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An exceptional Aston Martin holds its lure

16-Jul-2010 • Bond Style

Collectible cars are in full drive, says the WSJ.

At Bonhams auction on July 2, during the Goodwood Festival of Speed, a celebrated U.K. racing event held annually on the Earl of March's estate in West Sussex, a world record price was earned at £551,500 for a 1965 Aston Martin DB5 Vantage Convertible, one of only nine ever produced.

"There is plenty of money around looking for collector cars," says Bonham motoring specialist Rob Hubbard. "There is demand across the board, beginning with tremendous growth in cars pre-1905. But the popularity of Aston Martin is exceptional."

Among other top prices at Goodwood was £221,500 paid for a 1937 Bentley 4 1/4-Liter Drophead Coupe that featured in the 1983 James Bond film "Never Say Never Again."

Still ahead in the collector motor market is the Silverstone Classic on July 23-25, one of the largest classic car racing events in the world, taking place in Northamptonshire. After holding an auction during the event in 2009 that was 100% sold, Bonhams will be back again this year with a wide variety of cars on offer in its marquee.

Silverstone highlights will include "Big Sam," a 1972 Datsun 240Z Super Samuri Racing Car once driven by British racing star Win Percy. The red-and-black, two-door coupe is estimated at £40,000- £60,000. Another highlight will be the current Formula 1 World Land Speed Record car, a 2006 Honda F1, expected to fetch £10,000-£20,000.

Europe's biggest autojumble takes place in the south of England in Beaulieu, the home of the U.K.'s National Motor Museum, on Sept. 11-12. This is a fun event with thousands of stands to rummage among selling motor parts, accessories, tools, clothing, cars and motorbikes. Bonhams traditionally holds an auction; a star this year will be a 1927 Bentley 3-Liter Red Label Short Chassis Tourer estimated at £180,000-£220,000.

Meanwhile, a landmark was set July 3 with the opening of Holland's Louwman Museum in The Hague, one of the world's largest collections of historic automobiles. The private collection, built by Dutch car importer Evert Louwman, reflects the development of the car since 1886.

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