DB AR1

2003 Aston Martin DB AR1 Roadster by Zagato

Offered by Bonhams | Knokke-Heist, Belgium | October 6, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

The Aston Martin DB7 went on sale in 1994 with a straight-six engine. The V-12 arrived in 1999. By 2003, when the variant you see above was introduced, the DB7 was pretty long-in-the-tooth. Before this, there was a DB7 Zagato Coupe built from 2002 and 2003 that helped spice up the range. This is essentially the roadster version of that car.

And it’s a true roadster – there is no top. And I guess, technically, it’s not even a DB7 at all, since that “7” doesn’t appear in the car’s name. “AR1” stands for “American Roadster 1” and just 99 examples were produced. This is #23.

The DB AR1 is powered by a slightly tweaked version of the DB7 Vantage’s 6.0-liter V-12 that, in this car, makes 435 horsepower. All that power helped set a record of sorts – this is the world’s fastest true roadster, with a top speed of 186 mph.

The first owner of this car was American. Then it made it’s way to it’s third owner in Luxembourg by way of its second owner in Switzerland. It’s a 2,000 mile car and a gorgeous one at that. Aston and Zagato go hand in hand and this car is drivable proof. It is expected to sell for between $300,000-$420,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

September 2017 Auction Results, Pt. II

We’re back, this time starting with Mecum’s Dallas sale. The top sale was this 2006 Ford GT for $270,000.

Photo – Mecum

We featured a big Cadillac from this sale and it sold for $130,000. Check out everything else that sold (or didn’t) here.

Bonhams held their Chantilly sale in Paris in September and the top sale was this pretty 1953 Aston Martin DB2 Vantage Cabriolet for $485,415.

Photo – Bonhams

A previously-featured Horch failed to find a new buyer at this sale, but the Frazer Nash Shelsley did, selling for $242,707. And that crazy Ferrari 328 Conciso sold for $138,690. Click here for more results.

Let’s go to Italy for RM Sotheby’s all-Ferrari sale held at Ferrari. Ferrari actually auctioned off some stuff they had lying around (like a LaFerrari Prototype and a wind tunnel model of their newest model). The top sale was actually a 2017 LaFerrari Aperta – a car I was excited to feature, but Ferrari didn’t release what it was going to look like until right before the sale, so there weren’t any available photos. It brought an eye-watering $9,947,425. To be fair though, it was sold to benefit charity, so someone probably bought a nice, big tax write-off (depending on where the buyer was from).

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Two cars sold at this auction that we’d featured: a 195 Inter (for $1,078,636) and a one-off 250 Europa by Vignale for $3,440,850. Click here for complete results.

Moving on to Historics at Brooklands September sale, we’ll find that the Allard M-Type we featured sold for $29,097. The top sale was this 1966 Maserati Sebring Series II for $364,284. Click here for more results.

Photo – Historics at Brooklands

Finally, the Aguttes sale held at Montlhéry. The Georges Irat Cabriolet we featured failed to sell, but this 2003 Maserati 4200 Trofeo brought more money than anything else – $324,471. Click here for the rest of the results.

Photo – Aguttes

Aston DBR1

1956 Aston Martin DBR1

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 18-19, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

On their home page, RM Sotheby’s describes the DBR1 as “the most important Aston Martin ever built.” Why’s that? Because David Brown bought Aston Martin in 1947 and set his sights on winning Le Mans. With the DBR1, he finally succeeded, putting his little car company in the spotlight and ensuring its survival for decades to come.

This car is not the Le Mans winning car, but the first of five DBR1s built (chassis #2 triumphed at Le Sarthe). This was built in 1956, there was one example in 1957, one in 1958, and two in 1959. If you’re a big fan of Astons, perhaps this car reminds you a little bit, styling-wise, of the DB3S.

This DBR1 is powered by a reproduction 3.0-liter straight-six developing 302 horsepower. The owner had the engine specially constructed for this car so it could be used in historic events without fear of damaging the original 3.0-liter unit (which peaked at 255 horsepower).

