Commissioned by a wealthy young Italian noble, the Duca d’Aosta was the ultimate ‘street’ Bizzarrini – but it also marked the end of a turbulent ride for the company that took on Ferrari at its own game, and lost.
With a number of estimates totally obliterated, the Bonhams Works Service sale was the most successful ever.
Bonhams 11th annual auction of Aston Martin and Lagonda Motor Cars and Related Automobilia was its most successful to date. The sale was held at Aston Martin Lagonda Limited Works Service, Newport Pagnell on Saturday. The sale made an outstanding total of almost £4.7million (95% sold by lot).
One of the most exciting lots of the day was the 1959 DB4 Works Service Prototype Design Project ‘DP2155’ - a truly iconic and unique car which was the result of a collaboration by former Aston Martin Chairman Victor Gauntlett and the Director of Works Service and Parts Operations Kingsley Riding-Felce. It eventually sold for £485,500 to a continental bidder, fighting off competition from American and European interest.
Lot 308 was also highly sought after – the 1968 Aston Martin DB6 Vantage ‘Barn Find’. Nine telephone bidders; five absentee bidders and five bidders in the room all had a bid, before finally selling for £124,700 (estimate £20,000-£30,000).
The one owner since 1963, 1962 Aston Martin DB4 Series IV Vantage attracted much pre-sale publicity due to its role as a ‘test mule’ in the James Bond film ‘Goldfinger’, and sold on Saturday for £84,000 (£40,000-£50,000).
The top lot of the day was ‘VMF 65’ – the ex-Works 1950 Aston Martin DB2 Team Car – a British Racing Green gem, raced by such legendary and leading drivers as Stirling Moss, Peter Collins, Roy Salvadori, Tony Rolt, Lance Macklin, George Abecassis and Eric Thompson. After fierce bidding it sold for £513,000 against a pre-sale estimate of £380,000-£440,000.
Other notable results include the London Motor Show 1974 Aston Martin Lagonda Series 1 Saloon (£337,000), a two owners from new 1965 Aston Martin DB5 Convertible (£359,000) and a 1990 Aston Martin Lagonda Series 4 Saloon (£84,000).
James Knight, the group Head of Bonhams Motoring Department reflected on the weekend saying: ‘Yet again the combined efforts and marketing of Aston Martin Lagonda and Bonhams have produced the most successful sale ever at Works Service, with at least a handful of world records having been broken. This clearly demonstrates the strength of the collectors motorcar market and that of the Aston Martin and Lagonda marques in particular. We have witnessed participation from every point of the compass and I was reassured by just how many people were bidding.’
Aston Martin’s Director of Works Service and Parts Operations, Kingsley Riding-Felce also commented: ‘Once again our friends from Bonhams had a most successful sale due to a wonderful collection of Aston Martins and Lagondas, proving that Bonhams are the leaders in this heritage market. We look forward to working with them again in May 2011.‘