Bonhams 18th annual sale dedicated exclusively to the Aston Martin and Lagonda marques took place yesterday, 13 May, at the Newport Pagnell works, achieving a total of over £5,000,000 achieved overall. Hundreds of bidders gathered from all over the world to pay homage to the British brand in its spiritual home, and James Knight presided over a packed saleroom.
The top lot of the day was an excellent example of arguably the most iconic Aston Martin model, a 1964 Aston Martin DB5. Several bidders appeared keen to purchase their very own 'James Bond car,' and eventually the hammer fell to a telephone bidder for the sum of £561,500. Early DB models proved popular throughout, with a 1961 Aston Martin DB4 'Series III' 4.2-Litre Sports Saloon achieving £399,100 and a 1970 Aston Martin DB6 Mark 2 Vantage Sports Saloon selling for £382,300.
It was not just the classic models which saw success in the saleroom, however. More modern examples proved popular with the large cosmopolitan crowd of bidders in the room with the 1989 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante 'X-Pack' 7.0-Litre, achieving £387,900 after a long bidding exchange between two keen bidders whilst the 1997 Aston Martin Vantage V600 Coupé realized £253,500 and the 2000 Aston Martin Vantage Le Mans Coupé selling for £309,500.
A barn-find always elicits excitement in the saleroom, and today was no different, with three projects in various states of restoration offered in total and all three selling. The 1957 Aston Martin DB2/4 MkII Sports Saloon sold for £54,625, despite having been off the road for approximately four decades, whilst 1961 Aston Martin DB4 'Series III' Sports Saloon Project was offered in a partly-restored state and accompanied by countless new and authentic parts. The lot inspired fierce bidding in the room, before eventually achieving £225,500, illustrating that enthusiasm for Aston Martin restoration projects remains strong.
Bidders looking for a slightly more 'on the button' Aston were battling over the ready-to-race 1960 Aston Martin DB4 4.5-Litre Lightweight Competition Saloon. A lengthy three-way exchange between the room and the telephones was sparked before finally selling for £236,700.
Single-marque sales are often showcases for some of the most unique and bespoke models produced. The 1996 Aston Martin V8 Sportsman Estate Car is one of only three created, and was originally converted in to its shooting brake format at the Aston Martin Works. Having returned to Newport Pagnell, it drew some admiring (and sometimes perplexed!) glances during viewing and sold for an impressive £337,500.
The sale also encompassed a cornucopia of Aston Martin and Lagonda related automobilia, ranging from registration plates appearing in James Bond films to five-speed gearboxes. The former, a Nassua Bahamas license plate as fitted to James Bond's Aston Martin DB5 in Casino Royale (2006) achieved £4,250 and the latter, a ZF 5-speed gearbox for Aston Martin DB5 sold for £5,250. The license plate 'V8 VAN' sold for an impressive £4,750.
Tim Schofield, Head of Motoring Department UK, commented: 'Even in our 18th year at the Aston Martin Works, we are seeing a continued interest and enthusiasm for our sale. Bonhams prides itself on the breadth of its offerings at auction, and despite its single-marque status, this sale is no different. With lots ranging from a barn-find projects to race-ready lightweight competition cars, this sale had something for all admirers of the Aston Martin and Lagonda marques. We look forward to continued success at our Festival of Speed sale on 30 June.'
James Knight, the auctioneer for the sale and the International Managing Director for Collectors' Motor Cars, added: 'Bonhams and its motoring department once again demonstrated their ability to consign some of the finest examples of Aston Martins and Lagondas from across the world. The saleroom was packed with a selective crowd of Aston connoisseurs who favoured vehicles with strong provenance and impressive credentials., with bids coming in from the UK, continental Europe, the far East and America.'
Other highlights included:
- 1967 Aston Martin DB6 Vantage Sports Saloon sold for £292,700
- 1989 Aston Martin V8 Zagato Volante sold for £281,500