A record £6.6m was spent on Astons on a Saturday afternoon in Newport Pagnell where a DB4GT Zagato Sanction II raised £1.2m and strong money was still being bid for DB4s and DB5s. DB6s sold out, too, with base models achieving new ‘highs’ and there were buyers for all but one of the 10 Feltham-era cars in Bonhams annual one-stop shop for the marque
A £1.2m DB4GT Zagato, one of only four factory-authorised and totally authentic ‘Sanction II’ editions with Zagato-crafted bodywork completed in the workshops of Richard Williams in 1991, headed record breaking £6.6m results at the 13th Bonhams Aston Martin auction where all, but 5 cars changed hands in what amounted to an 89% sold event. Indeed, most of the figures were in very healthy green on the Aston Martin commodities trading screens!
Among heady valuations made in public in the freshly upgraded Works Service premises in Newport Pagnell were the £611,900 paid for a more than patinated 1962 DB4 Vantage Convertible from single family ownership, while a 1963 DB5 Convertible auto, vendor owned since 1978, was knocked down for £435k, £488,700 with premium. Both way above their top estimates of £360k and £350k. And even more bullish was the £337,500 paid for a 1971 DBS with period Estate-body conversion by FLM Panelcraft and unlovely roof rack, which was on sale from £50,000!
A 1964 DB5 and a 1962 DB4 Series IV, both requiring full re-commissioning after recent inactivity, cost new owners £191,900 apiece. The highest-priced Feltham factory hand-built was a DB2 Vantage, believed to be the sole survivor of three rolling chassis despatched to the Swiss Carosserie in 1952 for Convertible bodywork to be fitted, which raised £270,300 here. Whilst DB6 prices certainly moved onwards and upwards with £250,140 invested in a 1970 DB6 Mk2 Vantage, a righthand drive fixed head manual, and £152,700 paid for earlier base models, a 1968 with auto to manual conversion and a 1969 auto. All sold for considerably more than had been forecast.
Top performing AML ‘Lagonda’ was the 1975 Earls Court Motor Show exhibited (I must have been there, most probably more concerned with checking out the dolly birds of yesteryear!) Series 1 7-Litre. 37 years later, the 4-Door Saloon was good for £337,500! A well restored Tickford-bodied 3-Litre Drophead from 1953 with nicely detailed engine bay found £77,660 and a 1963 Rapide 4-Door in only fair condition made a more than double forecast £57,500.
Owned from new by AML themselves, a 1994 Virage Volante 6.3-Litre manual, driven by Prince Charles until 2008 and displayed at the manufacturer’s Gaydon HQ since then, made £191,900, whereas being the ex-Heavyweight Champ Lennox Lewis 1994 Virage Limited Edition did not appear to enhance the £17,825 selling price.
A 1955 DB2/4 Drophead, only recently barn-discovered having been off the road since 1970, was taken on for £113,500. A shabby, though apparently unmolested from new and claimed to be working 1952 DB2 Vantage that took part in the 1953 Tour Auto and had a believed to be total of 32,708k displayed made £111,250 and a 1953 DB2/4 Mk1 - which I used to own in the late 1980s, and was last driven by the vendor in 1999 and required full re-commissioning at the very least - returned to an earlier family ownership for £85,500. And finally, the most viewed lot, a 1952 DB2 project with 3.3 Vauxhall Cresta engine and gearbox since 1969, raised £36,500.
A larger crowd of Aston enthusiasts than ever before attended this annual one-stop shop for the marque, more hospitality packages were sold than in previous years in this recession and many of the prices achieved were stronger than ever. 100% of the automobilia and spares also flew off the shelf. In fact, there did not appear to be the faintest hint of double dip doldrums and I am pleased to report that even the editorial glass has remained half full ever since!
