1963 Aston Martin DB5 Convertible
Aston Martin’s DB5 is the epitome of British elegance and class and with multiple appearances in the James Bond franchise, has been heralded over the years as one of the world’s most famous cars. While maybe not all passersby will be able to tell you what it is when looking at the DB5, mostly everyone knows that shape. The fact that there was also an open-top version may not, however, be common knowledge but, with or without a roof, the DB5 is a show-stopper any day of the week.
Powered by 4.0-liter version of Tadek Marek’s DOHC inline-six, the DB5 was an evolutionary step than a revolutionary one when compared to the DB4 it replaced. In fact, the styling was nigh on identical to that of a Series 5 DB4 and it was the increase in the engine’s capacity that stood out as key differentiator between the two models. But a deal to supply Sean Connery’s Bond with a Silver Birch DB5 in the movie ’Goldfinger’ changed everything for David Brown’s company.
The model became a success with over 1,000 units sold in just two years and movie stars fawned over the gorgeous lines penned by Touring. Actors Peter Sellers and Beryl Reid were just some who owned DB5s in the ’60s and even Princess Margaret rolled in one for a while. Indeed, you probably needed the funds usually linked to an heir of the crown given that the DB5 Convertible cost as much as a house at the time but can you really put a price on driving a car Bond pedalled on-screen?
1953 Aston Martin DB3S Works
The Aston Martin DB3S is a special car although it may have been overshadowed as years came and went by a certain finned Jaguar and the DBR1/300 that won at La Sarthe for David Brown’s marque. However, its status as a bit of a giant killer and the fact that the boys in Feltham kept using it for four seasons in international competitions puts the DB3S in a unique spot in Jaguar’s racing history. This car, chassis #2, is one of only 11 works cars ever built and it won the Goodwood Nine Hours ahead of the D-Type and Ferrari’s 750 Monza. It is, then, no wonder that RM/Sotheby’s hoped it would sell for anywhere between $8.75 and $10 million when it crossed the block last Thursday during the Monterey Car Week. Well, it didn’t but you can’t deny this is one rare, gorgeous, and expensive product of the ’50s. Need further proof? A copy of the definitive book on this car sold 14 years ago for some $1,500.
When you talk ’50s sports cars, your mind slaloms between William Haynes’ C-Type and D-Type, together amassing five overall 24 Hours of Le Mans wins, the classic 250 Testa Rossa, the dominant but also infamous 300 SLR, and also the Lister Knobbly and Maserati’s 300S. Aston Martin isn’t among the names on the tip of your tongue despite it racking up quite an impressive number of wins between 1953 and 1959 with the DB3S and the DBR1 respectively. That’s because the Aston Martins were always seen as underdogs, always seen as members of the pack, those that’ll play second fiddle to the big fish when, in fact, it wasn’t like that at all. David Brown employed some of the best engineers and drivers at the time and his cars were some of the best. Yes, most often down on power, yes, most often with an Achilles’ heel (cough, the DBR1’s gearbox and ergonomics) but they were good cars. And now we’ll talk about the first one of those, the DB3S, offspring of the DB3 and a car that’s getting a bad rep for being actually friendly on the road.
1963 Aston Martin DP215 Grand Touring Competition Prototype
Originally designed to compete at Le Mans and considered to be “the most significant one-off Works Aston Martin” in existence, the 1963 Aston Martin DP215 Grand Touring Competition Prototype is also one of the most valuable collectible cars in the world. Exuding an almost mythical presence, the history of DP215 is one of heartbreak and accomplishment that marks the end of an era for the British automaker. Lovingly restored over a 40-year period with extensive consultation from the car’s original designer, DP215 now heads to the block later this month at the RM Sotheby’s event in Monterey, where it may very well become the most valuable British car ever sold at public auction.
Continue reading to learn more about the 1963 Aston Martin DP215 Grand Touring Competition Prototype.
