As­ton rally car up for sale

Ex-Ray­mond Bax­ter Monte racer to be sold at Good­wood auc­tion

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week - Nathan Chad­wick ❚ bon­

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.

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