Bonhams Aston Martin Sale at Newport Pagnell - 9th May 2009 - Review

Auctioneer Jamie Knight was on sparkling form at this year’s Works Service sale. The top-selling car was an entry featured on Classic Driver only recently: the 1965 Aston Martin DB5, achieving a ‘with-premium’ price of £249,000.

As always with the annual extravaganza at Newport Pagnell, the occasion is more than the sum of its parts. You will find senior members of AML’s management team talking to AMOC members, old friends finding the time to catch up on restoration projects and tut-tutting at the estimates on cars once in their garages, the chance to look around Kingsley Riding-Felce’s spotless Works Service workshops - and even buy some Aston Martin automobilia or the odd car.

Good heavens, the weather held up this year, too.

Sholto Gilbertson started proceedings at 10:30 sharp with Part I of the automobilia. After lunch, auctioneer Toby Wilson then sold the final 90-or-so lots - Part II - finishing with an impressive £9,200 for the ‘Jack Addis Archive’ of rare photographs in two albums (estimated at £2,400 – 2,800).

In all, the automobilia section of the sale totalled £123,835. No £41,100 gear knobs this time, but the power of a 007 connection was proved by the £17,250 for ‘An Aston Martin DB5 dashboard’ (estimate £450 – 650) used in the filming of ‘Goldfinger’.

Bang on the dot of 15:30, and Jamie Knight took to the rostrum. First up was the quite extraordinary, gold- and platinum-plated 1995 Aston Martin DB7 Coupé. Yes, it was truly as bad as it sounds, but someone has bought a useable (resprayable, please...) DB7 for £15,525.

Bonhams Aston Martin Sale at Newport Pagnell -  9th May 2009 - Review Bonhams Aston Martin Sale at Newport Pagnell -  9th May 2009 - Review Bonhams Aston Martin Sale at Newport Pagnell -  9th May 2009 - Review

All eyes were then on Lot 304, the ‘barn find’ 1963 Aston Martin DB4 Series V Vantage. Forget about the gilded '7; to paraphrase 19th Century prospectors, ‘there’s gold in them thar barns…’. A few minutes of furious bidding later, Knight hammered the total-restoration project down for £75,000 (that’s £84,000 including buyer’s premium, as per all our listed prices).

The other - less-desirable specification, but better condition, 1962 Series V - ‘project’ DB4 sold for £89,500. If fully working, driveable '4s are more your thing, there were several to choose from: a 1961 DB4 Series 3 (£106,000), a 1963 DB4 Series V Vantage (£122,500) and one drophead, the 1962 DB4 Convertible for £241,300.

1963 Aston Martin DB5 - Sold for £131,300

1995 Aston Martin DB7 Coupé - Sold for £15,525

Several DB5s and DB6s were in the sale, with the ‘no-expense-spared’, Aston Racing Green DB5 deservedly taking the top slot. The other two '5s sold at correct market prices (£131,300 and £188,500) while the more practical but less-appreciated DB6 model offered David Brown-era enthusiasts the opportunity to buy cars at greatly discounted prices (compared to a '4 or '5).

The immaculate, expensive (estimate £320,000 – 360,000) 1969 Aston Martin DB6 Mk2 Volante Convertible to Vantage specification failed to find a buyer, with bidding faltering at £310,000. Perhaps another day.

On the eight-cylinder front, there was an interesting (no, I don’t know what you’d do with it, either) 1977 Aston Martin DBR1 V8 Replica that sold for £62,000 and several V8 saloons going for mid- to high-estimate money. The saleroom gasped when bidding finally stopped on the 1989 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante ‘X Pack’, though. £129,100 was the final price – ah, the power of a left-hand drive car selling for £sterling...

1989 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante ‘X Pack’ - Sold for £129,100

1963 Lagonda Rapide Sports Saloon - Sold for £67,500

Perhaps spotting a resurgence in marque interest with the revival by AML of the Lagonda name, someone bought the very well presented 1963 Lagonda Rapide for £67,500, while the ‘wedge’, a 1990 Aston Martin Lagonda Series 4 Saloon, went mid-estimate for £24,150.

With Lot 347, a 1995 Aston Martin Virage Limited Edition Coupé, selling for £24,150, that was it for another year, the total sale achieving just short of £3m.

A thought to leave you with: the immaculate green DB5 sold well for £249,000. The Works Service bill alone for this was in the region of £160,000, and it was not a body-off restoration. Where does that leave the buyer of the £84,000 restoration project DB4, looking at likely completion costs of £250,000 and above?

As we see every May at the Bonhams Works Service Sale, the Aston Martin marque has an allure all its own.

1995 Aston Martin V8 Coupe - Sold for £41,100

1987 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante ‘X Pack’ - Sold for £56,500

1994 Aston Martin Virage 7.0-Litre Limited Edition Coupé - Sold for £39,450

1969 Aston Martin DB6 Mk2 Volante Convertible to Vantage specification - Not Sold

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 - Steve Wakefield
Photos - Tim Cottingham, Registrar of Cars at the Aston Martin Heritage Trust and publisher of one of the world's most useful resources for all things Aston Martin

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