It’s against this backdrop of toolkits, oil-stained rags and charming classic cars that the annual auction takes place. This year, Bonhams auctioneer James Knight played host to a packed room, encouraging bidders to part with some substantial sums in return for a piece of Aston Martin ancestry.
Following the collection of Aston automobilia, cars from all generations including an ex-Works 1953 DB2/4 Drophead Coupe, a rare, right-hand drive 1963 DB4 Vantage Convertible, and a unique 1986 Lagonda Shooting Brake built by Swiss firm Roos Engineering took to the stage.
But the star car wasn’t the ex-Stirling Moss DB3S, as was expected, but the handsome right-hand drive 1963 DB4 Vantage Convertible, which sold for a staggering £1,009,500 (including premium). Incidentally, the DB3S cover car - once owned by David Brown and raced by the likes of Stirling Moss, Roy Salvadori, and Reg Parnell – failed to sell despite a cool £5million offer from a bidder in the room. The car even came with Aston’s Assured Provenance certification and a sported Stirling Moss’ signature on the rear racing number roundel. What’s not to like? Perhaps it was the cars £7million upper estimate – an ambitious estimate in today’s market, even for a car of its standing.
The ugly ducking of the salesroom was a one-off 1986 Lagonda Shooting Brake, which was adapted in 1996 by Swiss firm Roos Engineering for a customer in Hong Kong. The build took four years to complete with the re-modeled windowpanes costing 40,000 Swiss Francs alone. Unsurprisingly, a car of such acquired taste failed to find a home with a bid of £170,000 against its £200,000 lower estimate.