Bonhams Aston Martin Sale at Newport Pagnell - 17th May 2008 - Review

Startling prices are always a headline feature of Bonhams’ annual Aston Martin auction and 2008 was no exception, with the highlight being the world-record-breaking £1,079,500 paid for an original and unrestored 1961 DB4GT with just 18,300 recorded miles.

This impressive figure, against an estimate of £650,000-£750,000, formed only part of the best-ever results achieved at the Aston Martin Works Service-hosted event at Newport Pagnell, helped in no small way by the large number of Europeans keen to capitalise on the current weakness of sterling against the euro. Indeed, by its end, the auction had seen 97 per cent of lots sold and realised a record £4.7 million, no less than double the figure achieved last year.

Another world-record price was the £254,500 (including buyer’s premium, as all our prices do) paid for a 1976 Lagonda V8 Series 1, one of only seven examples built and complete with 7-litre engine and discreet modern updates, against an estimate of £140,000-£180,000. And while a ‘barn find’ 1962 DB4 Series Four Saloon was knocked down for £67,500 against its predictably low estimate of £15,000-£20,000, a little less than the £78,000 paid for a similar car in 2006, the £309,500 paid for a 1968 DB6 Volante was nearly double its £150,000 bottom estimate. Other DB4s also sold strongly, with a Series Two and a Series Five Vantage both fetching £122,500 and a Series Four £144,500, DB5 money not so very long ago. Two of the latter model were sold at a healthy £183,000 and £199,500, respectively.

1961 Aston Martin DB4 Series IV Saloon - Sold for £144,500

1977 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Saloon - Sold for £40,000

Among the most surprising prices paid were £84,000 for a 1963 Lagonda Rapide, albeit with manual gearbox, against an £18,000-£22,000 estimate, and the £89,500 for a restoration project 1957 DB2/4 Mk II Saloon, estimate £12,000-£15,000, which raised much applause and no doubt saw long-term owner, racing ace Richard Attwood, laughing all the way to the bank.

A 1955 drop-head example of the same model, one of 16 produced, fared well, too, at £183,000 against an estimate of £80,000-£100,000, yet the much more desirable, ex-works demonstrator 1953 DB2/4 drop-head coupe, factory-fitted virtually from new with a DB3S engine and raced by Angela Brown, baffled by fetching, in comparison, £150,000 from a £135,000-£165,000 estimate.

1961 Aston Martin DB4 GT Coupé -

Sold for £1,079,500

Of the more modern Astons on offer, the Works Service-prepared 1986 V8 Vantage Zagato raced by comedian Rowan Atkinson also did well, selling for £122,500 after lengthy bidding, against a £70,000-£90,000 estimate. Bargain of the day had to be the £51,000 successfully bid for a 1996 V8 Vantage, one hell of a lot of car for the money. The Phoenix Racing and Dubai-winning DBR9, however, with an estimate of £360,000-£400,000, failed to sell for a top bid of £340,000.

At the other end of the scale, and encouraging for DBS owners, was the £23,575 paid for a 1971 non-Vantage example, against an estimate of £10,000-£12,000, and the £20,700 for its later incarnation, a Vantage from 1973 (though rarer at one of 70 built), from a £18,000-£22,000 estimate, indicating that the much-underrated DBS is at last being appreciated.

1963 Aston Martin DB4 Series V Vantage Saloon - Sold for £122,500

1963 Aston Martin Lagonda Rapide Saloon - Sold for £84,000

Notable among the 258 automobilia lots were two numbered imperial gauge bricks from the demolished historic Aston factory opposite Works Service, each of which raised £5,750 for the Aston Martin Heritage Trust.

Such was the huge attendance, the only disappointing aspect of this ninth running of the auction was that the caterers had run out of hog roast by lunchtime!

1986 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Zagato Coupé - Sold for £122,500

1953 Aston Martin DB2/4 Drophead Coupé - Sold for £150,000

1987 Aston Martin V8 Volante Series 2 Convertible - Sold for £62,000

1976 Lagonda V8 Series 1 Four-Door Saloon - Sold for £254,500

Please CLICK HERE to see the full results.

Bonhams Motor Cars Dept.
101 New Bond Street
London W1S 1SR

Tel: +44 (0)20 7468 5801
Fax: +44 (0)20 7468 5802 Email: [email protected]

Text - Paul Chudecki
Photos - Tim Cottingham of one of the world's most useful resources for all things Aston Martin

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