The competition history of this factory race car includes the following:

  • 1956 24 Hours of Le Mans – 14th, DNF (with Tony Brooks and Reg Parnell)
  • 1957 1000km Nurburgring – 6th (with Roy Salvadori and Les Leston)
  • 1957 24 Hours of Le Mans – 34th, DNF (with Salvadori and Leston)
  • 1958 12 Hours of Sebring – 52nd, DNF (with Salvadori and Carroll Shelby)
  • 1958 1000km Nurburgring – DNF (with Salvadori and Shelby)
  • 1958 24 Hours of Le Mans – 34th, DNF (with Salvadori and Stuart Lewis-Evans)
  • 1959 12 Hours of Sebring – 62nd, DNF (with Salvadori and Shelby)
  • 1959 1000km Nurburgring – 1st (with Stirling Moss and Jack Fairman)

What a race history! Tony Brooks, Roy Salvadori, Carroll Shelby, and Stirling Moss all drove this car in period. And it won the 1000km of the Nurburgring (with Moss at the wheel, no less). The current owner, a major Aston Martin collector, has owned this car since 2009. RM hasn’t published estimates at the time of this writing, but it’s possible this one gets tagged with the ubiquitous “Inquire.” Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $22,550,000.

The First DB4GT

1959 Aston Martin DB4GT Prototype

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 18-19, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Asrton Martin DB4, DB5, and DB6 are the best looking of all the classic Astons (though I will forever maintain that the DB7 is the best looking period, especially the convertible). The DB4 was built between 1958 and 1963 until the DB5 took its place.

Among the most sought-after DB4s were the DB4GTs. These were lightweight, short-wheelbase, near-racing spec cars. Nineteen of them sported bodies by Zagato. One of them received a Jet Age body from Bertone. In all, 75 DB4GTs were built – but this is the first.

The GT came with an upgraded engine, a 302 horsepower 3.7-liter straight-six to be exact. Top speed was 151 mph – pretty stout for something pre-1960. The story of this car is that program manager John Wyer took an early DB4 chassis, shortened it, and wrapped it in aluminium to save weight. They tested it at Le Mans and actually entered in the 1959 race. Here’s how it fared:

  • 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans – 52nd (of 53), DNF (with Hubert Patthey and Renaud Calderari)

So maybe that race entrance was a little premature. After Le Mans, Aston converted this car to road spec and pushed it into service as a press car. The first real owner came in 1961 and it turned out to be a relative of the Royal family. The current owner acquired the car in 1986 and had the factory restore it in 1989. Between their original acquisition and now, the car was at one point owned by actor Rowan Atkinson.

At the time of writing, RM has not yet published an estimate for this car. It won’t come cheap, and rightly so. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $6,765,000.

June 2017 Auction Highlights, Pt. II

We’re back with more from June, starting with H&H Classics’ second June sale, this one held at Woodcote Park. The top seller was this 1966 Aston Martin DB6 Vantage, featuring the world’s tallest antenna, which brought $317,992.

Photo – H&H Classics

The Tojeiro-Climax we featured failed to meet its reserve. More results can be found here.

We move across the Channel to Osenat’s June sale. The Tracta we featured brought big money ($786,394) – but it wasn’t enough to dethrone this 1939 Bugatti Type 57C Cabriolet by Gangloff from the top of the sale sheet. It brought $1,414,979.

Photo – Osenat

Both of our other feature cars sold, with the other Bugatti in the sale bringing $321,130 and the Turcat-Mery $120,423. Click here for complete results.

Back to the U.K. for Brightwells’ Modern Classics sale. We weren’t able to feature anything from this sale, but the top sale was $97,257 for this 1995 Porsche 911 Turbo. More results from Brightwells can be found on their site here.

Photo – Brightwells

Next up: Barrett-Jackson’s “Northeast” sale. The top sale here was a basically brand new 2017 Ferrari 488 Spider that sold for $434,500 – which was definitely not a great deal for the buyer, as you can buy one of these off the lot for less (even with the same options). Someone got caught up in the auction fervor…

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

The Tiffany neo-classic we featured brought $13,200. You can see the rest of the results here.

Finally, we have Auctions America on the West Coast in Santa Monica. The top sale was this 1960 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster that sold for $1,100,000.

Photo – Auctions America

The Ferrari 599 GTO we featured failed to sell, but the Duesenberg brought $880,000. And the spacey Tatra 603 sold for $41,800. Click here for complete results.

