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Aston-Martin Classic Cars

1963 - 1967 Aston Martin DB5

1963 - 1967 Aston Martin DB5

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.

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1960 Aston Martin DB4GT 'Jet' Coupé by Bertone

1960 Aston Martin DB4GT ’Jet’ Coupé by Bertone

The recent record-breaking sale of this one-off 1960 Aston Martin DB4 GT Jet by Bertone shows the remarkable passion surrounding the brand’s classic cars, especially those with a unique or special racing history.

What’s so special about this car, aside from its rare provenance and Aston Martin Works Service restoration? Quite a few things about the DB4 GT were celebrated at the time, notably its potent top-end performance, great handling and the aircraft-style leather interior. The DB4 GT’s platform chassis replaced the DB4’s spaceframe, meaning new bodywork was required because the original Touring-designed panels weren’t compatible with the newly-developed floorplan and a chopped wheelbase.

Let’s get the money question out of the way. Yes, the Bertone Jet is more than ten times what a base DB4 is worth, but the final price was near the top end of the pre-sale estimate – so this was no surprise in the Aston community. All signs were good ahead of the sale: custom Bertone – pronounced “Bear Tony” - exterior and interior; the car’s unique nature; and the fact that it changed hands at the original chassis factory with full manufacturer blessing.

So is it a collector’s item? Without a doubt.

The current craze for the similar Ferrari 250 GT and Jaguar E-type heaves most of the dollars on convertibles – making them among the most valuable cars of all time. The 250 GT’s auction magic is greatly enhanced by the fact that the car is a total joy to drive. Is the Bertone Jet a stunning drive as well?

Click past the jump for the full review of the DB4 GT Jet.

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Unique Aston Martin DB4GT auctioned for $4,9 million

Unique Aston Martin DB4GT auctioned for $4,9 million

Things went pretty great for Aston Martin during this weekend: next to unveiling the CC100 Speedster, the company also obtained a record auction price for a unique DB4GT. The car was part of the Aston Martin Centenary Sale at Aston Martin Works on 18 May 2013, which totaled a record total of over £10 million (more than $15 million), with every lot sold.

The DB4GT was auctioned for an impressive amount of £3,249,500 (a little over $4.9 million) - the highest ever price paid for an Aston Martin at auction.

However, this is not a regular DB4GT: it is nicknamed "The Jet" and was the last DB4GT to be built. The model is a one-off edition and has been designed by the Italian design house Bertone. The model was unveiled at the 1961 Geneva Motor Show.

This unique DB4GT won a total of 12 awards, including first in class at Pebble Beach and the Hurlingham Club, and best in show at Villa d’Este.

Click past the jump to read more about the Aston Martin DB4GT.

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1953 - 1959 Aston Martin DB3S

1953 - 1959 Aston Martin DB3S

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.

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Evantra Produces a Full Size "AirFix" Model DBR1

Evantra Produces a Full Size "AirFix" Model DBR1

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.

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Video: James Bond's Aston Martin DB5 returns in Skyfall

Video: James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 returns in Skyfall

The James Bond movie franchise has featured some of the most iconic British cars in the world, none more so than the Aston Martin DB5. We all remember the classic speedster that not only appeared in five Bond movies, but also became a hot toy collectible for a generation of young Bond fans back in the day.

It appears that people are nostalgic for the fabled DBS because the car, in true Bond fashion, is making a comeback in the latest installment of the franchise, Skyfall.

This video provided to us by the movie’s dedicated page explains just how important a role the DB5 has played in the Bond movies. The classic British look, combined with all those gizmos and gadgetry that could give the Batmobile a run for its money, really holds a special place in the hearts of Bond fans.

To see that it’s coming back in Skyfall only adds to our anticipation of seeing the movie, which incidentally opens in theaters later this year. There aren’t that many things in this world that can render James Bond into the background, but the Aston Martin DB5 is one of them.

After all, there’s a reason why 007, and all of us for that matter, can’t seem to get enough of it.

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1963 Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato Volante by Icon

1963 Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato Volante by Icon

Icon has recently received a fair amount of press due to its legal issues with Mattel, but they are also still hot on the path of building awesome custom cars. On deck for Icon is a car that is a little bit out of their norm, which is building bad-ass off-road machines. It is a modernized version of the Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato Volante.

The project appears to be still in its concept phase, so all of the details are a little scarce and we have reached out to Icon for additional information. For now, we do know that this model will boast a strikingly similar body as the 1960s Aston Martin legend, but in true Icon fashion there will be loads of customization. First on the list of customizations will be to hack off the DB4’s annoying fixed head, and the signature Zagatto dual humps, but leaving the humps on the rear of the car, which you can see in the above image.

