Wednesday, December 29, 2010

RM Auctions: 1959 Aston Martin DB MK IIIB Drophead Coupe

Here is another one which will be testing high limits for AM auctions. Although this is a RHD version, the nature of this auction should bring bidders from Europe. Also, a discerning US owner would probably learn to love the RHD cred.

Beautiful restoration, only 84 built - surely one to watch.

Read more HERE

Chassis No.

To be auctioned on
Thursday, January 20, 2011
162 bhp (SAE), 2,922 cc DBA inline six-cylinder engine with dual overhead camshafts and dual SU carburetors, fully synchronized four-speed manual gearbox, independent front suspension with trailing link, coil springs and Armstrong lever dampers, live Salisbury rear axle located by trailing links and transverse Panhard rod, and hydraulic front disc, “Alfin” rear drum brakes. Wheelbase: 99"

- Very rare – one of just 84 Drophead Coupes originally built
- A very solid older restoration
- The ultimate iteration of the DB2, the first “real” postwar Aston Martin
- A desirable MK IIIB model, the final and most-refined variant produced

The landmark DB2, considered by many marque enthusiasts to be the first “real” postwar Aston Martin model, was introduced in May 1950. The ultimate and most highly-refined variant, the DB Mark III (the “2/4” designation was eventually dropped) was introduced in March 1957 and produced in both Fixed Head Coupe and open Drophead Coupe form through July 1959, when it was ultimately succeeded by the DB4, which was initially advertised as “a companion to the DB Mark 3.”

Famed Polish-born Aston Martin engineer Tadek Marek thoroughly revised the existing six-cylinder W.O. Bentley/Lagonda engine design, with output rising to 162 bhp or 178 bhp with twin exhausts. Front disc brakes supplemented “Alfin” finned aluminum rear drum brakes, with the upgrade optional on the first 100 Mark IIIs produced and standard equipment on the ultimate Mark IIIB of 1958-1959.

Styling and body fittings were also updated, most notably with a revised grille opening inspired by the famed DB3S sports racer. The new grille of the DB Mark III influenced Aston Martin styling for many years to follow, with its iconic basic design cues providing brand continuity and essentially remaining in effect through the V-8 models of the late 1980s. Among the many other updates of the Mark III, a revised instrument panel designed by Frank Feeley echoed the grille’s shape and now relocated the gauges directly in front the driver. Performance was strong for the era and continues to be quite satisfying today, with acceleration from rest to 60 mph in approximately nine seconds, en route to a top speed of 120 mph.

In popular culture, while the later DB5 is most often associated with Her Majesty’s Secret Agent James Bond, Ian Fleming’s original novel Goldfinger actually had 007 driving a DB Mark III. In fact, the DB Mark III was the only car in his books to be equipped with the iconic “Q-Branch” lethal gadgets that legions of Bond fans continue to associate with Aston Martin today. Just 551 examples of the DB Mark III were produced during a relatively brief production run spanning 1957 and 1959, including one purpose-built competition model. Of those few cars though, only 84 were the elegant and sporting Drophead Coupe variant. With their Feltham-era, hand-built quality and legendary road-ability, the cars continue to be highly coveted today.

The handsome right-hand drive 1959 DB Mark IIIB Drophead Coupe offered here is finished in red with tan leather upholstery and a matching convertible top. A legitimate “barn find” that was located in the mid-1990s, it continues to benefit from a comprehensive body-off restoration. During the process, the body was professionally stripped, prepared, painted and refinished to concours-quality standards. All brightwork was replaced or refinished as required, including the stunning knock-off, wire-spoke wheels, the matched pair of Lucas fog lamps and the stainless-steel exhaust system. The interior was authentically and completely restored using proper-weave carpeting, a black dash panel and tan Connolly leather upholstery, with everything crowned by a new and matching tan cloth top.

In August 2006, the DB Mark IIIB was acquired by its next caretaker, who actually used it very little and essentially stored it for much of the next four years during his tenure. The current owner purchased it recently, and as offered today, the car exhibits a very solid older restoration with a well-detailed engine bay and few visible signs of road use and wear. Extremely rare, desirable and beautifully presented, the offering of this late-production 1959 Mark IIIB Drophead Coupe is an exceptional opportunity for dedicated enthusiasts.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

RM Auctions: 1953 Aston Martin DB2 Vantage Drophead Coupe

A head turning design for sure, this will be interesting to see the continued desire of the DB2 cars. According to the listing, there was only 75 LHD DB2 Dropheads made. Perhaps the collectors value will pull up this auction. Frankly, not my favorite design - but with a current restoration completed it is worth a look.

Read more HERE

Chassis No.