May 2017 Auction Highlights, Pt. I

Starting off our recap of May’s auction activity we have Brightwells’ second April sale, Modern Classic Cars and Motorcycles. We featured a Lotus Excel that sold for a reasonable $7,818. The top seller off an overall low sell-through rate was this 1982 Mercedes-Benz 280SL for $15,636. Click here to see the rest of what sold.

Photo – Brightwells

Next, we have one of two Osenat sales held in May. Two feature cars failed to sell, the Roamer and the Lorraine-Dietrich. The top sale was this 1927 Bugatti Type 40 that sold for $380,346.

Photo – Osenat

The Talbot sedan we featured brought $24,263 and you can see the rest of Osenat’s results here.

Bonhams has a pair of sales in May as well, the first being their Aston Martin sale. The V8 Vantage Zagato we featured failed to sell, but the top sale was this 1964 Aston Martin DB5 for $721,955. Click here for more Astons.

Photo – Bonhams

We’ll keep it in the U.K. for Silverstone Auctions’ May Sale. We featured a Farbio GTS, but it failed to meet its reserve. The #1 sale at this auction was this 1993 Porsche 911 Turbo S “Leichtbau” for an impressive $717,756. Those Porsche prices don’t quit! Click here for more from Silverstone Auctions.

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

Finally, for this post, Auctions America’s Auburn Spring sale. Top sale honors went to this 2012 Ferrari 458 GTD Race Car for $462,000.

Photo – Auctions America

The Buick Hellcat tank we featured was near the top, selling for $247,500. There were a couple other military vehicles that we’ve featured before that went across the block in Auburn again. Leading the way was this White Half-Track for $82,500. Next came the GMC “Duck” for $49,500. And finally, this tracked Opel rocket launcher for $41,500.

The two other feature cars both sold for decent sums with the Cunningham Hearse bringing $137,500 and the HPD ARX $110,000. Click here for complete results, including some absolute bargains that prove Auctions America is still a hidden enough gem that makes it a buyer’s paradise.

V8 Vantage Zagato Volante

1989 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Zagato Volante

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Villa Erba, Italy | May 27, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

We recently featured the closed-top Coupe version of this car. RM is also selling a Coupe – and Bonhams, who is selling the Coupe I just linked to, is also selling a Volante. It’s a good time to be in the market for the rarest Aston Martins.

The V8 Vantage Zagato was produced in limited quantities between 1986 and 1990. They’re powered by a 430 horsepower, 5.3-liter V-8. That’s a lot of power for 1989 – so much so that the hood is fitted with a “power bulge” – a term that I’ll just go ahead and leave alone for now. Try finding a faster convertible from that year. It’s not going to happen.

Or one that’s rarer. Aston only built 37 convertibles of this type and this is the only left-hand-drive example. The bright yellow paint is the best indicator that you’ve got a supercar here. Zagato’s boxy styling was great for the era but now it just screams of the era, which isn’t a bad thing as things tend to come back around. Aston ended the 80s on a high note with this car and the price reflects it. This should bring between $490,000-$600,000 at auction. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $513,569.

V8 Vantage Zagato

1987 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Zagato Coupe

Offered by Bonhams | Newport Pagnell, U.K. | May 13, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

In the mid-to-late 1980s (and through the early 1990s), Aston Martin was just barely getting by. Like, they were producing cars by the handful before Ford got involved. Take this for instance, the V8 Vantage Zagato, which was built between 1986 and 1990 and resulted in just 89 cars completed.

Aston Martin and Zagato have a long history together and this car reignited the flame. The “V8 Vantage” nameplate has been a popular model name over the years and this V8 Vantage was based on the aging Aston Martin V8 that dated back to 1969. It shares the same, old (Bonhams calls it “proven”) 5.3-liter V-8 spec’d to 432 horsepower, which was pretty serious for 1987. It was quick, too: 60 mph arrived in 4.8 seconds.