The next Iconization will be replacing the 3.7-liter in-line six-cylinder engine that the Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato originally featured and replacing it with a modern day V-12 engine from an Aston Martin V12 Vantage. Given Icon has a shoehorn large enough to cram this 6.0-liter V-12 power plant into the DB4’s engine compartment, it will give this classic ride somewhere in the range of 510 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. That’s enough to give any car nut that warm and fuzzy feeling.

To make sure that this reborn DB4 GT Zagato stays as true to original form as possible, Icon is working closely with Ercole Spada, who just so happened to be the original designer for the Zagato coupe. How’s that for dedication to your craft?

We are still awaiting confirmation of these reports and actual specs from Icon, and we’ll update you and this review as soon as we receive additional information.

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1966 Aston Martin 'Short-Chassis' Volante

1966 Aston Martin ’Short-Chassis’ Volante

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.

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World's biggest James Bond auto collection scheduled for 2012 exhibit

World’s biggest James Bond auto collection scheduled for 2012 exhibit

James Bond may be a fictional character to all of us, but the dashing debonair / awesome secret agent is still an inspiration to all of us. Who wouldn’t want to be in his shoes? He’s got a killer job, he scores the hottest women, and best of all - at least in our case - he drives the fanciest cars.

That last part is such an integral part of the Bond legend that an exhibition is actually being planned to showcase the largest collection of James Bond vehicle to ever be displayed. The whole event is being prepared through the collaborative efforts of the UK’s National Motor Museum, Beaulieu and EON Productions, which is doing the groundwork for the event in preparation for the 50th anniversary of Ian Fleming’s Bond franchise.

Around 50 cars are expected to be included in the exhibit highlighted by the 2008 Aston Martin DBS from Quantum of Solace, the 2002 Jaguar XKR with SFX weapons from Die Another Day, the 1964 Aston Martin DB5 from Goldeneye, and the 1937 Phantom lll Rolls-Royce from Goldfinger.

The exhibit will be held at the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu, United Kingdom and will run the entire length of the 2012 calendar year.

“Following the success of the first Bond cars exhibition staged at Beaulieu in 2001, we are delighted to be working with EON again on this new display, bringing together the world’s largest collection of Bond vehicles, Beaulieu’s Commercial Director, Stephen Munn said.

The exhibit won’t open for another few months, but it’s safe to say that we’ll be dropping by to check it out if we find ourselves in the area next year.

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1954 Aston Martin DB2/4 Cabriolet

1954 Aston Martin DB2/4 Cabriolet

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.

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Aston Martin DB5 Bond Car Meets 2011 DB9

Aston Martin DB5 Bond Car Meets 2011 DB9

We’ve already reported that the legendary Aston Martin DB5 James Bond car that starred in both Goldfinger (1964) and Thunderball (1965) had been sold at an RM Auctions event for an impressive $4,608,500. The car went to an American bidder who planned on displaying it at his private collection in Ohio. Now Aston Martin has decided to delight us with a few images that show the DB5 next to the new 2011 DB9. Old versus new, what can be better than that?

The Aston Martin DB5 is already known as the most famous car in the world, while the DB9 is regarded by many as the most beautiful sports grand tourer on sale today. Just like the DB5 – the luxury zeitgeist of the 1960s, the DB9 is hand-tailored to customer specification and uses the latest technology.

These unique images show the revised DB9 new for 2011, in the aptly named Quantum Silver paint finish together with the actual car from the 1964 film. The optional paint is the same color as the DBS that featured in the film Quantum of Solace in 2008.

Press release after the jump.

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James Bond's Aston Martin DB5 sells for $4.6 million at auction

James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 sells for $4.6 million at auction

Remember that 1964 Aston Martin DB5 that we showed you a few days ago? The one that Sean Connery drove in two James Bond movies?

Yeah, someone already bought it. And he paid $4.6 million for it, too.

Unbelievable.

But hey, it’s not like it’s one little car that nobody knows about. The car is the last remaining “007” Aston Martin DB5 so you know that there’s some value attached to it. Not only that, all of Bond’s gadgets and gizmos are included in the car, including the machine guns – they don’t work, by the way – an ejector seat, rotating license plates, and other accessories.

As for the lucky – and rich – buyer who paid over $4.6 million for the car? His name is Harry Yeaggy, an avid car collector who no doubt scored a coup of a lifetime by scooping up the 1964 DB5. We don’t know what he plans to do with it, but we won’t be surprised if the car finds itself in his private museum in Ohio.

The seller was Jerry Lee, the same man who bought the car from Aston Martin in 1969 for a paltry $12,000. Over the years, the car has made rare public appearances as one of the rarest Aston Martins in the world. A man with a golden heart, Lee will donate the proceeds of the sale to the Jerry Lee Foundation, an organization that funds research into methods on how to reduce and prevent crimes in urban cities all over the world.

A happy ending for all, we say with the real winner of the whole thing being the foundation who no doubt would have plenty of things to do with the $4.6 million they have been given.

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