20. May 2013 07:49
Wasn't I just saying a few days ago that investing in an Aston Martin would be wise? This weekend a 1964 Aston Martin DB5 (like the one driven by Sean Connery in Goldfinger) discovered after three decades in an old garage with a mouse nest in its engine bay sold for £320,700 ($486,469) in the U.K. event by Bonhams. There were gasps in the auction room when the DB6 sold for more than five times its lower estimate of £20,000.
The mice had moved out of the sports saloon before its cylinders were re-lubricated and it restarted without difficulty, if noisily, the seller said. The nest made of shredded newspaper was still in place and included in the price.
A grime-encrusted 1966 DB6 Vantage Sports Saloon, also untouched for 30 years, fetched £107,900.
So called “barn finds” -- cars in untouched condition -- are highly prized by collectors in a selective market for classic models that puts a premium on originality. “This allows wealthy car owners to choose how they want it to be done,” James Knight, Bonhams’s head of motoring, said in an interview. “The bespoke element is attractive. It’s like ordering a Savile Row suit.”
This DB5 had been bought in 1972 for 1,500 pounds by David Ettridge, an Aston Martin Owners Club member, who drove it until 1980. Ettridge died in 2011. Bonhams said the car, which had been stored in Sidmouth, Devon, western England, was perfectly preserved. Dealers estimated the restoration would cost about 200,000 pounds.
Partly thanks to its James Bond 007 associations, Aston Martin is the most desirable U.K. marque for collectors of classic sports cars. Prices have risen as such autos have become an increasingly popular alternative investment.
“The DB5 is one of the models that has led value increases in the classic-car market,” Neil Dickens, co-director of the Wiltshire-based dealership the Hairpin Company, said before the event. “The market for this marque is as strong as you could hope for, with the possible exception of Ferrari.”
The “Blue Chip” index of the best examples compiled by Michigan-based Hagerty, based on sales from more than 15 auction houses, reached an all-time high of 240.9 in April.
"You're still not getting one" is what my wife told me this morning.
No, Mr. Bond, I Expect You To Walk