Only 52 coupes were built and they were expensive, costing $156,600 when new. But because they came out at the height of the supercar craze, prices skyrocketed and a few years after their introduction they were selling for nearly half a million dollars. This one should bring between $370,000-$500,000. Aston built a further 37 convertibles which are even more sought after. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

March 2017 Auction Highlights, Pt. III

We’ll kick this one off with Bonhams’ Goodwood Members’ Meeting sale in March. The top sale was this 1961 Aston Martin DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupe that brought $683,409 – that’s some serious replica money.

Photo – Bonhams

Both of our feature cars sold, with the 1903 Gladiator bringing $175,291 and the super cool NSU Kettenkrad $64,108. For the rest of the results, check out Bonhams’ site here.

Osenat held two sales in March, the second of which saw this 1932 Chrysler Imperial Custom Convertible by de Villars take top sale honors at $350,245.

Photo – Osenat

Our two feature cars both sold, with the Salmson race car bringing the most: $168,636. At the other end of the spectrum was the Georges Irat Roadster which sold for $32,430. You can see the rest of the results here.

Mecum’s Kansas City sale held in March saw this 2005 Ford GT go to a new home as the top seller at $300,000.

Photo – Mecum

The Pontiac Tojan we featured from this sale brought $13,500. You can see more from Mecum in Kansas City here.

Leclere held a sale in Avignon in their native France. This one popped on my radar too late to feature anything, but a weak sell-through rate had this 1966 Ferrari 330 GTC go as the top seller for $838,800. Click here for full results. There were some interesting cars in this sale and we’ll be sure to feature more from their upcoming auctions.

Photo – Leclere Maison de Ventes

The final sale from March is the Imperial War Museum sale held by H&H Classics. The top sale was the long-ago featured Ferrari Nembo Spyder for $744,015. The Armstrong-Siddeley Special we featured sold for $28,777 and we’ll give Most Interesting to a similar car, this 1928 Armstrong-Siddeley 20HP Long Ascot Tourer that went for $22,811.

Photo – H&H Classics

And the Bitter CD we featured sold for a healthy $84,228. Click here to see the rest of the results from this sale.

March 2017 Auction Highlights, Pt. II

We’re back with more from Amelia Island, beginning with Gooding & Company where they sold a previously-featured Porsche 911 GT1 road car for $5,665,000 – a nice bump over the price the owner paid for it five years ago. The big-money Jaguar XKSS failed to sell, as did the Pegaso. Our Most Interesting award goes to David Brown’s personal 1949 Aston Martin DB Mk II which sold for $1,540,000.

Photo – Gooding & Company

Mazda’s 767B sold for $1,750,000 and the Cisitialia we featured brought $550,000. The rest of Gooding & Company’s Amelia Island results can be found here.

We didn’t get to feature anything from Motostalgia’s Amelia Island sale, but I wish we would’ve featured the top seller, this 1950 Abarth (Cisitalia) 204A Spyder that sold for $1,001,000. Click here for complete results.

Photo – Motostalgia

And now, the final results from Amelia Island: RM Sotheby’s. The Ferrari 166 would’ve been the top seller, but it failed to meet its reserve. So top sale honors went to another of our feature cars, the Bugatti 57S by Vanvooren for $7,700,000. Other million dollar sales included the Lancia Tipo Bocca for $2,145,000, the Supercharged Stutz for $1,705,000, and a previously featured Lancia PF200 Spider that brought $1,248,500.

There were other cars that sold here that we had featured in the past. This beautiful coachbuilt Graham-Paige sold for $770,000 – earning its consignor over a half a million in profit in one year’s time. At the other end of the spectrum, this Atlas Babycar went for just $30,250 – roughly half of what it sold for four years ago.

We’ll give “Most Interesting” to this 1959 Devin D that we neglected to feature. It sold for $88,000.

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Other feature cars were the Zimmerli Roadster that went for $71,500 and the Meyers Manx that sold for $68,750. To see complete results, including the sale of the Orin Smith Collection, click here.

Now how about a couple of auctions in France? Aguttes held a sale in Lyon and this 1972 Dino 246 GT was the top sale at $335,171.

Photo – Aguttes

The Honda we featured brought $36,210. Complete results can be found here.

Finally, Osenat auctioned off the Perinet-Marquet Citroen collection. While we didn’t feature anything, this 1969 Citroen DS21 Cabriolet Usine was the top sale at $129,720. Click here for the rest of the results.

Photo – Osenat