To be auctioned on
Thursday, January 20, 2011
(Est.) 125 hp, 2,580 cc DOHC Vantage six-cylinder engine, dual SU carburetors, four-speed manual gearbox, independent front suspension with coil springs, trailing links and anti-roll bar, live axle rear with coil springs, radius rods and Panhard bar, and Girling four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 99.25"

- One of just 98 DB2 Drophead Coupes built
- One of about 75 original LHD cars
- Factory Vantage-specification six-cylinder engine
- A recently and comprehensively freshened professional restoration

offered, LML/50/376 continues to benefit from a complete body-off-frame restoration by Hyannis Restoration of Massachusetts, which was comprehensively freshened just recently. The DB2 is visually striking in its Fiesta Red exterior finish, complemented by grey leather upholstery with red piping, red carpeting and a black cloth top by Johan Merkhofer. Vantage Motorworks of Connecticut rebuilt the factory-fitted Vantage-specification DOHC six-cylinder engine, numbered VB6B/50/1088. In addition, LML/50/376 is offered complete with a copy of its factory build sheet. In sum, this exceedingly rare Vantage-powered DB2 Drophead Coupe remains a truly great example of an automotive landmark with a legendary racing pedigree, purity of line and outstanding driving dynamics.

Please note: since the restoration is currently being freshened, interested potential bidders should consult the RM Auctions website at as new photographs are added.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from all of us here at The Aston Martin Review.

May one of these be under your tree:

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

RM Auctions: 1963 Aston Martin DB4 Series IV Vantage

Ahhh, beautiful. Exquisite car with a top notch restoration. Orignal LHD specification. Although "presumably" precedes the mileage, I think this is an excellent well-sorted car. Some modern modifications will dock the value at auction, take the race harness rig for example, and I would also want to see what they did to the suspension in person. However, there will be a very proud owner once the bidding is complete.

Read more HERE

Chassis No.

To be auctioned on
Thursday, January 20, 2011
266 bhp (“Special Series” form), 3,670 cc aluminum alloy engine with dual overhead camshafts and three SU HD8 carburetors, four-speed synchromesh alloy-cased gearbox, four-wheel coil-spring suspension, four-wheel Dunlop disc brakes. Wheelbase: 95"

- Very rare in left-hand drive, one of only 45 Series IV Vantage models built
- Sensible upgrades for drivability, including a Harvey Bailey handling kit
- Subject to comprehensive German restoration, including detailed chassis

The Aston Martin DB4 was unveiled at the 1958 Paris Salon. A totally new car, the introduction of the DB4 was a significant achievement for the small British manufacturer. The specification included a completely new steel platform chassis with disc brakes all around and a freshly developed alloy twin-cam 3.7-liter straight-six engine, all clothed in an elegantly proportioned fastback aluminum body designed by Touring of Milan. Overall, the DB4 was state-of-the-art for its time, a masterpiece of robust British engineering in combination with exquisite Italian styling. Of all the postwar Aston Martins, Sir David Brown’s gracefully sleek DB4 is certainly one of the most admired and became the template for the entire line of DB4, DB5 and DB6 which remained in production until 1970 and elevated Aston Martin on the international stage.

The chassis was engineered under the watchful eye of Harold Beech and features independent front suspension and a live rear axle well-located by trailing arms and a Watt’s linkage. The body construction utilizes the vaunted Touring Superleggera process, which consists of a skeleton made up from small diameter steel tubing covered by hand-formed aluminum alloy body panels. The coachwork was constructed by Aston Martin under license from Touring at its newly dedicated production facility in Newport Pagnell.

Vantage Specification

'Vantage' has been part of the Aston Martin lexicon since 1950 and its first use with the introduction of the higher-specification engine for the DB2. Since then it has been used to indicate many different levels of enhancement, but the common denominator has always been performance, up to and including the V8 Vantage which commemorates the first appearance of a powerful V-8 in their current entry-level offerings.

In the case of DB4s, there was no Vantage option until the so-called fourth series cars. These are outwardly identifiable by the slotted grille in combination with the better integrated, flatter bonnet scoop and the recessed triple stacked taillights, all features which carried over to the DB5. With the Series IV cars came the introduction of the 'Special Series' engine, which added a third SU HD8 carburetor, a higher compression ratio (9:1) and larger valves, which boosted horsepower by over 10 percent to a quoted 266 bhp, a useful increase. Most – but not all – 'SS'-engine equipped DB4s were also enhanced with the attractive 'faired in' headlamp nose popularized by the iconic DB4GT and also carried over to the DB5. It is these covered headlamp versions of the Series IV cars, 45 in all, which were referred to as Vantage models by the factory. The DB4 Vantage models also featured the DB4GT dashboard instruments, identifiable by their separate dials for each function, and the addition of an oil temperature indicator, as the SS engine and indeed most DB4s by then were equipped with oil coolers. By the time the next and final series of DB4s was introduced, the body had grown longer and taller and was fitted with smaller, wider 15-inch wheels, presaging the dimensions of the forthcoming DB5. Therefore, the Series IV Vantage models are the only production DB4s to combine the original DB4 proportions with the attractive covered headlamp nose, along with the high performance motor. To many aficionados, this rare model has become the connoisseur's choice.


Rarer yet in original left-hand drive, 961/L was originally sold by Garage Mirabeau in Paris to its first owner, Edith Waters of Neuilly sur Seine. According to the factory build sheet (a copy of which is supplied with the car), a factory service was performed in April 1972, with the DB4 showing 67,138 kms as mileage. The next owner of record was Rene Welter of Luxembourg, followed by Walter Peter Mottl of Germany. Mr. Mottl was an Aston Martin Owners Club member and enthusiast, having participated with the car in club slalom races in 1985. By this time the car is recorded in the AMOC Register with engine block 370/1033/SS, suggesting it was replaced by the factory or perhaps otherwise, which is the number the engine carries today.

