Aston Martin Collectors Vie for DB4GT

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DB4GT Zagato Sanction II Coupe
A DB4GT Zagato Sanction II Coupe. Formerly owned by Tony Smith, manager of the singer Phil Collins, it was one of 46 Aston Martins included in a Bonhams auction at the company factory in Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire, U.K., on May 17. It sold for 1.2 million pounds ($1.9 million). Source: Bonhams via Bloomberg

Aston Martins of the sort favored by rock stars, boxing champions, James Bond, the Prince of Wales and a Scottish laird starred in a $10.3 million auction.

The weekend sale was led by a DB4GT Zagato Sanction II Coupe formerly owned by Tony Smith, manager of the singer Phil Collins, which fetched 1.2 million pounds ($1.9 million) with fees. Bonhams held its 13th annual sale at the U.K. automaker’s factory in Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire.

Prestigious marques, as well as originality, are increasingly sought-after by collectors in today’s choosy classic-car market, dealers said. The Aston Martin brand, ever-popular for its 007 associations, was given a lift last year when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge drove in the Prince of Wales’s DB6 convertible after their wedding service.

The 1991 Zagato, one of only four Sanction II Coupes made, is capable of 153 miles per hour and has covered less than 5,000 miles, said Bonhams. It was first owned by Smith, a racer and collector of classic cars, and was being sold by a German owner. It was bought by a telephone bidder for a hammer price that was below the presale valuation of 1.2 million pounds to 1.5 million pounds.

A 1962 DB4 Vantage Convertible was one of the most original cars in the sale. Bought new for 4,513 pounds by the late Reginald Gwynn, the U.K. managing director of Woolworth’s, it had remained in the same family and was contested to 611,900 pounds, the second-highest price of the sale. It had been estimated at 320,000 pounds to 360,000 pounds.

Laird’s DBS Estate

A 1963 DB5 Convertible and a 1971 DBS Estate attracted above-estimate prices of 488,700 pounds and 337,500 pounds respectively. Both had been owned by the same families since the mid-1970s. The custom-made estate had been ordered by a Scottish laird for fishing trips and was valued at 50,000 pounds to 70,000 pounds.

Five owners were listed for a 1985 V8 Vantage Saloon that had been converted by the Aston Martin factory into a replica of the car that actor Timothy Dalton drove in the 1987 Bond movie “The Living Daylights.” Offered for sale at 90,000 pounds to 120,000 pounds, complete with the 22-page invoice for the car’s conversion costing 135,000 pounds, it was one of eight cars that failed to sell.

A 1994 limited-edition Virage Coupe, formerly the owned by the former World Champion boxer Lennox Lewis, sold for a mid-estimate 17,825 pounds.

The 46 cars and 162 lots of memorabilia in this latest Newport Pagnell auction raised 6.5 million pounds against a forecast of 5 million pounds and 6 million pounds, based on hammer prices. The equivalent event last year tallied 6 million pounds with fees. All but two of the 45 cars in the 2011 auction found buyers.


(Scott Reyburn writes about the art market for Muse, the arts and culture section of Bloomberg News. Opinions expressed are his own.)

Muse highlights include an interview by Manuela Hoelterhoff, Robert Heller on music, John Mariani on wine and Farah Nayeri on film from Cannes.

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