The sun shone brightly on Brightwells who magnetised a near capacity crowd who bought 82% of the stock
Earlier in the week, punters had to choose between two sales happening on the same day at the same time, Brightwells at Leominster and Silverstone Auctions back again on the home ground of Silverstone itself. After so much reservoir-filling rainfall, the sunshine happily returned at last and a very large crowd indeed chose to to home in on the purpose-built facilities of the Brightwells auctions centre (including the ever-popular cafeteria) for a bumper day’s worth of old motor car auctioning, by the end of which 82% of the 102 classics on offer changed hands, the 84 cars selling for £759,994 with premium.
All seats were occupied and many more squeezed in at the back to witness an ex-Jools Holland 1966 E Type S1 4.2 Roadster with hardtop, prepped to semi-lightweight comp-spec, make £50,600 - and a 1967 E Type S1 4.2 Roadster converted from left to right-hand drive when restored in 2001 fetched £43,450.
A 1963 Lancia Flaminia GT 3C, mighty rare in RHD, realised £40,700 and a Mulliner-bodied in 1949 Bentley MkVI with semi razor-edge bodywork £35,200. Two pre-WW2 Wolseleys went to new homes, a 1932 Hornet with 4-Seater Sports-tourer coachwork by dealers Eustace Watkins costing £23,540 and a 1939 25 Drophead Coupe £22,550.
The 1927 Austin 7 Chummy, for which £16,280 was forthcoming, had been exceptionally well restored. A 1957 Triumph TR3 with restoration bills from the late 1980s realised £12,320 and a 1971 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow I, chauffeur-driven and clearly pampered during Lady Delamare of Suffolk ownership, deservedly attracted £11,440, unusually high for a Shadow at auction. Interesting kit in reasonable cosmetic order made good money in what was another encouraging day for market makers and followers
Same day, same time, it was much quieter at Silverstone where Senna’s Monaco GP Toleman fails to finish
By all accounts, it was a much quieter day at Silverstone where TV news crews has gathered to see the Ayrton Senna driven Toleman F1 cross the Silverstone Auctions block. Serious pre-sale interest failed to convert into live bids however, and the much promoted TG-184-2 was unsold at £505,000. But a Senna raced 1982 Ralt RT3 F3 was knocked down to a new transporter for £103,000, £113,000 with premium.
£160,000 (or more) was not on screen either for a 2011 McLaren MP4-12C. But all the Porsche 911s in the sale did sell, including a left-hand drive 1973 911 Carrera RS 2.7 Touring sold for £204,600. Whilst the £47,850 paid for a Jensen Interceptor III, admittedly a superbly restored example, almost certainly better than new in fact, was a strong valuation.
A couple of Ferrari prices were logged, a 1999 456M GT left-hand driver making £36,250 and a 1989 328GTS Targa-top without MOT £29,700. £35,200 was paid for a 1958 XK150 Fixed Head, a 3.4 manual with overdrive, and £21,120 purchased an event-ready 1964 MG B 1840cc FIA race car with hardtop. £17,500 was accepted for a 1969 Lotus Elan S3 SE Cabrio with benefit of replacement chassis and an Oselli engine, and £11,000 bought a Ford Lotus Twin Cam powered 1971 Europa.
After four post-sales had been concluded, 24 or 40% of the 60 car entry sold for a premium-inclusive £692,950, a not inconsiderable amount of dosh for a mid-week afternoon in the depths of a racing circuit at rest. The Silverstone Equipe’s next offering will again be in The Wing, but at the weekend, Saturday 21 July, during the 20-22 July Silverstone Classic meeting, which, on past form, is likely to be even better attended than last year’s bash with advanced ticket sales going well.
For apart from making annual pilgrimage to see GP cars (which many of you will have seen first time round) on what’s left of the old circuit, I shall be having a Glastonbury moment or two while Mike & The Mechanics, fronted by Mike Rutherford, a founding member of prog rock giant Genesis, do their thing after practice Friday night and Eighties pop star Adam Ant headlines after racing (and the auction) Saturday. Rock n’roll. RH-E