Bonhams’ £4.4m 2018 Aston Martin Sale

Bonhams’ £4.4m 2018 Aston Martin Sale 4th June 2018

The figures might not reflect it, but the Aston sale has got its mojo back. Held in a stunning location under azure skies, bidding in the room at the new venue of Englefield House in Berkshire put a smile on most people’s faces – auctioneer James Knight being no exception.

 
The cars that didn’t sell were the more modern entries (Vanquish, Vantage GT8) that are better off in a showroom with full dealer facilities, or optimistic projects such as the white DBS/6 with Webasto sunroof and a Jaguar XK ’six (£60k to £80k) that should have been at No Reserve and bought for £35k.
 
The latter did come with its matching-numbers engine, making it the first Aston Martin bimotore, as James Knight wittily put it. The entire event was held in something of a carnival atmosphere helped by glorious sunshine and a busy bar. Stuffy, it was not. And many cars went to bids in the room, something we’ve not seen at Newport Pagnell for many years.

Location, location, location... the new rural setting worked well
Location, location, location... the new rural setting worked well

At a glance:
 
* Gross: £4,374,861 (2017, £5,153,121)
* Percentage sold by number: 57% (2017, 60%)
* Top-selling car: 1965 DB5 Convertible, £886,300 gross, £790,000 net (est. £850k to £950k)
* Well sold? Lovely DB Mk III Drophead Coupé that went for top estimate, £350k net, £393.5k gross
* Well bought? The £27,600 all-in 1991 Virage. At one point it looked as if it might sell sub-£20k…
 
An astute bidder bought both DB5s, the Saloon (a nice example for a keen £628,700 gross) and the Convertible. The open car sold for £790k hammer, £886.3k gross against an estimate of £850k to £900k. These results, and the with-premium £494.3k manual DB6 Mk I Volante, show where the Aston Martin market is today. The automatic DB6 Mk 2 Volante did not sell on the day, but we anticipate a post-sale deal this week.

Barn-find twins. The DHC was the one to have
Barn-find twins. The DHC was the one to have

One of the favourites in the marquee was the LHD barn-find 1954 DB2/4 Mark II Drophead Coupé. Formerly the property of guided missile scientist Marv Biren of Brookline, MA, who bought it in 1962, the car featured many improvements of which ‘Doc’ Emmett Brown would have approved: the foot-shaped accelerator pedal, a special ‘Boston-friendly’ high exhaust, and extra instrumentation.

Stunning Englefield House backdrop
Stunning Englefield House backdrop
"Well, Sir, it is complete..."
"Well, Sir, it is complete..."

It was a charming car that sold for a low-estimate £200k net (£225.5k gross) and sort of summed the day up: lots sold at more affordable and realistic prices, entertainment in the auction tent and some genuinely interesting entries such as this, and the red DB Mk III DHC, finding new owners. Had there been a dozen or so at No Reserve, Bonhams would have been onto a winner.

All the talk was of how '2 VEV' will fare next month at the Festival.
All the talk was of how '2 VEV' will fare next month at the Festival. "Twelve million pounds, may I say?"

The Bonhams Aston Martin Sale, 2 June 2018 (2017)
 
Gross: £4,374,861 (£5,153,121)
Number of cars not sold: 15 (17)
Number of cars withdrawn: 1 (0)
Total number of cars: 35 (42)
Number sold: 20 (25)
Percentage cars sold by number: 57% (60%)
Percentage by value average low/high estimate: 54% (43%)
Percentage of cars met or sold below low estimate: 75% (44%)
Percentage of cars sold below avge of estimates: 85% (88%)
Percentage of cars sold met/exceeded top estimate: 5% (4%)
Average year of cars offered: 1975 (1977)
Average price of cars sold: £218,2743 (£206,125)
Percentage of cars offered at No Reserve: 0% (2%)
 
Photos by K500