Noted German collector and dealer Michael Brinkert was the owner during the ’90s, during which time a comprehensive restoration of 961/L was performed to an impressive standard. By 2001, the DB4 was imported to the US by Autosport Designs and sold to its most recent owner, a resident of Charleston, South Carolina. While in his ownership, the car has received regular, expert maintenance by Andy Greene in Savannah, Georgia and specialist support by Aston Martin experts Steel Wings in Hopewell, New Jersey. A thick document file accompanies the car with tracking invoices for both professional care and some desirable improvements. These include the fitment of a Harvey Bailey handling kit which includes the popular upgrade to Koni rear shock absorbers, a hidden Crane electronic ignition system and a high torque starter, complemented by a virtually fresh set of deluxe TRS five-point racing harnesses.

The quality of the DB4's restoration remains unmistakable today, as inspiring underneath as up above, with no evidence of rust visible on the well-finished chassis. Paint, brightwork and general finish also belie the age of its refurbishment, and it is indeed cosmetically presentable for just about any purpose short of national concours level.

Starting and running 'on the button,' tracking straight and stopping as it should, 961/L produces strong power and is joyful to drive. Striking yet elegant in its classic silver livery, it is extremely attractive with its contrasting blue leather seats and plush wool carpeting. The finishing touches are the optional 'three-eared' knock-offs fitted to the correct chromed wire wheels.

Aston Martin DB4 Vantage 961/L represents an exceptional opportunity to acquire, own and enjoy a classic DB-series Aston in its preferred specification. The odometer shows 38,650 kms (presumably 138,650 kms or approximately 85,000 miles). Maintained and cherished by its last owner of ten years, it comes equipped and sorted for driving appeal, with a recent inspection by Steel Wings, and is complete with factory jack, hammer, faithful reproduction leather tool roll, owners handbook and workshop manual.

Monday, December 20, 2010

RM Auctions: 1958 Aston Martin DB MK IIIA Coupe

An original LHD 1958 Aston Martin DB MK IIIA Coupe. This is going to be an interesting one to watch. The description claims it was bought from the original owner in 2009 who purchased the car in California. I am partial to this car as a un-restored example. The interior has been recovered, but the remainder appears as "maintained" but not "restored".

They make a lot of hay with the "black plate" cred, but then close listing with the line, "Please note that this vehicle is titled by the engine number." This would tell me there is some kind of story there. Also looking more closely at the pictures shows the "historical vehicle" plate, which can still be obtained, rather than a period-correct black plate.

If the new owner can sufficiently explain the title issues, hopefully he will keep this car original rather than "restoring" it to a fake gloss.

Read more HERE

Chassis No.

To be auctioned on
Thursday, January 20, 2011
162 bhp (SAE), 2,922 cc DBA inline six-cylinder engine with dual overhead camshafts and dual SU carburetors, fully synchronized four-speed manual gearbox, independent front suspension with coil springs, trailing arms and anti-roll bar, trailing link, coil springs and Armstrong lever dampers, live Salisbury rear axle located by trailing links and transverse Panhard rod, and hydraulic four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 99"

- An incredibly original “black plate” California car
- Just 44,000 miles and acquired from its original owner in 2009!
- Perhaps the world’s most original DB2-series Aston Martin available anywhere
- Offered complete with copy of its original factory build sheet
- Recently serviced and ready for classic rallies, tours and preservation-class judging

The Frank Feeley-styled DB2, introduced in May 1950, marked the debut road model for Aston Martin under industrialist David Brown, who had recently acquired the company.

In 1953, this gentlemen’s sports car grew into a four-place saloon, the DB2/4, followed by Drophead Coupe and Fixed Head Notchback variants. By 1954, a new 3.0-liter engine producing 140 horsepower was introduced, and then in 1955, the revised MK II debuted at the London Motor Show. The MK II continued through early 1957 when the MK III supplanted it, with its upgraded DBA engine now providing 162 bhp and up to 178 hp with optional dual exhaust outlets. Detail refinements enhanced the exterior styling, particularly the grille, and a redesigned instrument panel now placed all gauges directly in front of the driver, its binnacle reflecting the new shape grille opening influenced by the DB3S sports racing car. The former 2/4 model designation was dropped in 1957, with the cars now simply known as the DB MK III. Four-wheel “Alfin” drum brakes were standard, with Girling front disc brakes optional on the earliest MK IIIs produced, sometimes known retrospectively as the MK IIIA. While factory records show 529 DB MK IIIs built, the AMOC Register places total production at 551 examples, including one purpose-built competition car.

The car offered here, an original left-hand drive, Southern California “black plate” MK III from 1958, is particularly desirable and unique. It was purchased new by the original owner, one Mr. Warren Painter of Sun Valley, California from a Pasadena, California-based Aston Martin dealer, and remained with him until his death, when the current owner acquired it with only 44,000 miles logged through 2009. It is unquestionably one of the finest original “time capsule” Aston Martins in existence today.

