Market: Geri Halliwell pays £102k for Ringo's Mini
Meanwhile McCartney DB5 makes over £1.3m and two Elton John Bentleys also sell during £8.6m Bonhams sale
The Aston Martin DB5 first owned by Sir Paul McCartney in 1964 was the mega star of the annual top car sale held at the Bonhams HQ salerooms in New Bond Street at the heart London’s West End.
With the latest and total restoration only recently completed, and with customary 4.2 engine upgrade, the once Beatles Aston had passed through the acquisitive hands of DJ Chris Evans, who had added the appropriate ’64 MAC’ registration. Having cost McCartney’s accountants £3800 10 shillings plus £793 6 shillings and 8 pence Purchase Tax 53 years ago, the better-than-new DB5 was knocked down to a winning bidder on a telephone for £1,345,500 with premium.
Another strong Aston Martin performance was the more than top estimate £830,300 handed over for one of 65 Vantage-engined DB5s, a left-hand drive Portugal-supplied and still largely unmolested original with matching numbers.
'Continuously maintained rather than restored', a DB5-preceding 1962 DB4 Series V Vantage made £516,700, within the estimate band, and a DB7 Zagato driven 8889 miles by two owners from new in 2004 cost the third £359,900.
There were also buyers for all three Bentleys led by the mid-estimate valuation of £561,500 paid for a 1929-dated and 1980s re-bodied 4½-Litre ‘Le Mans Rep’ in Vanden Plas style with overdrive and alternator.
A less than forecast £366,666 was accepted for the ex-Sir Elton John and Lord Sugar 1959 S1 Continental Fastback with discreetly finned rear wings, while £180,700, forecast money, was bid for a 1960 S2 Continental Flying Spur that had also been previously restored during Sir Elton tenure.
Ferraris did not fare well however. A Classiche-certified 1985 288 GTO ran out of track at an insufficient £1,800,000 on the bids board (though it sold post-sale for £1.88m) and a displayed bid of £1,600,000 was not enough to land a similarly Ferrari-certified 2004 Enzo on FXX wheels.
£185,000 was the end of the auction road for the 1966 Earls Court London Motor Show 330GT 2+2, for which £220,000 or more had been suggested. £470,000 was accepted for a 1972 365 GTB/4 ‘Daytona’, another ex-Chris Evans car and in right-hand drive too, when at least £500,000 had been sought, and a 2002 575M Maranello manual in RHD also found a fan with the necessary £158,300.
And so it was that Classical Brits occupied the Top Ten with a £505,500 mid-estimate result for a 1937 Alvis 4.3-Litre ‘Short Chassis’ VDP Tourer that had done the 1938 and 1939 RAC Rallies and been driven by Ian Bannen on TV in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. Meanwhile, the £281,500 achieved for a circa-1986 Ford RS200 Evolution that had been consigned from Norway, sold in London and may end up in the US was a vote of confidence in the continued health of Group B Rally Cars.
Three out of five Jaguars offered also sold with a well-over-guide £186,300 required to own a 1960 XK150 3.8 ‘S Chassis’ Fixed Head, and Bernie Ecclestone adding a 1960 XK150 SE 3.4 Auto Drophead to his considerable collection for £141,500.
Red Bull F1 team chief Christian Horner was also attending this well-supported event with his pop star wife Geri Halliwell – the former Spice Girl being the winning bidder of a Beatles Mini, the ex-Brian Epstein and Ringo Starr Cooper S with Harold Radford hatchback conversion, which cost her £102,300.
Four out of five classic bikes found new riders, led by the superbikes of their day, a 1949 Vincent 998cc Black Shadow Series C fetching a thumping £119,100 with £82,140 bet on the future of a 1936 Brough Superior 982cc SS80 Special.
From 22 years ownership, a 1977 MV Agusta 750S America with Magni accessories had come to market in the West End, where it cost a shopper £63,100. While an apparently ‘inside the house’ displayed 1963 BSA 646cc Rocket Gold Star, the quintessential factory café racer, made an ornamental £24,725 by which point, although 43% of the cars did not sell, a more than festive £8.6m had been spent by consumer collectors in a single afternoon.
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