In 1965, the Aston Martin DB5 was on its way out of showrooms and the new DB6 was being shown off at the London Motor Show. Between these two events lies the shortest-lasting production model convertible ever produced by Aston: the 1966 Aston Martin Volante.
The Volante was based off of the 37 remaining unused 1965 DB5s, but donned the more luxurious amenities of the DB6. When this model debuted, it was nicknamed the “Short Chassis” in an effort to help distinguish it from the longer DB6. As a result of the name, many people mistook that as meaning it was actually a shortened version of the DB5, which it is not.
Despite its awesome performance for the era, sharp looks, and popularity, the Volante was only an interim car. It was used just to bridge the gap between the time that the DB5 left and the DB6 hit showrooms. This means that production ceased as soon as the 37 unused DB5 chassis were converted.
Coming across a rare Aston Martin like this happens just about as often as you have a chance of seeing a Sasquatch or the Loch Ness Monster. Okay, maybe it’s a little more likely than seeing those, but you get our point. Well, get your wallet and passport ready, as RM Auctions is just about to auction off one of the 37 1966 Aston Martin ’Short Chassis’ Volante units on May 12th, 2012 in Monaco.
So how does this classic Brit motorcar look, feel, and drive?
Click past the jump to read our review and find out.
The working relationship between Aston Martin and Zagato started 50 years ago when they introduced the DB4GT Zagato in October 1960. Over that span of time, this dynamic duo created some of the sleekest sports cars, leading up to the 2012 Aston Martin V12 Zagato. One of those exquisite vehicles was the DB4GT Sanction II Zagato in 1991, which will be up for auction at Bonhams’ May 19th Aston Martin sale.
The DB4 GT Zagato Sanction II is powered by a 3.6 liter straight-six engine that delivers a total of 352 HP and a peak torque of 330 lbs-ft. The model can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.5 seconds and can hit a top speed of 153 mph.
The original DB4GT Zagato was built in a limited run of 20 units, but the Sanction II Zagato was even more rare, limited to only 4 units. The reason behind this is that there were four unused chassis numbers from the original 1961 DB4GT Zagato, and in 1991, Aston Martin approved the build of these four vehicles. They were then uprated to GT specifications and sent to Zagato to get bodied like the originals.
As previously mentioned, one of these four units will be available for auction at Bonhams’ Aston Martin sale, but some lucky auction-goer will have to hand over a large check in order to take this rarity home. The DB4 GT Zagato Sanction II has been estimated at £1.2 - £1.5 million (between $1.95 - $2.4 million at the current exchange rates).
The Aston Martin DB2/4 Cabriolet is one of the most exclusive models Aston Martin has ever built. Out of the 565 units built between October 1953 and October 1955, only 12 were built in rolling chassis form for independent coachbuilders. If that isn’t exclusive enough, only eight of those 12 units were sent over to Carrozzoria Bertone where the Italian luxury coachbuilder smoothed on the body. The vehicle seen in this image is the fifth (Chassis number LML506) of the original eight and will be auctioned off at the Goodwood Festival of Speed on July 1, 2011.
Its original owner was high society elite, Edith C. Field, who succeeded in winning third place at the 1955 Pebble Beach Concours. Since the mid 1950s, this particular Aston Martin has been through the hands of four owners, including its current owner. As of late, the Aston Martin DB2/4 Drophead Coupe has been fully restored to its Concours state with over £200,000 - or $288,000 at the current rates - invested in its complete restoration. Bonhams expects the ultra exclusive sports car to sell for £500,000 - 700,000, or $721,000 - $1,000,000 at the current rates.
UPDATE 07/06/2011: The 1954 Aston Martin DB2/4 Drophead Coupe actually sold for £606,500 ($975,000).
Hit the jump for full details on the 1954 Aston Martin DB2/4 Drophead Coupe.
Ordinarily, vintage cars being sold at auctions usually attract stratospheric bids for as long as the said classic is in mint condition. Dinky old cars like this 1958 Aston Martin DB2/MkIII Drophead shouldn’t attract a winning bid of over £200,000. But so they say, the truth is sometimes stranger than fiction.
You see, this car is all tattered up; that much is certain. But on other hand, it also did sell for the aforementioned price. So, what gives?
For starters, despite its pretty dilapidated condition – if you can believe it, this car spent the better part of 30 years covered under a tarpaulin - this particular Aston Martin is not your ordinary rusty old coupe. It actually once belonged to one David Brown, the former head honcho of Aston Martin. As a matter of fact, Brown’s initials are still found in a number of Aston Martin GTs today. If you didn’t know what the ‘DB’ stood for in models like the Aston Martin DBS, well, now you know.