As offered, the DB MK III retains much of its original 'Broken White' (Ivory) paint finish, with only selective repairs made over the years as required, along with a superb chassis. The interior was originally trimmed in black Connolly hides, and the front seats were re-covered at some point. Mechanically, it is noted to track and drive with a tight feel, as only such an original, unrestored car would. Recently, the current and second owner acquired the car when it first came onto the market, with the original intention of restoring it. Upon delivery and reflection, however, he wisely realized that to do so was both unnecessary and detrimental to the unique character of this car. He has driven and enjoyed the DB MK III occasionally since acquisition, and he has entered it into one classic rally, confirming it runs as it should. He is now offering it publicly for sale for the first time in its lifetime.

According to the noted, award-winning Aston Martin restoration specialist Kevin Kay, this car is “the template with which any DB2-series Aston should be compared for an authentic restoration.” Recently serviced and eligible for preservation-class judging, as well as most classic rallies and tours available today, this 1958 Aston Martin DB MK III is offered complete with a copy of its original factory build sheet dated March 1, 1958. Mostly original, carefully preserved and unrestored, this DB MK III has an irreplaceable patina that simply can’t be replicated and places it in a class all its own. After all, a collector car is only original once.

Please note that this vehicle is titled by the engine number.

RM Auctions Jan 20, 2011: 1968 Aston Martin DB6 Coupe

The next auction we are looking at is this beautifully restored RHD DB6 Coupe. The pictures do not show details of the optional sunroof - certainly an interesting feature not seen frequently on these cars.

Read more HERE

Chassis No.
To be auctioned on
Thursday, January 20, 2011
282 bhp, 3,995 cc DOHC inline six-cylinder engine with triple SU carburetors, ZF five-speed manual gearbox, independent front suspension with upper and lower A-arms, coil springs and anti-roll bar, live rear axle with coil springs, Watts linkage, radius rods, and Girling four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 101.7"

- Recently restored by the marque specialists at Classic Showcase
- Finished in the original colors of Dubonnet Red with tan hides
- Rare options include power steering and a Webasto sunroof

Sir David Brown’s 25-year stewardship of Aston Martin produced some of the most charismatic models in this storied marque’s long history. Of those models, the DB6 unquestionably advanced David Brown’s “gentleman’s express” concept of a luxurious, high-speed Grand Touring motor car. The DB6 received the attractive DB4GT/DB5-type nose with covered headlamps, while the aero-efficient “Kamm tail” included a small upswept spoiler. The chassis was extended to improve rear-seat accommodations, headroom was improved, and the body was, as always with an Aston, made of hand-formed aluminum.

Standard DB6 features included adjustable shock absorbers, electric window lifts, power-assisted Girling four-wheel disc brakes, a “Power-Lok” limited-slip differential, a Becker AM/FM radio with a power antenna and wire-spoke wheels, while ZF power steering and a Webasto sunroof were optional. The richly trimmed interior belied the race-bred performance of the DB6 and its eager 4.0-liter DOHC “six,” which produced 282 bhp and propelled the DB6 from rest to 60 mph in about six seconds, en route to top speeds approaching 150 mph. In all, just 1,321 DB6 Coupes were built between 1965 and 1970.

The marque specialists at Classic Showcase recently restored this lovely DB6. It was refinished in its original color of Dubonnet Red, and a complete new interior was fitted in natural tan Garrett leather. The optional Webasto sunroof was restored, a new stainless-steel exhaust system was installed, the brightwork was re-plated, and a full service was completed. Comprehensive mechanical work included a rebuild of the distributor and SU carburetors, a brake system overhaul including a power-booster rebuild, hydraulic lines replaced as required, a cooling system service performed with all hoses replaced and gearbox service.

The engine was rebuilt, with ceramic-coated exhaust manifolds fitted for improved heat management. A new electronic fuel pump was installed as well, and the professionals at Nisonger rebuilt the car’s instrumentation. Exterior features include glass headlamp covers, a set of chrome wire wheels with re-chromed, three-eared “knock-offs” and new Dunlop tires. Unusual factory options include power steering and the aforementioned large Webasto sunroof, and this DB6 includes a heated rear window as well. Fit and finish are excellent on this very well-maintained example, enhanced by a complete detailing, down to the undercarriage.

This beautiful DB6 will provide a great entry for the Colorado Grand, the Copperstate 1,000 or other classic rallies and events. A DVD of the restoration performed by Classic Showcase accompanies the car.

Friday, December 17, 2010

RM Auctions: 1959 Aston Martin/Jaguar C-Type Roadster

For the next few days I will be featuring cars from the January 20-21 RM Auctions in Scottsdale, AZ. This year, several British Marques are featured making an unusually high concentration of Aston Martin cars for a US Auction. This auction has 7 classic Astons, lots: 111, 138, 142, 149, 150, 154, and 160.

Each day, I will feature one here. You can view the catalog HERE.

For our first offering is this unique "hybrid":

Chassis No.

