The famous Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato 2 VEV, raced by Jim Clark, has smashed the record for a British car sold in Europe at Bonhams' Goodwood Festival of Speed sale!
A unique Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato once raced by double Formula 1 world champion Jim Clark has become the most valuable British car ever sold in Europe, selling for £10,081,500 ($13,315,899) including premiums at Bonhams' Goodwood Festival of Speed sale.
Built in 1961, '2 VEV' raced at the Le Mans 24 Hours and RAC Tourist Trophy among other high profile events, cementing a provenance that helped it become the first British car to sell for over £10,000,000 outside of the United States.
'In 34 years in this business I've handled around 35,000 cars for sale,' said James Knight, group motoring chairman, of Bonhams, as he prepared to unveil the most valuable British car ever to come to auction in Europe back in May. 'But every now again you get to handle something very special. And sometimes it's something very very special.'
- More fantastic images of '2 VEV'
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This Essex Racing Stable team car had been in the same family ownership for 47 years prior to its sale at Goodwood, and is said to be the most important DB4GT Zagato in history for several reasons.
As one of only two of the legendary ‘VEV’ quasi-works cars, it was built to a rare ultra-light DP209 specification, which featured in only three cars built by Aston Martin. It was campaigned by Jim Clark five times in-period before passing to long-term, single-family ownership for nearly 50 years, leading up to its sale on July 13, 2018, giving it a set of attributes unrivaled by the other 17 DB4 GT Zagatos built.
‘2 VEV’ raced internationally throughout 1961-62 against rival Ferrari 250 GT SWB and Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinettas, vehicles which now count amongst the most valuable cars in the world. ‘2 VEV’ was campaigned by owner John Ogier’s Essex Racing Stable team as a quasi-works Aston Martin entry against some of the most notable grids ever assembled in GT World Championship history.
Driven by the revered Jim Clark, two-time Formula 1 World Champion Driver and winner of the world’s richest single race – the American Indianapolis 500-Miles – this is a ‘DP209’ lightweight version of the already rare Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato model, of which only 19 were made.
Jim Clark most notably drove ‘2 VEV’ for John Ogier and Aston Martin to confront the Ferraris in the RAC Tourist Trophy race at Goodwood in both 1961 and 1962. He finished fourth behind contemporary team leader Roy Salvadori’s sister car ‘1 VEV’ in the 1961 race, but in 1962 he became involved in a multi-car accident.
Just after re-joining the race following a pit stop, Clark spun at Madgwick Corner in the path of the Ferrari 250 GTO race leader John Surtees. The two cars collided and crashed into the safety bank, only to be joined a few laps later by Robin Benson’s Ferrari 250 GT SWB, which careered into both of them. The scene, involving three of the most valuable 1960s motor cars in today’s market, has become one of the most celebrated and extraordinary images.
By that time, the DB4GT Zagato had already been reconfigured by Aston Martin into the factory’s latest ‘DP209’ ultimate-lightweight specification following a crash at Spa-Francorchamps earlier in 1962, while driven by Belgian Lucien Bianchi.
It had also competed in the 1961 Le Mans 24-Hour race and the Paris 1000 Kilometres in which it finished sixth, driven by Jim Clark/Innes Ireland. In 1962, the car was repaired after the TT incident to reappear at Montlhéry, this time co-driven by Jim Clark and Sir John Whitmore.
2 VEV later achieved tremendous success in historic racing throughout the 1980s and '90s campaigned by Roger St John Hart and then, for the family, by prominent Aston Martin Owners’ Club personality Nick Cussons. Its racing career has been less intensive since a full restoration at the Aston Martin factory in the mid-1990s, but it remains ready to race.