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Classic Aston Martins go up for auction at Bonhams

11-May-2010 • Event

If you are in the market for a DB5, this year’s ‘Works Service Sale’ could be your chance to buy one, as no less than five cars will be sold at Newport Pagnell -- Classic Driver reports.

Estimates range from £100,000 - 120,000 for the early production, 1964 DB5 Saloon, to the £350,000 - 400,000 likely to be achieved by the rare 1965 DB5 Convertible. Lot 340 is interesting in that it features an in-period, one-off dash treatment by design consultancy Ogle, updating the interior from its mid-50s origins to a more futuristic look that might have seen the light of day on the DB6.

The Silver Birch/black hide car has been totally restored by the very best specialists including Bodylines, Spray Tec and R.S. Williams Ltd, the latter installing a 4.2-litre, Weber-equipped engine and subtle enhancements such as air-conditioning and a Becker Mexico radio/navigation system.

All very nice and, considering its collectability and the extent of the high quality work done, competitively estimated.

Two ‘David Brown-era’ cars vie for top billing at a sale that never fails to surprise. Design Project 'DP2155', the Works Service-developed, 1959 4.7-litre Aston Martin DB4 Works Prototype – £280,000 - 320,000 – while the chance to buy a ‘VMF’ Works DB2 does not come along very often.

The dark, almost black British Racing Green car was a regular factory entry in the immediate post-War period of activity by the then Feltham-based company. Drivers who have sat behind the wheel include Stirling Moss, Eric Thompson, George Abecassis, Tony Rolt and Peter Collins - the bedrock of the factory team in the Fifties. It carries an estimate of £380,000 - 440,000 and, appearing very much ‘on the button’, would make a terrific entry to any top-class event.

Three Lagondas will be offered at this year’s all-Aston sale. Two are ‘wedges’ (both Series IV, a 1990 for £50,000 - 60,000 and a 1989 at £23,000 - 26,000) while the other is one of only seven cars built, a 1974 Series I 7.0-litre Saloon in quite the most superb condition for £240,000 - 260,000. To save you looking it up, by the way, in 2008 Bonhams sold a 1976 Series I Saloon for £254,500.

This year’s one does look good: Cumberland Grey with Rolls-Royce Wildberry interior is a superb combination and seems to ‘lift’ the big car’s lines well.

V600-fanciers should make their way to Works Service on May 22 as three cars are catalogued. Top of the pecking order must be the 2000 ‘Le Mans’ V600 Coupé for £200,000 - 250,000, but the other, regular (still 600bhp...) cars look attractive, the Rio Verde green car (£60,000 – 80,000) in particular.

Moving back to the 1950s, in addition to the Team Car there are three other ‘Feltham Astons’. Chassis LML/50/12, according to the catalogue “regarded as the second actual series-production example of this world-beating British sportscar,” carries an estimate of £190,000 - 240,000 and is a rare, 'First Sanction' DB2. The appellation is given to the early three-piece-grille cars. With FIA papers and a Rex Woodgate-built, 3.0-litre engine the Alpine Blue car would make a good road-racer; hot enough for the track but still usable on a rally or fast drive in the country.

The 1958 DB Mk III (£70,000 - 90,000) is also race-prepared, while the 1954 DB2/4 3.0-Litre Drophead Coupé (£70,000 - 90,000) had – incredibly – been raced not once but TWICE on the Targa Florio, in 1963 and ’64. It now needs some cosmetic work but, at a third of the price of a DB5, makes an interesting buying option on the day.

The annual Bonhams Works Service Sale is always an opportunity for prospective Aston owners to find a car at a reasonable price (not to mention join the AMOC and wonder at Kingsley Riding-Felce’s immaculate Works Service operation). At an entry-but-interesting level, Bonhams can offer the 1993 Virage Volante Convertible (£25,000 - 28,000), a 1998 DB7 ‘Dunhill’ Coupé (£17,000 - 19,000) and a ‘Barn Find’ 1968 DB6 Vantage for £20,000 - 30,000. Mind you, we know what can happen with low-estimate restoration projects at the Aston sale...

Finally, a look down the list of 70s/80s V8s reveals a broad selection of coupés and Volantes (including a 1989 ‘Prince of Wales’ for £100,000 – 120,000), and one Zagato. The Gladiator Red example (a 1987 for £80,000 – 100,000) has had one owner since 1987, having covered just 12,000 miles and is – for the money – a good opportunity to buy an immaculate, special-bodied 180+mph Aston Martin of which just 52 cars were built.

Prior to the motor cars, Bonhams will embark on its traditional Automobilia marathon, split in 2010 into two parts: lots 1- 100 at 10:30, lots 111 – 231 at 13:00. You will find prints, poster, parts and Bond memorabilia aplenty here; it is always one of the highlights of the day and contributes an astonishing amount to the sale’s gross figure.

The sale takes place on Saturday, 22 May at Aston Martin Lagonda Works Service, Tickford St, Newport Pagnell, Bucks, with Automobilia starting at 10:30, Motor Cars at 14:30.

View the Listings at Bonhams.com

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