Bonhams Aston Martin Sale at Newport Pagnell: 21 May 2011 - Preview
|1968 Aston Martin DBS Works Service-restored, 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service' 007 replica: £50,000 - 70,000|
Barn-find DB? - check. LHD, grey DB4 that might double its estimate? - present and correct. Bond-related DBS? – oh yes. It’s late May, the annual Bonhams Aston auction and, as we know, anything could happen...
This year’s all-Aston (and one, rather nice Lagonda, the 1954 3 Litre Two-door Sports Saloon, at £30,000 - 35,000) catalogue includes 46 cars and over 200 items of automobilia. The motor car entry is best described as ‘mid-market’ in that there are no ex-works racers or DB4GTs, and nor is the lower end of the sale packed with i6 DB7s or sorry-for-themselves V8s and Virages.
It’s a sign of the times that all three DBS entries now command good prices, and none more so than the stunning 1968 six-cylinder, restored by Works Service to an 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service' 007 replica.
The car’s detailed history file shows bills for £190,400 to complete the work, so an estimate of £50,000 - 70,000 proves that buying someone else’s restoration is always the way to go. Whether you are a Bondomaniac or not, it’s an attractive car, clearly beautifully restored.
|1954 Lagonda 3 Litre Two-door Sports Saloon: £30,000 - 35,000||1989 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante: £100,000 - 120,000|
The other DBSs are V8-powered, and marque historians will appreciate the fact that one (the 1970 £30,000 - 40,000 California Sage example) was once owned by Denis Flather, a past director of Aston Martin. Moving right up to date, the current CEO of Aston Martin Lagonda, Dr Ulrich Bez, has donated his own 2009 Aston Martin Rapide to be sold in aid of charities providing relief following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The estimate (£80,000 - 100,000) is a reasonable one for the 13,000-mile car, with just one careful – and generous – owner.
No Works Service sale would be the same without a sprinkling of ‘barn-find’ restoration projects which subsequently sell for prices that defy comprehension. Well, the 2011 catalogue is no exception, and it’s over to the bidders on the day to fall over themselves trying to own a car that they can stamp their personality on.
|1965 Aston Martin DB5 Vantage Shooting Brake by Harold Radford: £250,000 - 300,000|
First up - quite literally as it’s Lot 301 - is the 1957 Aston Martin DB Mk III. Carrying an estimate of £15,000 - 17,000, the once Moonbeam Grey car has been in the present ownership since 1970 (in storage since 1971) and as the first production disc-braked Aston it has even more appeal. Lot 309 is the 1963 DB4 Convertible (£80,000 - 140,000) once owned by the wonderfully named agronomist, Professor Geoffrey Emett Blackman, FRS, a former ‘Sibthorpian Professor of Rural Economy at Oxford University’, no less – and that’s worth the sale price alone.
DB5 enthusiasts will like another restoration project: the Dubonnet Rosso 1964 example (£50,000 - 60,000) that was put away into a private garage in 1976 and has seldom seen the light since. This must be one of the last ‘undiscovered’ DB5s and... although it’s none of my business... the metallic red is a bit naff, but please don’t paint it Silver Birch.
|1955 Aston Martin DB2/4 MkII Drophead Coupé: £180,000 - 200,000|
Four of the eight DB2s in the sale are dropheads and all are quite superb. Of particular note is the 1955 DB2/4 MkII Drophead Coupé (£180,000 - 200,000), a wonderful, past AMOC Elite Class Concours d'Elegance class-winner finished in very 1950s cream.
|1955 Aston Martin DB2/4: £70,000 - 90,000||1994 Aston Martin V8 6.3-Litre V8 Vantage Volante: £60,000 - 80,000|
With only one DB5 coupé, those looking for a DB-era, big-capacity six have a choice of five DB6s (ranging from a 1967 coupé for £40,000 - 60,000 to a £200,000 - 250,000, 1968 Mk I Volante) and 10 DB4s, which must be some sort of a record. Pick of the crop has to be the 1963 DB4 Vantage Convertible, at £440,000 - 480,000, just about as perfect as it gets (and something for the restoration-project car’s buyer to aim for).
There’s also the only overtly competition car of the sale, the ex-Lord Downe, RSW-prepared 1960 DB4 Lightweight (£100,000 - 120,000), and a sought-after (LHD) 1959 DB4 in very saleable metallic grey is estimated at £140,000 - 170,000.
On the classic 1970s/80s V8 front, there’s another ‘Bond’ car, the 1986 V8 Volante converted by Works Service to a 'Prince of Wales' specification, 'Living Daylights' 007 replica (£70,000 - 100,000) and a good all-round Aston in the form of the 1989 V8 Series 5, at £40,000 - 45,000.
|1957 Aston Martin DB Mk III: £15,000 - 17,000||2009 Aston Martin Rapide, to be sold in aid of charity: £80,000 - 100,000|
Of the later cars, a rarity comes in the form of the 1994 Aston Martin 6.3-Litre V8 Vantage Volante. This is the very last, four round rear-light model V8, and was originally commissioned by the then current World Middleweight Champion boxer Chris Eubank. It’s one of only eight 6.3-litre V8 Vantage Volantes built and has the full ‘wide-body’ coachwork. Estimate: £60,000 - 80,000.
To finish with something you don’t see very often, how about one of only 12 DB5s converted into shooting brakes by coachbuilder Harold Radford? This Vantage-specification car (£250,000 - 300,000) was converted by Radford early in its life and passed into current ownership in 1972.
The car has been very much ‘part of the family’ for this time and, in the vendor's own words, “she now needs a good home and, more than that, a new life”. What a nice thought.
Prior to the motor cars, over 200 lots of automobilia will be offered, including such gems as ‘An Aston Martin DB2-4 Mark III instruction book’ (£200 – 300) and ‘A steering wheel from Miss Angela Brown's Aston Martin DB3S’.
The latter is estimated at £200 – 300, but you can multiply that tenfold, just you see.
To see the complete lotlisting of the Bonhams 21 May Aston Martin Works Service sale, please click HERE.
You can also see all the cars in the Classic Driver car database.
Text: Steve Wakefield
ClassicInside-The Classic Driver Newsletter