Car for Sale: Elton John’s 1997 Aston Martin V8 Vantage V550-Manual
If you’re in the market for a unique sports car that was once owned by one of the most iconic musicians in history, there’s a 1997 Aston Martin V8 Vantage V550 that’s waiting for you. You’re going to have to spend around $300,000 for it, but if you do decide to make the plunge, you can take comfort knowing that this specific Vantage V550 is owned by none other than Elton John.
2016 Mecum Monterey Auction – Preview
Mecum Auctions has been involved with collector cars for almost three decades now, growing from a small family business to selling roughly 20,000 lots per year. In addition to top-dollar automobiles, Mecum also offers vintage motorcycles, collectible road art, and believe it or not, tractors. But you and I don’t really care about all that other stuff – we’re in it for the cars, from cutting-edge performance machines to ironclad muscle cars, antique classics to no-frills racers. Thankfully, Mecum has the entire spread on tap. The auction house averages more than one event per month, but one of the biggest is in California for Monterey Car Week. Roughly 600 vehicles are slated to hit the block for 2016, and we’ve got some of the most interesting of them profiled right here.
Highlighting the lineup for Monterey is the Modern Speed Collection, a host of ultra-high-end speed-mobiles from the present day. Mecum calls it “the apex of 21st Century automotive performance,” and picking through the offerings, I’m inclined to agree. Think rare, gorgeous, and absurdly quick.
TopSpeed will be on the scene this year, bringing you all the latest. Read on for a taste of what’s in store.
Update 08-20-2016 5:00 P.M. PST We’re on the scene at Mecum and have updated this preview with a welcome video. Check it out in the preview below.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Mecum Monterey Auction.
Aston Martin DB10 Up For Auction
The Aston Martin DB10 is one of those cars that’s so hard to get you’d be lucky to even see one in a collector’s garage, let alone on the road. Only 10 models were built by Aston Martin and all 10 were specifically built to be used in the latest James Bond movie, Spectre. But, you know what they say, every so often, even gold falls through the cracks. And, to the good fortune of every Aston Martin aficionado out there, one unit of the DB10 has somehow found its way into Christie’s King Street auction house in London.
The car in question is one of only two working units of the DB10, so whoever is the lucky individual to scoop it up in the auction will be the proud owner of a literal two-of-a-kind. More importantly, it’s the only DB10 that Aston Martin will offer to the public, so technically, it’s really a one-of-a-kind model. To further drive up its exclusivity, Aston Martin will also give this DB10 its own platinum authentication award to signify its authenticity and it will also carry the signature of no less than James Bond himself, Daniel Craig. So yeah, this DB10 is going to end up as one of the rarest Aston Martins one day. Whether it can reach the status of the legendary DB5 remains to be seen, but at least it can make a serious case for its outright rarity and exclusivity.
Those interested in making a bid for this DB10 better circle February 18, 2016 on their calendars. That’s the date when the sports car goes up for auction in London. Don’t worry about spending too much for it because neither Aston Martin nor Christies will receive the winning bid. That amount is specifically earmarked for Doctors Without Borders.
Doctors Without Borders, is an international humanitarian-aid non-governmental organization and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, best known for its projects in war-torn regions and developing countries facing endemic diseases.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
A 1962 model year Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato sold for $14.3 million, including fees, at Sotheby’s "Driven by Disruption" auction. Despite changing hands for less than originally estimated ($15 to $17 million), the coupe set an all-time auction record for both the model and for any British car.
One of only 19 examples built, the DB4GT Zagato was developed as a lighter and improved version of the DB4GT. Production spanned from 1960 to 1963, with six more chassis completed in 1991 and 2000 as "Sanction II" and "Sanction III" models.
Although powered by the same 3.7-liter, Tadek Marek inline-six as the standard DB4, the DB4GT Zagato received 74 additional horses compared to the regular coupe, hitting the streets with 314 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque. Tipping the scales at only 2,700 pounds (1,225 kg), the Zagato-bodied DB4 needed 6.1 seconds to hit 60 mph and topped out at 153 mph, figures that made it as quick as an early 1960s Ferrari.
