1966 Aston Martin DB5 Convertible to ‘Vantage’ specification. Sold for £1,524,700 (US$ 2,350,090) inc. premium. Image courtesy of Bonhams
ENGLAND – A 1966 Aston Martin DB5 Convertible in ‘Vantage’ specification recorded the highest price at Bonhams 16th annual Aston Martin Works Sale in Newport Pagnell, England. The 1966 Aston Martin DB5 Convertible, one of only 39 left-hand drive DB5 convertibles made, sold for £1,524,700.
This year’s Aston Martin Works Sale has been described as the largest auction in Bonhams 16 year history at the event. The vintage car sale featured more than 50 motor cars and 170 lots of automobilia, with 25% of motor cars left-hand drive specification. At the end of the rare care sale, Bonhams had recorded £10.3 million, a new record for the auction house.
Commenting on the record sale, Bonhams UK Head of Motor Cars notes: ‘As pioneers of the single-marque sale, we’ve returned to the Works Service here in Newport Pagnell for another great auction, exceeding all previous year’s totals, with £10.3 million of motor cars sold.’
The Ex-Sir Peter Ustinov 1962 DB4 Series IV Vantage Convertible brought excitement and Hollywood sparkle to the event when it sold for £1,513,500, almost the same amount as the 1966 Aston Martin DB5 Convertible. The ex-Sir Peter Ustinov 1962 DB4 Series IV Vantage Convertible is one of only nine DB4 Series IV convertibles made. With rare Vantage specification, it is considered one of the rarest of post-war Martins.
One of the major highlights of the Aston Martin Works Sale is the famous ‘James Bond’ Aston Martins. The 1964 Aston Martin DB5 4.2-Litre Sports Saloon, described as the most famous of all ‘James Bond’ Martins, sold for £595,100.
A 1968 Aston Martin DB6 ‘Mark 1’ Volante also made a great showing at the car sale. Considered by many to be the last ‘real’ Aston Martin, the DB6 was launched in 1965, updating the DB5. The right- to left-hand drive converted vintage car is one of the rarest of post-war Aston Martins. It sold for £561,500.
The 1960 Aston Martin DB4 ‘Series 1’ Sports Saloon was a collectors delight at the vintage car sale. Launched in October 1958, the DB4marked a major turning point for this great car. It was the first Martin to carry Carrozzeria Touring’s ‘Superleggera‘ bodywork, in which light alloy panels were fixed to a framework of light-gauge steel tubes welded to a platform chassis. It sold for £494,300.
Evaluating the passion of vintage car collectors at the car sale, Bonhams UK Head of Motor Cars sees an upward progression in the number of vintage car collectors interested in Aston. He notes: “The quintessentially British marque of Aston Martin attracts interest from enthusiasts across the world, a fact demonstrated here today as we took bids from all corners of the globe. This year’s sale attracted a larger and more cosmopolitan than ever before, achieving an excellent result.
The car czar add that: “The market demonstrated that there is a ready appetite for exceptional examples, even for models that had previously been regarded as not particularly fashionable. The result we achieved for a Virage Coupe illustrated this with £74,300 realised for the stunning 1990 model.”
Several of the cars that did well at this year’s rare care auction were barn finds and project cars. A 1958 Aston Martin DB Mark III Sports Saloon, for instance, sold for twice top estimate, achieving £104,540, while a 1959 Aston Martin DB Mark III Sports Saloon soared above top estimate, selling for £115,740.
Excited about the sale, Paul Spires, Commercial Director at Aston Martin Works, said: ‘Today’s Aston Martin Sale has been another hugely memorable occasion with keen bidding, strong sales, and rare and collectable Aston Martin sports cars going to buyers around the world.
With the record sale made at this year’s event, there is no doubt that there is great interest for this amazing car. The car sale event attracted collectors from across the globe and were unrelenting in their quest to take some of the rare cars home. Beyond the sale, however, there was also so much to eat and drink. “Despite the mixed weather there was a superbly sociable ‘garden party’ atmosphere among the 2,000 or so Bonhams guests who joined us here today – enjoying the sale and helping us to celebrate our 60 years in fine style,” said Spires.