To be auctioned on
Thursday, January 20, 2011
210 bhp, 3,442 cc DOHC six-cylinder engine, two SU carburetors, four-speed manual gearbox, independent front suspension with coil springs, double wishbones and anti-roll bar, rigid rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 102"

- Aston Martin C-Type body with Jaguar XK150 chassis
- $200,000 spent on restoration
- Comes with English log book, documents and photos

By the 1930s, Aston Martin had gained a reputation for building very sporting motor cars and consistently competed at Le Mans and in the Mille Miglia. As the 1930s ground to a close, the company began to appreciate the advantages of streamlining. The end result was the C-Type of 1938, which resembles Pourtout’s Peugeot D’arl Mat roadster. Aston Martin C-Types are rarely seen, as only eight were built in 1938; five are known to exist today.

It is believed, but presently undocumented, that the car on offer carries one of these very rare C-Type bodies. In 1964, the body was mounted to a 1959 Jaguar XK150 chassis with a 3.4-liter engine for an electrifying combination of style and performance. The conversion appears to have been sanctioned by members of both marques, as we know that the car was owned both by an active Aston Martin Club member and a member of the Jaguar Enthusiasts Club at different times. The XK150, which provided the motive, power and frame for this elegant special, was first registered April 15th, 1959. The first owner on the duplicate log book was J. Smart and Co. of Hatfield in Hertfordshire in June 1963.West End Garage in Woking, Surrey bought it in June 1964, and then two further owners, Ronald Lewiston of Woking and Robin Kensett of Burpham, Surrey, are listed.

Since Lewiston and Kensett didn’t actually have their ownership stamped by the authorities, we may conclude the car was a “work in progress” at this time. But when Geoff Bishop of Lightwater in Surrey, an active member of the Aston Martin Owners’ Club, bought the car, it fell into the right hands. Bishop sold it to Mounsey Robinson, a member of the Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club, in 1981. Beautifully restored in handsome dark blue, with a tan leather interior, this car comes to market from the estate of Bill Jacobs, who was well known for buying cars he could actually drive and enjoy. This elegant roadster is bound to both draw a crowd and show a clean pair of heels to much newer-appearing machinery on any number of classic rallies.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Find a Name for Aston Martin's 2011 Le Mans Racer

Here is your chance to be a part of history. Sharpen those pencils...

Read more HERE

Back in September, Aston Martin announced that it will return to the Le Mans LMP1 class in 2011. The automotive producer is currently working on a new race car. The project, which is being created from the ground up, will come with an open cockpit monocoque chassis and be powered by a purpose-built racing unit, which, thank God, will say “NO!” to diesel.

"Having won the GT category twice at Le Mans in 2007 and 2008 and the Le Mans Series outright in 2009, we still want to achieve our ultimate goal of winning the 24 Hour race overall to bring the title back to Britain,” said Aston Martin chairman, David Richards.

You see, Aston Martin has been so busy preparing all this details that it hadn’t had time to choose a name for the car. Now, the company is relying on its fans to come up with a designation for the racer.

The carmaker will offer Aston Martin and Aston Martin Racing Merchandise for those who submit a name for the car.

“Aston Martin is giving all enthusiasts the unique opportunity to be part of the company's history, as well as the chance to win a range of Aston Martin and Aston Martin Racing Merchandise by suggesting a name for this race car,” stated the press release.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sir Stirling Moss and the DBR1

Classic video with Sir Stirling Moss driving the DBR1, also commentary on other period racers:

Aston Martin GT4 Challenge expands for 2011

From the official Aston Martin Racing website:

Gaydon, 15th December 2010. The Aston Martin GT4 Challenge will return in 2011, with an increased number of races and an expanded grid. The one-make race series which is fundamentally based around the V8 Vantage road car provides the first step on the GT ladder.

Following the success of the inaugural series in 2010, Aston Martin Racing has increased the number of races to nine, including two rounds in mainland Europe at Spa Francorchamps and Dijon, as well as introducing two longer, three hour races. The grid size is expected to grow to 20 cars, as more teams join the series in its second season.

The 2010 GT4 Challenge was won by the father and son partnership of Chris and Ant Scragg, who won every round of the six-race series. For 2011, Ant Scragg and fellow GT4 Challenge competitor, James Appleby, will step up to the European GT4 Cup where they will compete in a new 2011 Vantage GT4, running as the Generation AMR team.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

"James Bond" 1964 Aston Martin DB5 #7 on top 10 Auction Prices This Year

The "James Bond" 1964 Aston Martin DB5 takes #7 on this years list of the top 10 values received for a car at Auction. The top ten list is as follows:

1. 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione (#1603GT) – Price: $7.26 million (Gooding & Co – Pebble Beach – August 14-15)

2. 1933 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza Brianza Spider (#2311218) – Price: $6.71 million (Gooding & Co – Pebble Beach, August 14-15)

3. 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta SEFAC Hot Rod (#2845) – Price: $6.11 million (Gooding & Co – Pebble Beach, August 14-15)

4. 1937 BMW 328 MM ‘Buegelfalte’ (#85032) – Price: $5.84 million (RM Auctions – Sporting Classics of Monaco, May 1)