The car in question was originally delivered to Australia, where it competed in various motorsport events. After competing successfully, chassis DB4GT/0186/R was sold to Colin Hyams, and then three years later to Alex Copland, who left it in storage for the next 20 years. In 1993, it was brought to the U.K., where it was restored and showcased at some of the world’s biggest concourse events. The car was named Best in Class at Villa d’Este in 2007 and Best of Show at the Louis Vuitton Concourse at the Hurlingham Club in 2002.
Continue reading for the full story.
The the world of classic Aston Martins, the DB4 and DB5 command much higher prices than the models that came immediately before and after them. But, there is one variant of these that stands high above the rest, making it what is generally considered to be the most desirable and most expensive of all classic Aston Martins. That car is the DB4 GT Zagato, a factory race car built to challenge the dominance of the Ferrari 250 GT cars in sports car racing. Debuting in 1960, the DB4 GT Zagato wasn’t a sales success, even with the very modest goals set by Aston Martin, but today that just makes it more valuable.
The car was built using the very best of Aston Martin’s racing technology, and then it was lightened and made even more shapely by Zagato. Unfortunately, this combination didn’t win quite as many races as Aston would have liked, but it did make for an absolutely beautiful car — even in the context of the gorgeous cars being produced by Zagato during the ’60s. It might not have the association with James Bond that the DB5 has, but for serious car collectors, the DB4 GT Zagato is as good as classic Astons get.
Continue reading to learn more about the 1962 Aston Martin DB4GT By Zagato.
It was in 1947 that David Brown purchased Aston Martin. The first car made under his ownership was the 2-Liter Sports, sometimes called the DB1, although this wasn’t the official name. But the four-cylinder engine in the car wasn’t as powerful has Brown would have liked, so he bought Lagonda as well, another sports car maker that had a more powerful inline-six engine, and he then set about combining Aston’s chassis engineering with the newly acquired Lagonda engine. The result was the DB2, also the first Aston Martin model to be offered as a Vantage, which at the time was a designation for race-ready cars.
The DB2 was more sports car than the grand tourer DB models that followed, but even in Vantage form, it was a comfortable car with a full interior. Pre-production versions were raced at Le Mans and Spa in 1949, two with the old 2-liter engine and one with the Lagonda engine. After Spa, it was clear that the inline-six was the better choice for the new car, and the decision to use it in the production car the following year was finalized. This was the origin point for what would become one of the most desirable lines of GT cars ever made.
Continue reading to learn more about the 1950 Aston Martin DB2 Vantage.
The Aston Martin DB4 was launched in 1958 as a replacement for the DB Mark III (not to be confused with the DB3 race car), and built until 1963 in various body styles and engine specifications. Offered as a 2+2 coupe, two-seat coupe, and 2+2 convertible, the DB4 was produced in no fewer than five variants, named Series I (one) to V (five). Modifications for each Series model usually included revised front grilles and new headlamps and taillights, but Aston Martin also meddled with the DB4’s body, offering longer versions for increased legroom and luggage space.
One such model is the DB4 Series V, which had its wheelbase increased by 3.5 inches over the Series IV in order for the DB4 to become a grand tourer suited for longer trips. The DB4 Series V was built between September 1962 and June 1963, marking the end of the nameplate, replaced by the more iconic 1963 - 1967 Aston Martin DB5.
Produced in only 168 units (including 32 convertibles) of the total 1,210-unit run, the DB4 Series V Vantage is one of the rarest DB4s ever built, second to only the 1963 Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato, a lighter, Zagato-bodied version. Making this particular coupe that much special is its Vantage specification, which means an uprated engine, and the more aerodynamic front fascia, later carried over to the DB5.
Continue reading for my full review of this special DB4.
The DB5 may be one of the most popular Aston Martins, due to its career as James Bond’s personal car, but its predecessor, the DB4, is nothing to sneeze at. It was one of the most beautiful grand tourers back in its heyday and it has evolved into a sought-after classic that commands impressive sums at auctions. The latest DB4 to change owners for a price higher than a modern supercar’s is a Series IV Vantage Convertible built in 1962, only a year before the DB4 was replaced by the DB5. The drop-top sold for £1.5 million (about $2.3 million) at a recent Bonhams sale, making it one of the most expensive DB4s in history.
