James Bond and barn finds: Aston Martin sale hits $6.46 million

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An Aston Martin DB5, the favored ride of 007, was the auction's highest seller | Bonhams photos
An Aston Martin DB5, the favored ride of 007, was the auction’s highest seller | Bonhams photos

James Bond magic lifted the sale of a 1964 Aston Martin DB5, the same model driven by the fictional British spy, to £561,500 ($725,600) to top Bonhams 18th annual Aston Martin auction, held Saturday at the automaker’s ancestral home at Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire, UK.

The sale achieved more than £5 million ($6.46 million), with all reported results including auction fees. The overall results include 25 Astons sold of the 42 cars offered, plus nearly all of a huge selection of Aston Martin- and Lagonda-related automobilia, parts, artworks, clothing and literature.

A 1989 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante X-Pack reached a half million dollars
A 1989 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante X-Pack reached a half million dollars

Other top-selling cars included a 1961 Aston Martin DB4 Series III 4.2-liter Sports Saloon, sold for £399,100 ($516,000) and a 1970 Aston Martin DB6 Mark 2 Vantage Sports Saloon, which went for £382,300 ($494,000).

More-modern Aston Martins also found appreciative buyers, with a 1989 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante X-Pack 7.0-liter going for £389,900 ($500,000), a 2000 Aston Martin Vantage Le Mans coupe sold for £309,500 ($400,000) and a 1997 Aston Martin Vantage V600 coupe reaching £225,000 ($291,000).

An all-out Aston Martin competition car, a 1960 DB4 4.5-liter lightweight said to be ready for vintage racing, sold for £236,700 ($305,000). A 1996 Aston Martin V8 Sportsman Estate Car, one of just three converted to “shooting brake” (two-door wagon) configuration, sold for £337,500.

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A 'barn-find' 1957 Aston Martin DB2/4 sold for $70,000 despite its rotten condition
A ‘barn-find’ 1957 Aston Martin DB2/4 sold for $70,000 despite its rotten condition

The British affection for artfully decrepit “barn finds” resulted in the £54,625 ($70,600) sale of a rotted 1957 Aston Martin DB2/4 MkII Sports Saloon that had been in storage for nearly four decades.

“Even in our 18th year at the Aston Martin Works, we are seeing a continued interest and enthusiasm for our sale,” Tim Schofield, head of Bonhams’ Motoring Department UK, said in a news release. “Bonhams prides itself on the breadth of its offerings at auction, and despite its single-marque status, this sale is no different.

“With lots ranging from a barn-find projects to race-ready lightweight competition cars, this sale had something for all admirers of the Aston Martin and Lagonda marques.”

Top 10 sales, Bonhams’ Newport Pagnell auction 2017:

1964 Aston Martin DB5, £561,500 ($725,600)
1961 Aston Martin DB4 Series III 4.2-liter Sports Saloon, £399,100 ($516,000)
1989 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante X-Pack 7.0-liter, £389,900 ($500,000)
1970 Aston Martin DB6 Mark 2 Vantage Sports Saloon, £382,300 ($494,000)
1996 Aston Martin V8 Sportsman Estate Car £337,500 ($436,000)
2000 Aston Martin Vantage Le Mans coupe sold for £309,500 ($400,000)
1967 Aston Martin DB6 Vantage Sports Saloon sold for £292,700 ($378,000)
1989 Aston Martin V8 Zagato Volante sold for £281,500 ($364,000)
1997 Aston Martin Vantage V600 coupe sold for £253,500 ($328,000)
1960 Aston Martin DB4 4.5-liter lightweight competition, £236,700 ($304,800)

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(All results include auction fees. US dollar equivalents rounded off for clarity)

Bonhams’ next collector car auction takes place May 21 at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps motorsports facility in Belgium. For information, visit the auction website.

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Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.