Previewing the Bonhams Aston Martin Auction
All photos from bonhams.com
The legendary British auction house Bonhams will soon send some of the rarest and most expensive Aston Martins the British automaker has ever produced up to the auction block. The sports cars up for sale range throughout the marque’s 100-year history, but the oldest car up for sale is a gorgeous 1957 DB 2/4 MkII. The majority of cars are in the six-figure range, but if you want a newer Aston on a budget, this 2002 DB7 V12 Vantage or 2005 DB9 might be right up your alley. Here are the highlights for this incredible auction:
1960 DB4GT ‘Jet’ Coupé – This is the jewel of the auction and is expected to fetch more than $4 million. The underlying car is the last non-Zagato DB4GT produced, with unique bodywork by the unparalleled Giorgetto Giugiaro for Bertone. The Jet is based on Aston’s most powerful, range-topping DB4, and was featured at Bertone’s display at the 1961 Geneva Auto Show. Not only is the Jet clad in a custom body, but the DB4’s inline-6 received a 62hp bump to 302hp in GT form, good for a run from 0-60 in just 6.1 seconds all the way up to a top speed of 153mph. Only 95 GTs were ever produced, although 19 featured skin by Zagato. The Jet was the only one styled by Bertone, making this car a must-have for the Aston Martin diehard with the pocketbook to match his or her passion.
1964 DB5 Sports Saloon– An absolutely gorgeous example of a DB5 in black, rather than the silver one made famous by being the first Aston used in a James Bond film: 1964’s Goldfinger. The only problem with this beauty? The engine is seized, making this a $300,000 (estimated) work of art. Better to pay a little bit more for a running example, or become good friends with an Aston mechanic.
1964 DB5 Sports Saloon and Convertible – As opposed to the non-running DB5 above, these two actually can put power to the rear wheels, but buyers will pay a premium for such a luxury. Bonhams is figuring roughly $100,000 more for the coupe and a price brushing a cool $1,000,000 for the topless version. The coupe combines the coveted British Racing Green exterior with a bright red interior. I’m not a huge fan of Astons in loud, garish colors, and the convertible is no exception. It is, however, extraordinarily rare, and the price certainly reflects that. Just over 120 were produced, so to even have one available for sale is uncommon.
1965 DB5 Sports Saloon – This one’s for the buyer looking for a pristine silver DB5 ready to go with no hidden surprises. Again, this sort of guarantee isn’t going to be cheap, but the entire car was restored by Aston Engineering between October 2007 and August 2009. The engine was upgraded to 4.2L, and it now runs on unleaded fuel, and the interior feaures amenities like air conditioning and an iPod adapter. It’s good for a person who would want to use the DB5 every day, but a classic Aston with a Kenwood stereo just doesn’t sit well with me.
1968 DB6 Volante Convertible – Several factors make this DB6 one to look out for. For starters, it’s one of the long wheelbase Volante convertibles, one of only 140 (although it isn’t the much more powerful and collectible Vantage spec). It also sports the steering wheel on the wrong side, and the preferred ZF 5-speed manual connects the engine and wheels.
2000 LHD SWB Vantage Volante Special Edition – Here’s another extremely rare Aston. While Aston Martins are unmatched sports cars, the Vantage is a supercar, through and through. Based on the top-of-the-line Virage, the Vantage nameplate necessitated the addition of two superchargers under the hood, making the total power output 550hp. That meant the Vantage could accelerate from standstill to 60 in less than 5 seconds, if the driver rowed the six-speed gearbox correctly. While around 280 examples of the coupe were produced, the Volante convertible is much rarer. This SWB Vantage Volante SE is only one of nine, and one of three with left-hand drive.
2001 Vanquish – The Vanquish replaced the Virage in 2001 as Aston’s high-end GT, and it became the first Aston to harness a V12 under the hood. It also exclusively paired the engine and wheels with an automated manual gearbox with Formula 1-style paddles to select gears. This particular Vanquish is the first production model.
The cars are on display at the Aston Martin Works service facility in Newport Pagnell, UK, and will be viewable at various times on May 17-18. The auction itself will begin on May 18 at 2:30PM local time (6:30AM PST). A full list of the cars featured at the auction can be found here.