So how does one shell out $319,000 to purchase a rusty old Aston Martin? Well, consider it an “investment of sorts”. We’re guessing that whoever bought this car did it for restoration purposes and as such, would probably spend whatever money he has left piecing this classic beauty back together.
We don’t know how much that’s going to cost, but given the current condition of the car, six digits wouldn’t be out of the question.
The British auto manufacturer Aston Martin is notorious for creating some of the most elegant and luxurious cars on the supercar market. What makes them stand apart is that they do so without taking away from any of the brute force of an agile hyper-car. However, when we see a car like the bulky, awkward looking 1996 "Sportsman" Shooting Brake, we wonder how all of that finesse got lost in in this particular translation.
With styling similar to the V8 Le Mans, the Shooting Brake is an entirely hand built 2-door hatchback. What makes it even more special is the fact that only two were ever built. Normally, we wouldn’t discuss automobiles such as this unless they were miraculously thrown back into the loop so you can guess that this one has gone back into circulation. The Shooting Brake is up for auction at Bonhams’ sale of Fine Motor Cars and Automobilia at the ’Weekend de l’Excellence Automobile on September 11th. Due to its rarity, the car is expected to fetch upwards of $650,000; as much as a couple of 599s.
We’ll let you decide if you want a hatchback over a couple monstrou, red Ferraris. Other Astons up for sale are a 1965 DB5 Vantage (one of which went for $830K at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed), a 1957 DB2/4 MKII Drophead Coupe, and a 1986 Volante.
Yesterday we reported that a 1965 Aston Martin DB5 Vantage Convertible was auctioned for $830.000 and today we are pleased to announce that an even more exclusive 1966 Aston Martin DB6 will be available for auction in Monterey on August 13, 2010.
The Aston Martin DB6 was based off the DB5, but had a larger and more accommodating Grand Touring drive. For some, like legendary crooner Bing Crosby, this was an ideal car to drive around in. In fact, Crosby was the original owner of this exclusive vehicle. The silver gray coupe is powered by a 4 liter OHC straight 6 engine producing 282hp which was made by AM.
The coupe is in excellent condition and still has all of the original interior and original cheery wood steering wheel. The DB6 did receive new paint and chrome about five years ago. It has also received new wheels, tires, and a new brake system.
In July 1963 Aston Martin unveiled the DB5. The convertible version was limited to only 23 units, but only nine of them featured the more powerful Vantage engine which was a 282bhp engine mated to a four-speed/overdrive gearbox. One of these fantastic automobiles was auctioned during this past weekend at the Goodwood Festival of Speed for an impressive £551,500 (or $830,000 at the current exchange rates).
The Aston Martin wasn’t the only vehicle with a price tag to bid on at that auction. Other extravagant vehicles were sold and included a 1937 Bentley 41/4-Litre Drophead Coupe (which was featured in the 007 James Bond film ’Never Say Never Again’), a 1999 Mercedes-Benz SLK230, and a 1976 Jensen Interceptor Series III Coupe. In total, the auction raised an impressive £3,707,687.
Group Head of Bonhams Motoring Department, James Knight, comments: "There was extraordinary strength of bidding in all areas of the market and we were exceptionally pleased to establish yet another world record Aston Martin price with the sale of the DB5 convertible."
Press release after the jump.
If you have seen the 007 Series, then the Aston Martin DBS is a car that needs no introduction. The 4.0 Liter 325 HP grand tourer that appeared in the earlier films was a Bond trademark and one lucky (and rich) customer will be the proud owner of this DBS before the year is out. We are talking about the annual ’Automobiles of London’ event at the Battersea Evolution in London being held on October 27, 2010. At this particular auction, theAston Martin DBS will be suctioned off by none other than RM Auctions. The famous auction house expects the car to fetch around $5 million which is a much pricier option than the 1964 Aston Martin DB4 from Goldfinger that is being sold for $75,000.
There were only two 1964 Aston Martin DBSs built and this one is the only one that is still alive. The car was driven by Sean Connery in the Goldfinger and Thunderball movies and is factory-fitted with the full complement of operational ’Q-Branch’ gadgets, including machine guns, bullet-proof shield, revolving number plates, tracking device, removable roof panel, oil slick sprayer, nail spreader and smoke screen, all controlled from factory installed toggles and switches hidden in the center arm-rest. The future proud owner will know the car is "the one" by the original UK registration number, FMP 7B.
