB5 Convertible LHD / 1,897,500

Lot 375 / 1962 Aston Martin DB4 Convertible LHD / 1,219,000

Lot 381 / 1930 Alfa Romeo 6C-1750 Grand Sport /1,184,500

Lot 349 / 1966 AC Cobra 289 Mark II Roadster / 937,250

Lot 373 / 1930 Isotta Fraschini 8A SS Cabriolet / 931,500