5. 1938 Talbot-Lago T150 Competition Lago Speciale Teardrop Coupe (#90034) – Price $4.62 million (RM Auctions, Sport & Classics of Monterey – August 14)

6. 1954 Ferrari 375 MM Berlinetta (#0416AM) – Price $4.62 (RM Auctions – Sport & Classics of Monterey, August 14)

7. 1964 Aston Martin DB5 (#FMP 7B) – Price £2.91 million / $4.1 million (RM Auctions – Automobiles of London, October 27)

8. 1956 Jaguar D-Type Sports Racer (#XKD528) – Price: $3.74 million (Gooding & Company – Scottsdale Auctions, January 22-23)

9. 1927 Mercedes-Benz S Boattail Speedster (#26/180) – Price: $3.74 million (Gooding & Company – Pebble Beach, August 14-15)

10. 1962 Ferrari 400 Superamerica Cabriolet Pininfarina SWB (#3309 SA) – Price: €2.8 million / $3.7 million (RM Auctions, Sporting Classics of Monaco – May 1)

This stunning Ferrari was the top seller:

Monday, December 13, 2010

SOLD: 1959 Aston Martin DB MKIII DHC 175k GBP

The car we featured HERE. Was sold, setting the high mark for the Baron's auction.

Read more HERE.

The British Barons auction house announced that it managed to hold an impressive Yuletide Sale at Santdown Park, on December 7.

A total of 44 cars found new owners just in time for the enthusiasts to enjoy their vehicles for Christmas. The lot included multiple special machines, so it's hard to name just a few stars. However, the highest bid was achieved by a 1959 Aston Martin DB MKIII DHC - the vehicle you see in the adjacent image. The elegant automotive creation has been owned by a single family since it was three years old and was sold for GBP175,500 ($276.700 or EUR209,800).

Exuding Gentlemanly Excess: Mirror review of Rapide

Did the reviewer actually drive the car? Sounds like an article straight out of the press kit. I usually keep my gentlemanly excess to myself rather than exuding it all over the unsuspecting public. Mirror Review

The epitome of ­elegance. The rarest and most beautiful four-door saloon in the world.

That’s the Aston Martin Rapide.

With a silhouette so ravishing it makes even the gorgeous Maserati ­Quattroporte look slightly clumsy, this is that unique thing – a four-seater supercar where there is no ­compromise.

The 5.9-litre V12 is a cultured yet apocalyptic gem of a ­power plant, good for taking you and three (smallish) passengers up to 188mph.

The soundtrack is pure ­Aston, the handling blade-sharp, the steering beguilingly progressive and the ride surprisingly fluent and smooth.

But most amazing is the fact that my entire 6ft 1in frame sat comfortably in the ­exquisitely upholstered rear accommodation.

Even ingress and egress was a dignified affair. For the man or woman who has everything, including two very fortunate youngsters and £140,000, this is the only ­four-seat hell-raiser that is worth considering.

And because it’s not a DB9, DBS or Vantage, it’s incredibly distinctive. If you want your personal aura to radiate the zenith of discrimination and good taste, the Rapide is as sophisticated as it gets.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re sing-songing up and down the paddle-shifts at redline revs, or sashaying your way round town, this is an Aston that feels very, very special indeed. What’s more, it doesn’t seem like a ­hatchback – it feels more like a cross between a DB9 and a Vantage – taut, aggressive and impossibly refined all at the same time.

It exudes gentlemanly excess at its very finest. The Rapide is very probably the classiest and most elegant modern Aston yet.

FS: One Owner 1967 DB6 Vantage

Ahh, here is something sweet to look at for a Monday morning. A beautiful top-shelf restoration. Price is not disclosed, but I can imagine it is going to be steep. Perhaps north of 180k GBP?

Read more about it HERE

This beautiful and iconic Aston Martin DB6 Vantage is that very rare bread of classic car, one whose entire history can be traced successfully through documentation from delivery to the present day.

This absolutely superb example has spent most of its life owned and treasured by just one family since it was delivered to its first owner, Mr. Ball, on 13th February 1967.

The extensive history file has a copy of the original supply invoice as well as other correspondence about the sale.

The car was personal transport for Mr. Ball, who ran a Travel and Chauffeur Hire Company, and it subsequently passed to his children. His daughter reports that during the ‘70’s, her Mother and Father toured extensively in Europe with the Aston Martin, particularly enjoying driving over the highest Alpine passes.

In 1993, for sentimental reasons, it was decided to undertake a substantial restoration of the car. The vehicle file has the documentation and invoices relating to this work. It was then stored in the family garage until it was sold on in 1997, and there is DVLA SORN correspondence validating this. There are also a number of MOT certificates that offer a guide to validation for the mileage of the vehicle.

Friday, December 10, 2010

This blog BANNED from 6speedonline

Laughably, this blog was banned today from posting on 6speedonline after being classified as a commercial interest.

The person banning this blog has obviously never actually read this blog - because as you can see it is delightfully devoid of any commercial advertising or interest whatsoever.

I can assure you that there is no way that I actually think (or want) to make money writing an obscure blog about a extremely low volume car marque. I do this as a hobby and to provide a service to people who are interested in Aston Martins. It is disappointing to see such a knee-jerk reaction from a board which ostensibly has the same goal.

