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Aston Ready For Auction

21st May 2014

The classic Aston Martin DB2 that could have inspired Ian Fleming to match 007 with the marque has been restored and is ready for auction. Ben Williams finds out more

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Back in December 2013, MI6 Confidential traced the origins of an Aston Martin DB 2/4 Mk I - a car that may well have been the inspiration for Ian Fleming's decision to equip James Bond with his gadget-laden DB Mk III for his seventh literary outing, "Goldfinger".

Whilst there remains no concrete proof of the connection, there does seem to be a great deal of evidence to suggest that Bond's DB Mk III did, in fact, inspire Fleming. This particular DB 2/4 Mk I had belonged to Hon. Philip Ingram Cunliffe-Lister DSO, a decorated RAF pilot and amateur rally driver, who modified his Aston Martin to include reinforced bumpers, hidden compartments and navigational devices - all of which would later be incorporated by Fleming into Bond's DB Mk III. Cunliffe-Lister was also known to have regularly visited Ian Fleming's neighbour's house in St. Margret's Bay in this DB 2/4 - a house that Fleming was to use as the inspiration for Hugo Drax's house in "Moonraker".

Further adding credence to the claim is the testimony from local resident Michael Fowles who, recalling his youth in the 1950s, remembers seeing Cunliffe-Lister's Aston Martin parked next to Fleming's Armstrong Siddley Sapphire at The Green Man pub in St. Margret's Bay - a stone's throw from Fleming's house.

Since MI6 broke the story, the owners of the vehicle have breathed new life into Cunliffe-Lister's old Aston Martin. The DB 2/4 Mk I - now named "Gloria" by her owners - has been transformed and the restoration is truly breathtaking.

The owner's intention with their restoration was to keep the vehicle as close to the original as possible, utilising the original parts and endeavouring to keep "Gloria" as authentic as they could. We think you'll agree that the results speak for themselves. International auctioneers Coys unveiled the car this week at the Old Admiralty Building in Whitehall, beneath the windows of Room 39, Fleming's office during the War.

After a photo call with members of the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, and security personnel, Commander Pat Douglas RN drove the car from the Admiralty Building to Dukes Hotel in London's Mayfair, from whose bar the line "shaken not stirred" purportedly originates.

Many of us will never experience owning a genuine piece of literary and automotive history. However, if your heart is set on owning "Gloria", you will have the opportunity to bid on the vehicle at Coys Fine Motor Cars Auction at Blenheim Palace on the 12th of July. However, don't forget to bring your chequebook; the Aston Martin DB 2/4 Mk I is a classic British sports car in its own right, but the added connection to Ian Fleming and James Bond make this particular vehicle even more desirable.

The car will be on show at the Stratstone of Mayfair Aston Martin showroom on Park Lane, 113 Park Lane, London W1K 7AJ, until the end of the week. It will then go on display at the foyer of the Grange St. Paul's Hotel, 10 Godliman St, London EC4V 5AJ.

About The Author
Ben is a freelance writer living in London, with a passion for architecture, design, fashion, food & drink, and travel. Ben has contributed to a number of event reports as well as historical content relating to James Bond lifestyle. He maintains the weblog: doubleonothing.com.

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