If you’re wondering what makes this DB4 special, I have three facts for you. First, it’s one of only nine DB4 Series IV Convertibles ever made. Second, it was built in the rare Vantage specification, which came with a more powerful engine. Third, and probably more important to collectors, it was originally owned by Sir Peter Ustinov, the English actor and filmmaker that won the Grammy, the Golden Globe, and the Academy Award, among many others.
This ultra-rare DB4 was delivered to him at the Montreux Palace Hotel in Switzerland in July 1962 with left-hand drive. It was equipped with red Connolly hide trim, overdrive, chrome wire wheels and a detachable hardtop. Initially finished in Desert White, its exterior was repainted Royal Claret in 1979. The DB4 was also owned by famous racing driver David Piper in the 1980s.
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Aston Martin is not a company that is typically known for its prewar cars. It enjoyed some motorsports success, but nothing like that of Alfa Romeo or Bugatti, and neither could it match the engineering prowess and niche-defining luxury of Cadillac. But that’s exactly what makes cars like this 1937 15/98 Long Chassis Tourer such a good bargain; you aren’t paying millions of extra dollars just for the badge. The company was beset by financial problems (surprise!) before WWII, and it was in 1935 that a new range of cars with a broader consumer appeal debuted.
Though this 15/98 was part of the new consumer push and Aston Martin’s first luxury four-seat car, only 24 units were produced before the outbreak of WWII. The car is actually closely related to a slightly earlier racing model, and like a lot of these kinds of prewar cars, has been used both as a road car and a race car. It sat in storage for several decades after that, before eventually being purchased and restored by the current owner, and it is now going up for auction by Silverstone Auctions.
Continue reading to learn more about the 1937 Aston Martin 15/98 2L Long Chassis Tourer.
If you’ve been looking for a V-12-powered British GT car you can take on hunting trips, then your long arduous search has finally come to an end. Created in conjunction with Italian fashion designer Valentino, this Aston Martin Vanquish Volante wears a unique deep-woods camouflage livery that ensures the 14-point buck in your sights will never see you coming. Though, with that engine note, we can’t promise he won’t hear you.
Ok, so it wasn’t actually built for hunting (though you shouldn’t let that stop you). Customized by Aston’s Q bespoke service, this special Vanquish was recently auctioned off at the Cash & Rocket opening Gala Dinner in London, where proceeds went to women and children’s charities in Africa, including Shine On Sierra Leone, OrphanAid Africa and Sumbandila.
The Aston Marton Vanquish Volante is a drop-top super-tourer with a 568-horsepower, 6.0-liter V-12 that’s capable of 0-60 in 3.8 seconds and a top speed of 197 mph. This example’s hammer price wasn’t made available at the time of writing, but we suspect it went for well above the Vanquish Volante’s base price just under $300,000.
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In 2013, Aston Martin unveiled a pair of stunning Zagato-built one-offs as part of its 100th anniversary celebration. Both ditched the design of the production cars they were based on in favor of a "more Mediterranean" appearance that made them unique among other Aston Martins. These special editions were the DBS Coupe Zagato and the DB9 Spyder Zagato. The DB9-based convertible will be looking for a new owner at RM Sotheby’s car auction at the 2015 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance on August 14th.
Built for U.S. Aston Martin collector Peter Read, the DB9 Spyder Zagato Centennial is based on the DB9 Volante, but features reworked body panels with squared-off edges, wider rear fenders and a more aggressive rendition of the brand’s trademark front grille. Unlike other Aston Martins, the Zagato’s headlamps were incorporated into the mesh, while the taillights had a teardrop shape.
The auction house estimated the unique convertible will fetch between $380,000 and $450,000.
RM Sotheby’s car sale at Pebble Beach will also see an array of classic sports cars go under the hammer. Highlights will include a 1968 Maserati Ghibli 4.7 Spyder Prototype ($1,200,000 - $1,800,000), a 1970 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Berlinetta ($900,000 - $1,200,000), and a 1976 Lamborghini Countach LP 400 ’Periscopio’ ($1,500,000 - $2,000,000).
