Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato

Every year Bonhams holds an auction in the hallowed halls of Aston Martin Works, the restoration shop on the site of the company's old Newport Pagnell factory. A number of rare and significant Astons crossed the block at the recently expanded facility.

At the top of the list was a DB4GT Zagato "Sanction II" coupe (pictured above). While the original collaboration between Aston Martin and Zagato netted nineteen DB4 GTs between 1961 and 1963, the two firms had planned for 23. Thirty years later, Aston revived the project and sent four unfinished chassis down to Zagato's headquarters in Milan and had the series completed. It was the fourth and last of these "Sanction II" coupes – previously owned by music industry manager Tony Smith – that was sold this week at Newport Pagnell, fetching a record £1.2 million - just under $1.9 million at today's rates.

Alongside the pristine Zagato coupe, Bonhams auctioned off a 1962 DB4 Vantage convertible for £611,900 ($960k) and a 1963 DBS convertible for £488,700 ($767k). A one-of-a-kind 1971 DBS shooting brake commissioned by a Scottish nobleman and outfitted for fishing went for £345,000 ($540k) – considerably more than its £60k pre-sale estimate. Other highlights included a 1994 Virage Volante once used by the Prince of Wales and a 1994 Virage owned by boxing champ Lennox Lewis.

Overall, the event brought in £6.5 million - equivalent to over ten million dead presidents. You can read the press release below for more details from both Aston Martin Works and Bonhams.
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ASTON MARTIN WORKS HOSTS BONHAMS SALE AT NEWPORT PAGNELL

The first event to be held at Aston Martin Works in Newport Pagnell since its refurbishment following a major investment programme, was the annual Bonhams Aston Martin sale. The sale, attended by 2,000 bidders and enthusiasts, achieved a record total, with 47 cars and associated automobilia sold for in excess of £6.5 million.

On Saturday 19th May Bonhams came to Aston Martin Works for the 13th annual auction of heritage Aston Martin cars and associated automobilia. Over 200 lots including a fascinating selection of historical documents, parts and other automotive memorabilia and 47 Aston Martin cars came under the hammer.

The star attraction, a DB4GT Zagato Sanction II Coupe, was sold for £1.23 million – this is the second million pound plus car ever sold at the Aston Martin sale. Second highest price in the sale was £611,900 for a 1962 Aston Martin DB4 Vantage Convertible, followed by the third highest, £488,700 for a 1963 Aston Martin DBS Convertible. A unique DBS Estate went for £345,000.

Kingsley Riding-Felce, Managing Director of Aston Martin Works said "This record sale clearly demonstrates that the keen interest the market has in heritage Aston Martin cars remains strong year-on-year. It is also proof that the value of our heritage models remains robust despite a weak global economy.

"The format of a single marque auction is something pioneered by Bonhams and ourselves, and we continue to be flattered by other marques following suit. This is the 13th consecutive Bonhams sale held at Newport Pagnell and we are so pleased that we were able to welcome everyone to our revitalised and remodelled home following the investment in the site."

After an extensive development programme carried out over six months, the historic home of Aston Martin Works now boasts a beautiful new Aston Martin dealership, 10-car showroom and 13-bay service workshop. The Heritage Centre remains an 'Aladdin's Cave' – a treasure-trove of cars, craftsmen and re-born sports cars which have been through the loving restoration process.

"Over 2,500 cars pass through our workshops each year," Kingsley said, "and with our ability to now sell, as well as service, repair and restore every Aston Martin ever built, this facility is ideally placed to offer our customers a 'one-stop-shop.'

"We are looking forward to being more than just Aston Martin Works at Newport Pagnell. Our aim is to be the destination for Aston Martin owners to visit whenever they wish, knowing they will always be welcome."

Following the sale, James Knight, Group Director of the Bonhams Motoring Department who auctioned the cars said: "This was a tremendous sale for us and for Aston Martin. As well as achieving record prices and selling the 'talisman car' the Sanction II Zagato, this event shows just how strong both brands – Bonhams and Aston Martin – are in the heritage car market."

After the success of the Bonhams sale, traditionally regarded as the opening event of the classic car calendar, Aston Martin Works will host owners visiting the Silverstone Classic in July and will also have a presence at the Goodwood Revival meeting in September.


£1.23m Aston Martin is a world record in Bonhams sale at Aston Martin Works, Newport Pagnell

Bonhams 13th sale at the home of Aston Martin in Newport Pagnell, Bucks, on May 19th was a £6.5m triumph with records falling before a record crowd of 2,000 bidders and enthusiasts packing the newly relaunched facility, a fabled space among those who love this British marque.

For sale there were 46 breathtakingly beautiful cars including a particularly rare production, a DB4GT Zagato Sanction II Coupe once owned by Tony Smith, the manager of rock star Phil Collins. The car made £1.23m, a new world record for such a car at auction in a sale that made a total of £6.5m, the best sale result for Bonhams since starting sales at Aston Martin's Works facility.

Tony Smith, a keen historic car racer, has over the years has owned some of the world's greatest cars. The Aston passed to the current owner in Germany via Michael Brinkert and David Clark of Taylor & Crawley some 17 years ago. It was offered with only 4,748 miles showing on the odometer.

After the sale, James Knight International MD of Collectors Cars at Bonhams, said: "With only four Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato Sanction IIs made, '0198/R' represented a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire one of these fabulous cars, which will become increasingly collectible."

Specification highlights of the Sanction II cars include an engine built to 4.2-liter specification (the originals used 3.7-liter units); four-speed David Brown gearbox; limited-slip differential with 3.07:1 final drive ratio; all-disc, dual circuit braking; wishbone independent front suspension with co-axial spring/damper units and anti-roll bar; live rear axle with coil springs and double-acting telescopic dampers, located by parallel trailing links and a Watts linkage; rack-and-pinion steering; and a 35-gallon (159-liter) fuel tank. With 352bhp on tap (some 50 horsepower more than the 3.7-liter DB4GT) the Sanction II raced to 60mph in 5.5 seconds and reached the 'ton' in 12.2 on its way to a top speed of 153mph.

Second highest price in the sale was £611,900 for a 1962 Aston Martin DB4 Vantage Convertible from the estate of the late Peter Gwynn. Third highest price achieved was £488,700 for a 1963 Aston Martin DBS Convertible.

There were astonished cheers when a unique 1971 Aston Martin DBS shooting brake estate car once ordered by a Scottish laird for his fishing trips netted a buyer at £345,000. It had been estimated to sell for £50,000 to £70,000. A one-of-a-kind car it comes with a wooden roof rack to accommodate fishing gear as well a couple of sizeable salmon and boasts coachwork by FLM Panelcraft.

A 1994 Aston Martin Virage Volante 6.3-Liter soft-top convertible once used by HRH the Prince of Wales – described by Fast Lane Magazine as "the most aristocratic of convertibles" – sold for £122,000, having been estimated to sell for £50,000 to £70,000.

A car once owned by world boxing champion Lennox Lewis, a 1994 Aston Martin Virage Limited Edition Coupe, sold for £18,290.

James Knight speaking after the auction said:" This sale once again shows the steady rise of interest in Aston Martin cars that we have seen since we started these sales at Aston Martin Works."