Desmond Smail Opens New Olney Showrooms
In addition to its nearby service centre, the Olney-based Aston Martin specialist now has showroom facilities in the picturesque Buckinghamshire market town.
I dropped in to see the ever-affable Aston aficionado on the day before the Bonhams Works Service sale (Olney is a 10-minute drive from Newport Pagnell). Although officially open for two months, the finishing touches to the 6000sq ft premises were just being applied.
Touches that include a ‘timeline’ mural of the history of the Aston Martin marque set alongside Smail’s personal history.
Now, if you’re expecting a short-trousered innocent standing next to a Bertelli car at Le Mans in the 1930s, it does not go back quite that far, but a youthful Desmond can be seen both in rugby kit and school uniform at family functions alongside – for example – the launch of the DB6 or 1970s V8: both cars prime Desmond Smail ‘showroom stock’.
The new premises are just a short walk from the company's well-known service and restoration building in East Street. As you come into Olney from Newport Pagnell it’s on the left, just before the market square and easy to find. The display area can take around five cars, with further covered storage and an extensive car park to the rear.
Quizzing Smail on the state of business (“always busy, both in sales and service – we're always looking for cars”) and his tips for the future (“DB5s never lose their appeal and as for the modern cars, look at a Vanquish: it’s a ‘DB5’ in the making...”), his enthusiasm for the marque bubbles over.
So, if you are looking for an Aston from the Newport Pagnell era right up to date, or the thought of a photo of DJS in a dinner jacket with society ‘it-girl’ Tara Palmer-Tomkinson on his arm appeals... do pop round to Olney to inspect the new Aston Martin showroom.
Please click HERE to see all Desmond Smail's cars for sale in the Classic Driver car database.
Text: Steve Wakefield
Photos: Classic Driver / DJ Smail
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