Continue reading for the full story.
The last original Aston Martin DBS to come off the production line in 1972 has been found in a barn England and will be auctioned by COYS in London, on March 10th. Discovered by Chris Routledge, the Managing Partner of the auction house, the DBS has been sitting in a barn in Surrey since 1980 and is in dire need of a thorough restoration. Although it will be sold in its current state, the vehicle is expected to fetch between £25,000 to £40,000, especially since it’s one of only 787 units built.
"This is the ultimate barn find and an important part of Aston Martin’s history. It has been sitting in a barn since 1980 and now needs to be brought back to its former glory. The windows are broken, the interior trim is missing and it’s rusty, but it’s all there and there has been huge interest from collectors around the world," Routledge said in a statement.
Until it goes under the hammer, the car will be displayed by Aston Martin Mayfair at Aston Martin W-One, Brook House, 113 Park Lane, Mayfair, London. The auction takes place during the COYS "Spring Classics" auction at the Royal Horticultural Society.
Continue reading to learn more about the Aston Martin DBS.
Don’t have the money to make a bid for an actual Aston Martin DB5? Don’t worry because the creators of the James Bond series, EON Productions, has a DB5 that you can actually afford. But there are a couple of caveats. One, the DB5 isn’t an actual model, but rather a one-off, gold-plated, one-third-scale replica of the model. Two, it’s expected to sell anywhere between £40,000-60,000, which is about $66,000-100,000 as of 9/9/2014.
The gold-plated DB5 replica was actually commissioned by EON Productions as part of the 50th anniversary of Goldfinger, the first James Bond movie that the iconic Aston Martin appeared in. It even has the signature of James Bond production designer Sir Ken Adams, the same man largely responsible for designing the modifications to the car, including the radio-controlled machine guns, bulletproof shield and revolving number plate.
Global auctioneers Christies will send the model under the hammer later this month for charity to benefit the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children in the UK.
So it is for a good cause, which should make it a little easier to spend that much money on a scale model of the DB5. At least you know the money you spend will be put to good use. Bidding has started at the Christies website where it will continue until September 17, 2014.
If the car is a little too steep for your bank account, you can instead opt to bid for an 18-karat yellow gold Goldfinger Seamaster Aqua Terra wristwatch created by Omega.
The one-off timepiece is estimated to fetch anywhere between £8,000-12,000, which is about $13,000-20,000 based on current exchange rates.
Click past the jump to read more about Aston Martin DB5.
The Q by Aston Martin program has been around for only two years, but most of its creations are definitely bound to become valuable classics. The latest vehicle coming from the company’s personalization arm is no exception and, unlike other bespoke Aston Martins, is crossing "the Pond" to be auctioned for charity in Los Gatos, California. The sports car in question is an equestrian-themed DB9 Volante.
Just like the unique 2014 Ferrari FF Dressage Edition the Italians launched in China earlier in 2014, the DB9 Volante by Q pays tribute to the equestrian lifestyle. Not at all surprising considering its British roots and the fact that it will cross the block during the Menlo Charity Horse Show, one of the finest equestrian events in the United States.
Equipped with a unique interior that boasts more luxury than any other production DB9, this equestrian-inspired convertible will generate a $10,000 donation to benefit the Vista Center for the Blind & Visually Impaired. The sports car will be auctioned off by Los Gatos Aston Martin between August 5th and 10th, 2014.
Click past the jump to read more about the Aston Martin DB9 By Q By Aston Martin.
The Bonhams auction is one of those rare times of the year when some of the most exotic classic vehicles are awaken from hibernation for whole world to see. This year, a special Aston Martin DBS was showcased at Bonhams and judging by its history as the DBS used in the British television series "The Persuaders!", you could understand why the car fetched for more than just a pretty penny.
The famed 1970 Aston Martin DBS that starred in the hit British television series was a popular model at Bonhams and the final price really validated its status as one of the most significant TV cars of its time. After all, nobody pays £533,500 for just any other Aston Martin from the 1970’s.
