On 13 May, Bonhams will return to Aston Martin Works at Newport Pagnell for their 18th annual Aston Martin sale, an event exclusively dedicated to the celebration of the Aston Martin and Lagonda marques. More than 65 years of the legendary British brand will be offered, ranging from a 1951 Lagonda DB 2.6 Drophead Coupé (£12,000-16,000) to a 2016 Aston Martin Vantage GT12 (£350,000 - 400,000).
DB6s in all their configurations and specifications will be offered at the sale, including a 1967 DB6 Vantage Sports Saloon (£280,000 - 340,000), a 1970 DB6 Mark 2 Saloon (£270,000 - 310,000) and one of the stars of the show, a rare 1968 Aston Martin DB6 Volante (£700,000 - 900,000). The successor to the legendary DB5 model, the DB6 was introduced at the 1965 London Motor Show and enjoyed a rapturous reception – for the most part. The more conservative Aston Martin clientele disliked the 'showy' Kamm tail rear-end (similar to that of a Ferrari 250), but eventually warmed to the new model with its improved stability, lengthened wheelbase and increased headroom.
Arguably the most widely-known and celebrated Aston Martin model is the DB5, and Bonhams will offer a 1964 example, estimated at £500,000 - 600,000. Considered the first cinematic James Bond car, the DB5 has become a by-word for classic British design and cool. Although Ian Fleming put the British agent in a DB MkIII in the original novel, Goldfinger, the DB5 was the company's latest model at the time of the film's release, and thus the one chosen to take to the silver screen.
Half a century on from the iconic DB5, Aston Martin are still creating jaw-droppingly beautiful cars – such as the 2016 Aston Martin Vantage GT12 (£350,000 - 400,000). Numbered 74 of just 100 built, this example is as-new and unregistered, as well as being the only example finished in Viridian Green.
A pinnacle of exclusivity is offered in the form of the 1996 Aston Martin V8 Sportsman Estate Car (£300,000 - 350,000). One of only three examples built by Aston Martin, the car offered is one of a pair ordered directly from the factory by two sporting Swiss brothers. It started life as a standard LHD V8 Coupé, and was then homologated and returned to the factory to undergo modification as a shooting brake. The vehicle has covered a little over 21,000 kilometres from new, and is no stranger to the engineers at Newport Pagnell, being maintained regardless of cost by Aston Martin Works during its present ownership. This is a wonderful opportunity to acquire an extremely rare, limited edition Aston Martin which, as one would expect from such a prestigious marque, combines both practicality and outstanding performance.
And no Bonhams Aston Martin sale would be complete without a barn discovery. For 2017, the rewarding project on offer is a 1957 DB2/4 MkII Sports Saloon (£50,000 - 70,000) that comes with a fascinating history. First owned by the renowned Aston Martin enthusiast, The Hon John Dawnay (later The Rt Hon Viscount Downe) of Wykeham Abbey, the car was registered as 'VN 4.' Some years later, the vehicle was registered to a Mr. Frederick 'Fearless Freddie' Mills, a colourful character on the British post-war sporting and entertainment scene. World light heavyweight champion from 1948 to 1950, he took up acting and presenting after retirement from the sport and ran a successful nightclub in Soho until his death in 1965.
A similarly fascinating project is the 1961 Aston Martin DB4 'Series III' Sports Saloon Project (£200,000 - 300,000). Originally owned by Kenneth Delingpole, owner of a West Midlands engineering company and co-founder (alongside Ron Lowe) of Dellow, makers of the eponymous trials car. In present family ownership for more than 40 years, this example has been garaged since 1987 and is offered with many new and authentic unfitted parts, including wooden steering wheels, bumpers, new fuel pump and authentic horn push.
Automobilia lots include:
- The licence plate V8 VAN (£2,500-3,500)
- The Nassau Bahamas licence plate '56526' as fitted to James Bond 007s Aston Martin DB5 in the 2006 film Casino Royale (£2,000-3,000)
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. Today, the auction house offers more sales than any of its rivals. The main salerooms are in London, New York and Hong Kong. Sales are also held in the UK in Knightsbridge and Edinburgh; in the US, in San Francisco and Los Angeles; in Europe, in Paris and Stuttgart and in Sydney, Australia. Bonhams also has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of forthcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments, please visit bonhams.com