Best One-77 Article Yet - Car Advice

Australia's Caradvice magazine published this excellent article about the One-77 design and build experience HERE.

The photographs are captivating

The room is dark and the deep-bass ambient music is sending shock waves through the floor. As it builds in tempo, a wall in front of me divides in two and each half pulls away to reveal another chamber. In it I can just make out the silhouette of a supercar and then, as the music really gets into its thumping stride, 750 overhead OLED lamps flicker into life. Unevenly, they dance their beams all over the car’s bodywork, tantalisingly revealing the stunning form like a beautiful, long-legged woman teasing up her skirt to reveal her lingerie. These lights play around until, after a minute or so, they completely illuminate the very first customer-owned Aston Martin One-77.

Philips Lumiblade OLEDs and Aston Martin's super sportscar

I am a big fan of OLED technology. When I first saw this article, I thought it was referencing some OLED's to be installed in the car. But instead, it was a display space for the car. Still cool, but I am looking forward to when OLED's are used for in-car lighting and displays.

Found HERE

Are You More An Aston Martin Or Ford Focus?

Here is one for the LOL category. Only an insurance company can come up with something so absurd.

According to research by Post Office Car Insurance, although the classic James Bond car the Aston Martin tops the poll of dream car, most won’t be able to afford one and are more likely to opt for a Ford Focus.

Yeah, no kidding.

They continue with more insight:

For those who do make this dream come true, they must remember there are more costs to running a car than just the initial price-tag, and insurance costs on high-end cars must be factored in. ”

Read more of this excellent article Here

This is the generic car we should be buying rather than an AM:

Thursday, December 9, 2010

EPA classifies Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe as a compact car, Aston Martin DBS as a minicompact

Reading HERE shows you that your DBS is a good environmental choice, after all.

Earlier last month, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its annual rating of fuel winners and losers. Not surprisingly, the 2011 Toyota Prius was named the most fuel-efficient vehicle in the United States, while the 2011 Bugatti Veyron was the worst.

However there were some surprising categorizations made by the EPA. According to the EPA, the Bentley Continental GTC is a subcompact car. The Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe and the Phantom Drophead Coupe are classified as compact cars like the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla.

Want us to keep going? The Aston Martin DB9 and DBS are classified to be minicompact cars like the Mini Cooper.

So what’s going on here? The EPA classifies vehicles based on their interior volume. That is why the Nissan Versa is classified as a midsize car, which Nissan doesn’t agree with.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Autoblog One-77 Pictures

These pictures don't look that great, and actually look like renderings to me. But, I still put it out for my loyal readers to decide for themselves whether they like the design. See the Gallery HERE

The One-77 is the rarest of all Aston Martin models, with a grand total of 77 units for the rest of forever (well, assuming they decide against a Volante model). Add in a body that is made with copious amounts of carbon fiber, a 750-horsepower V12 and hand-formed aluminum panels and you're looking at a price tag of $1.87 million. If you're thinking that that's more money than you're likely to make in the next lifetime, we're on the same wavelength, but not everyone is tuned to the same frequency.

Inside Line reports that fully 60 of the 77 One-77s are already spoken for, leaving only 17 copies of the ultra-mega rare English exotic up for grabs. And what One-77 owner doesn't want a mini-Aston for when driving their $1.87 million supercar is just too big for the country club? IL claims that many One-77 buyers are opting to spend the extra $30,000 for the Toyota IQ-based Cygnet. Hey, $30,000 may be a lot of coin for a gussied-up Toyota, but then again, the Cygnet likely isn't the only $30,000 option available in Aston's catalog – and it drives all by itself.

Irish Times review of Rapide

Here is another review of the € 275,000 Rapide. I doubt they will be seeing to many of these in Ireland with the new austerity measures. I am sure anyone who can afford one of these has already fled the Emerald Isle for friendlier and more economically stable shores.

Read more of the article HERE

FIRSTDRIVE ASTON MARTIN RAPIDE: EVEN IN those heady pre-Nama days, the Aston Martin Rapide would have struggled to make it on to the must-have list, rather than the wish list, of those who might have afforded a super car of this calibre. The chances of seeing one of these in IMF Ireland is now even more remote.

With a price tag of € 275,000, a six-litre petrol engine, 20-inch wheels (whose brake discs are bigger than the wheel of an average saloon car), frightening fuel consumption and very tight interior space, the Rapide is of limited appeal indeed.

Unlike other Aston Martin models, the Rapide is billed as a four-door car that offers more practicality. It is a relative term. The two scooped-out rear seats might accommodate an extra two for a round trip to the theatre, but that’s about it. And if they are taller than 5’10”, even that would be an uncomfortable trip.

This is no family saloon. Rather it is a sports car in the grand tradition, but tuned to the limits of what is possible these days. When you sit into it, you realise what it is like to enjoy something bespoke. You are cocooned by beautiful stitched leather and instrumentation that puts an average production car to shame. Slot in the key and you hear an engine sound that would do justice to an advancing tank column.