That figure also established a new world record for an Aston Martin DBS sold at auction. That’s a fitting designation for one of the few Aston Martins in history that people grew up watching on TV, beginning a love affair with the marquee that in its own way, has lasted the test of time and generations.
Click past the jump to read more about the Aston Martin DBS.
The Aston Martin DB5 is a global phenomenon often referred to as ‘the most famous car in the world’ thanks to its longtime heritage over 50 years of James Bond films. The car itself retook center stage a few times in the films since originally starring in Goldfinger and From Russia With Love, most recently with Skyfall’s Daniel Craig wheeling it out of secret storage before a midnight dash to his childhood orphanage in Scotland.
RM Auctions 2012 sale of this Sierra Blue example also includes a big name attached: Sir Paul McCartney, who rewarded himself with his first Aston Martin just a few weeks after The Beatles breakout appearance on U.S. television via The Ed Sullivan Show.
As special as the DB5’s numerous celeb owners and movie credits are, the coverage can be exhausting sometimes because the same tired facts are reshuffled. In this full review of the DB5, the focus is the merits of the car itself versus its contemporaries like the E-type Jaguar, Lamborghini 350 GT and Ferrari 250 GTO.
The DB5 was also created in a fashionable convertible body-style and as a one-off shooting brake for company lead David Brown, but the two-door hardtops are the most recognizable and affordable examples of 1963’s most advanced car.
Click past the jump for the full review of this cherished dream car.
Launched in 1951, the DB3 was never the successful race car Aston Martin hoped it would be. It was powered by a Lagonda straight-6 engine with 133 HP, which only proved to be very unsuccessful, but that was partly rectified in 1952 when Aston Martin replaced the 2.6 liter engine with a larger one: a 2.9 liter with 153 HP. These changes didn’t drastically improve the DB3, but it improved by placing 2nd, 3rd, and 4th at Silverstone in May 1952 and was then forced out of Le Mans.
After that, Aston Martin had to take some serious measures to save the failing race car. They asked designer A.G. Watson for some assistance and the following year - in 1953 - the company came up with a new prototype in Charterhill, UK. This new version was called the DB3S and featured a lighter chassis with a reduced wheelbase and a few other modifications that helped it be more successful on the race track.
The new DBS3 stayed in production until 1956 during which Aston Martin produced a total of 31 units: 11 work cars - that have never been raced - and 20 cars being sold for customer use.
Hit the jump to read more about the Aston Martin DB3S.
Evanta Motor Company has made itself a nice niche in the automotive realm by manufacturing extremely accurate reproductions of some of the rarest Aston Martins in the world. The latest model it is selling is likely one of the most unique models to date.
Not only is this a model of the famed DRB1 that Carroll Shelby and Roy Salvadori piloted, but it is a full-size model. On the surface that sounds normal, but when we say “model,” we mean that as in the type you bought in the toy store as a kid... Yup, this model is a disassembled “AirFix” type model.
If you don’t recall, these are the types of models where the pieces are molded into square frames and you have to twist the pieces from the frames to separate them. This model includes all of the basics you would see in the standard “AirFix” model, including: race-ready seats, fiberglass body panels draped in Aston Martin Californian Sage Green, grille, wheels and tires, steering wheel, dashboard, gear shifter, and even a replica of the 1959 Le Mans trophy.
No, you can’t whip out the superglue and throw this bad boy together. This 20- by 10-foot beast is intended to sit in a rather spacious collection and be viewed by awe-struck onlookers. Everything in this kit is 100 percent identical to the model that won the 1959 Le Mans and to make it even more desirable, Evanta is including an Aston Martin baseball cap signed by Carroll Shelby and Roy Salvadori, both of whom past away earlier this year.
You can catch a glimpse of this massive dedicatory piece at the Goodwood Revival Car Show, which kicks off on September 14th and lasts through the 16th. If you have some extra scratch laying around, you can also snag up this one-off piece, as Bonhams will be auctioning it off at the Revival Car Show. Unfortunately, no estimated pricing was given, but we are certain it’ll fetch in the $100,000 range.
Click past the jump to read Evantra’s official press release.