Bonhams, that ever so upper-crusty British auction house looks to carry on its rather profitable relationship with Aston Martin, that ever so upper-crusty British car maker. For nearly the past two decades, the two have paired up to hold a single marque auction of the finest Newport Pagnell automobiles currently being pried from the grasp of their lucky owners.
No, in case any of you metalheads out there are wondering, Bonhams, the auction house, has no relation to Bonham, the late drummer for Led Zeppelin.
Although I do admit that would be both rather cool and rad, it is not the case. Bonhams (the auction house) is so very, very proper and British and reserved. And John Bonham was none of those things other than British.
At any rate, the fine old British auction house will be setting up shop this month at the Aston Martin Works in Newport Pagnell, the spiritual and for a time, literal home of Aston Martin. Newport Pagnell is right in the middle of The Midlands and, location-wise, about as British as Downton Abbey. Indeed, it is this old location that many of the cars coming up for auction were built. The cars on the list are very impressive indeed.
For starters, there is a stylish 1953 DB2 Drophead Coupé. The British pronounce it like that, cooPAY, unlike us yanks, who say COOP. This would be the second of the DB series, and although not as recognizable as the DB5 that Sean Connery tooled around in, it is a plenty desirable car. It’s also a convertible (what the English refer to as a “Drophead”) of which Aston made very few of.
Vantage GT12 Coupé
The most modern car to cross the blocks will be a special edition 2016 Vantage GT12 Coupé. Aston Martin only made 100 of these performance-focused road-going Vantage GT12s, and this is the only one produced in an outstanding Viridian Green paint. It sort of seems like a shade seen in a tropical jungle; a “special colour” created by bespoke service, Q by Aston Martin. Get it? Q? Like James Bond’s armorer played by Peter Burton/Desmond Llewelyn/John Cleese/Ben Whishaw? Uh? Get it?
Get used to it – Aston really has been playing up this whole James Bond connection stuff lately. Anyway, the 2016 Vantage GT12 Coupé cranks out a little over 591 horsepower and is expected to hammer between £350,000 – £450,000. Or around 500K in real Yankee dollars.
DB6 ‘Mark I’ Volante
There is also a 1968 DB6 ‘Mark I’ Volante up for sale. One of the rarest post-war Aston Martins, it was extensively refurbished by Aston Martin Works at the factory in 2012. Since then, the car has only covered 1,000 miles and is estimated to sell between £700,000 – £900,000, or around a million bucks, give or take. This car, the convertible DB6, premiered at the 1965 London Motor Show, and also debuted the ‘Volante’ name, another Aston Martin designation for a convertible. Only 140 of these ‘Mark I’ DB6 Volantes were ever produced, making this “a highly sought-after collectors model,” which is a great example of “British understatement.”
There will also be a DB5, along with a number of graceful DB6s from the 1960s. Although the 6s were better performers than the DB5s, they never had that 007 cache’ so they are a relative bargain. In much the same way that gold is relatively “cheaper” than platinum.
V8 Sportsman Estate
Bonhams will also be auctioning off a very rare V8 Sportsman estate car. An estate car is yet another one of these peculiar British things that’s sort of like a two-door station wagon. Very well-healed gentlemen (read that as filthy rich nabobs) would get these things made up every so often so they could use them on their farm, or to go pheasant hunting or things along that line. Think of the automotive equivalent of the elbow pads on a tweed jacket, and you sort of get the idea.
This particular V8 Sportsman estate car is very rare indeed, being one of only three created.
Don’t have the space in your garage or checking account? Bonhams points out there will also be an auction of a wide range of Aston Martin related memorabilia. So who knows, you might be able to snag a steering wheel that was once touched by Roy Salvadori or something? The 18th annual Aston Martin Sale will be held by International auction house Bonhams on Saturday May 13th 2017. If you have the crust, you can see the full catalogue and register to bid at the auction web page.
Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He means well, even if he has a bias towards lighter, agile cars rather than big engine muscle cars or family sedans.