Select the D button and you move off with the impression that the V12 engine – despite its boom – is actually docile. Whatever the road presents is absorbed effortlessly. It is only when you select the performance settings for the engine and suspension that you realise which part of the car is Jeckyl and which is Hyde.

Aston Martin wins 2010 GT1 Trophy

Gaydon, 8 December 2010. Aston Martin has clinched the 2010 SRO Trophy for manufacturers after a thrilling close to the FIA GT1 World Championship season in South America.

The final race weekend of the GT1 season at San Luis in Argentina was dominated by official Aston Martin Racing Partner, Team Hexis AMR . The no. 9 DBR9 of Fred Makowiecki and Yann Clairay took victory in both the qualifying race and the championship race, backed up by the second Team Hexis car of Clivio Piccione and Jonathan Hirschi which took 4th and 3rd place in the two one-hour races. The combined efforts of the ambitious young French team earned them the highest ever points score in the championship, leapfrogging them into second place in the World Championship for teams.

Aston Martin’s other official GT1 team, Young Driver AMR, went into the weekend with an outside chance of both the teams’ title and the drivers’ title for the no. 7 pairing of Darren Turner and Tomas Enge. All was looking good when the team’s no. 8 car, piloted by Stefan Mücke and Jose Maria Lopez, claimed pole position for the qualifying race. However, Mücke was eliminated after contact with another car on lap one, meaning the pair could only manage 5th place in the following championship race despite their best efforts. Turner and Enge also tried valiantly, but were hindered by 40kgs of success ballast from their 1st and 2nd place results at the previous round in Brazil and were unable to secure the points necessary to claim the title.

Read more HERE

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Aston Martin’s One-77 embarks on tour of Asia

Undoubtedly to plug into some of Asia's newly monied, the One-77 launches a show-and-tell tour to Asia. Perhaps some Chinese will wish for stronger currency when they see the price tag. But with all of the rest of the world's money flowing in, I am sure they will have plenty of coin to drop on this beautiful car.

Japan, 07 December 2010: The One-77, Aston Martin's ultimate production car, a piece of sculptural automotive art that is the ultimate representation of the company's technical ability, ambitions and values is embarking on it’s first ever tour of Asia.

Aston Martin is embarking on an ambitious tour of Asia with One-77, taking in Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taipei and China. The tour begins in earnest later today with an event for 200 invited, at the Cirque Du Soleil Theatre in Tokyo, Japan.

Asia Pacific remains an extremely important market for Aston Martin with significant growth potential for the British marque. The company has in recent years grown its dealership network in the region to 14, culminating with recent openings in China and Taiwan with further expansion planned. Globally, Aston Martin maintains a network of 126 dealers in 39 countries.

Get your hands on more information HERE

Monday, December 6, 2010

SOLD: 1967 Aston Martin DB6 MkI Volante Convertible

Sold for £243,500 inclusive of Buyer's Premium at Bonhams Auction.

Considered by many to be the last 'real' Aston Martin, the DB6 was launched in 1965, up-dating the DB5.

The wheelbase was now 4" (100mm) longer than before, resulting in an extensive restyle with more-raked windscreen, raised roofline and re-shaped rear quarter windows. The construction featured a lightweight aluminium body mounted on a steel platform chassis and, despite the increased wheelbase, the car was only 17lb heavier than the DB5. The restyled body increased rear passenger space so that four adults could be accommodated and the major change at the rear, where a Kamm-style tail with spoiler improved the aerodynamics, greatly enhanced stability at high speeds. 'The tail lip halves the aerodynamic lift around maximum speed and brings in its train greater headroom and more luggage space', declared Motor magazine, concluding that the DB6 was one of the finest sports cars it had tested.

The Tadek Marek-designed six-cylinder engine had been enlarged to 3,995cc for the preceding DB5 and remained unchanged. Power output on triple SU carburettors was 282bhp, rising to 325bhp in Vantage specification. Borg-Warner automatic transmission was offered alongside the standard ZF five-speed gearbox, and for the first time there was optional power-assisted steering.

Premiered at the 1965 London Motor Show, the convertible DB6 marked the first occasion the evocative 'Volante' name had been applied to a soft-top Aston Martin. After 37 Volante convertibles had been completed on the DB5 short-wheelbase chassis, the model adopted the standard DB6 chassis in October 1966. The stylish Volante offered four-seat accommodation and was generously appointed with leather upholstery, deep-pile carpets, aircraft-style instrument cluster and an electrically operated hood. A total of 1,575 DB6s was made between 1965 and 1970, plus 140 of the standard wheelbase Volantes.

This DB6 Volante has the desirable combination of ZF five-speed manual-transmission with power assisted steering and was originally delivered with a number of special features including chromed wire wheels, 3-ear hubcaps, safety belts, and a power aerial. 'DBVC/3661/R' was supplied new to H R Owen on 1st December 1967 and sold to its first owner, Michael Thomas Stott, of Looe, Cornwall. Mr Stott kept the Aston until December 1976 when it passed to the current vendor, by which time the car had covered some 48,000 miles. There is a letter on file from Mr Stott confirming the mileage covered during his ownership, and the current vendor has retained all the expired MoTs verifying the current odometer total of circa 87,000 miles.