Full story and press release after the jump.
Every waking and breathing man on this planet has, at one point in their lives, dreamed of walking in the shoes of James Bond. C’mon, don’t deny it, because we certainly won’t.
And while we can’t have anything to hang our hats on becoming James Bond for a day, there’s a chance for anybody with $75,000 to spare to be able to drive home with one of James Bond’s prized rides. Used in the movie Goldfinger, this Aston Martin DB4, which has been sitting inside a garage for the past 26 years, has been dusted off and is now being put up for sale at Aston Martin’s annual factory auction.
While the price tag may be a little steep for a car that’s been barned for a quarter of a century, it’s still only sells for one-fourth the price tag of the dilapidated Aston Martin DB5 that was being sold for over £200,000.
It’s not the same as having James Bond’s whole smorgasbord of gadgets, but having the opportunity to drive around town behind the wheel of a DB4 is about as close as it gets to driving in the shoes of England’s Greatest Weapon.
If you had a car that has been left rotting for the past 20 years, chances are you probably wouldn’t even be able to sell it for a few hundred bucks, let alone sell it for significant amount.
This car should be no exception to that, except that it actually is. Left to rot inside a barn - yes, a barn with all sorts of animals inside - for the better part of two decades, this rusted body of a 60’s Aston Martin DB5 looks every bit like it’s got a one-way ticket to a junkyard.
However, according to folks who know about this priceless model, this particular DB5 can still fetch around £200,000 in an auction despite its mangled, beat-up, and rusted condition. As far as restoring it back to its pristine condition, that’s going to cost you another £200,000. Not exactly chump change for a mess of a car, huh?
So what makes this particular model such a prized catch despite what it looks like now? Turns out, this particular DB5 is one of the 983 DB5s that were built between 1963-1965 and comes with a 4-liter engine that produces up to 282 horsepower.
Imagine what it would go for if the owner hadn’t left it as the barnyard animals’ play yard.
The 11th Annual East Side House Settlement Gala Preview of theNew York International Auto Show is scheduled for April 1, 2010 at the Jacob K. Javits Center. The gala will include food, cocktails, entertainment, and handsomely dressed car lovers, but by far the most exciting portion of the evening will be seeing the new Aston Martin Rapide and having the opportunity to win an exclusive Aston Martin Rapide driving package. Okay, we’ll admit that we have seen the Rapide up close and personal, but we are very jealous of whomever wins this driving package. The package includes an excursion for two at the Aston Martin driving school in Detroit, Michigan, for a full-day, one-on-one driving lesson, as well as a one-week loan of the Aston Martin Rapide; a first opportunity to get behind the wheel of the car before sales begin late in the summer 2010. The package will be auctioned off in a Silent Auction occurring during dinner. Unfortunately, in order to bid on this extraordinary package, you must have a dinner ticket in hand. These tickets are reserved for benefactors.
Check out the full story plus the official press release after the jump.
The auction house Gooding & Company did alright for themselves this past Saturday the evening before the highly anticipated Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, selling an impressive 83% of all their lots earning more than $21 Million. The star of the block was a red 1958 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider that sold for $2,750,000. There were also a few records set that evening, with the 1953 Aston Martin DB 2/4 Drop Head Coupe that went for $1,650,000, and the 1953 Jaguar XK120 SE Roadster that sold for $192,500. On a more technical note, the 1938 Buick Limited Series 80 Opera Brougham only set a record for pre-war Buicks at $506,000.
Aside from the record breaking Aston Martin and Ferrari’s, the crowd in attendance was eager to catch a glimpse of Lot 31, Ettore Bugatti’s own 1938 Bugatti Type 57C Special Coupe. Originally assembled as a birthday present for Le Patron, founder of the ultra exotic car company, this particular Type 57C has been deemed as one of the automaker’s most cherished creations. The factory’s workers even went to great lengths to protect the Bugatti during World War II, the fighting between that Allied Forces and the Axis Powers ended up destroying the factory in Molsheim, France.
Even after Ettore’s death in 1947, the 57C was meticulously maintained and continued to receive updates as they were developed. The car is said to be extremely unique, with a distinct engine and transmission package, upgrades to the interior and one-off coachwork that is believed to be based on the last design ever created by Ettore’s son, Jean Bugatti who died at the age of 30 in an unfortunate incident, test driving a Le Mans winning Type 57 tank-bodied race car. Making for one very interesting conversation piece.
Press release after the jump.