Bonhams Collector’s Motor Cars and Automobilia sale held at the Goodwood Festival of Speed on June 24 saw a rare Aston Martin DB ex-works Le Mans 24-hour Team Car climb to the top spot, fetching £605,000 after an estimate of £600,000–£900,000.
The car was stolen in 2002 having been left deteriorating in a garden for decades. Recovered by police and returned to its owners, this was the ‘ultimate barn find’, according to Bonhams International Group Motoring Director, James Knight.
"Despite its neglected condition... its wonderfully original patina, reminiscent of the days when it raced at both Le Mans and in the Spa 24-Hours, explain this special appeal. We are delighted that after such a troubled past, the car has achieved such a wonderful price for the family," he continues.
Registered ‘UMC 65’ it was one of the earliest Astons to bear the ‘DB’ initials of new company owner, David Brown. It finished in 7th place in the first post-war Grand Prix d'Endurance in June 1949. Years later, the car was bought by Christopher Angell, official BBC war correspondent and life member of the Aston Martin Owners' Club.
The best of the rest
Other stand out lots from a paddock full of classics included a 1957 Bentley S-Series Continental Sports Saloon, acquired in 1981 for Frank Cooke's 'Vintage Garage' collection in Massachusetts, USA. It sold for £208,000. A 1938 Jaguar SS100 3½ Litre Roadster, estimated at £180,000-250,000, was only one of three originally imported into the Netherlands. It sold at £300,000.
More up to date is the first Pop Art Bentley, designed by artist Sir Peter Blake, which sold for £250,000 to a bidder in the room; the proceeds have been donated to the Care2Save Charitable Trust.
A “rather cheeky” specialist numberplate attracted some smiles - 'FU 2' sold for £135,000.
Buyer's premiums - 15% on the first £50,000, 12% from £50,001
Bonhams has also just announced the sale of entrepreneur Robert White’s single-owner collection which includes “a vast treasure trove of collectable mechanical delights worth more than £2m, including motorcycles, cars, vintage Leica cameras, motoring mascots, Lalique and several rare wristwatches”. The sale is on September 19.