Aston rally car up for sale
Ex-Raymond Baxter Monte racer to be sold at Goodwood auction
An Aston Martin DB2/4 MkII that served as a prototype for the MkIII, as a European company demonstrator and a 1958 Monte Carlo Rally entrant, is to be auctioned at Bonhams’ Goodwood Festival of Speed sale.
The 1957 car, chassis number DP 193, contains several differences to the production MkIII, but it is better known as the car Raymond Baxter and Jack Reece campaigned on the 1958 Monte. Baxter and the car starred in a BBC programme about the rally at the time, though the event didn’t go well for him. According to correspondence between the current owner and Baxter – which is included in the sale – the TV presenter said: ‘We didn’t do all that well in the rally because we “ran out of lights” near Grenoble and lost a lot of time. I did, however, win the class for the “high speed manoeuvrability test” on the waterside section of the grand prix circuit.’
In a further letter, from March 1999, Baxter explains further: ‘Our misfortune centred on a fatal navigational error on the last night when I was driving, followed by an electrical fault which gradually ran down the battery. We were beyond “maximum lateness” when we arrived in Monte Carlo, although we were allowed to compete in the high speed test. It was an arduous drive.’
DP 193 also served as an Aston Martin demonstrator for the 1958 European show season, making appearances at Brussels and Geneva, and was also photographed outside the Le Mans team’s hotel that year. After these duties were performed, it was handed over to the experimental department. Test notes – which also come with the car – explain that as the MkIII’s body was welded to the frame, the resonant frequencies were not befitting of an Aston.
It’s now up for sale with Bonhams at its Goodwood Festival of Speed sale on 30 June. It still has the reclining driver’s seat the factory instalIed for the Monte alongside the standard passenger seat, and is presented in unrestored condition, though wearing different paintwork to its original hue. It’s estimated at £300,000-£500,000.