Feast or famine
AFTER A SURPRISINGLY SLOW MONTEREY CAR WEEK, SEPTEMBER SAW A GLUT OF ASTONS AUCTIONED
‘THE WHOLE POINT of having money,’ noted the late Hollywood superagent Swifty Lazar, ‘is to spend it.’
Well-heeled Aston enthusiasts who share his view had surprisingly few opportunities to splash their cash at the Monterey Car Week sales in August, but the cars offered were without exception worth splurging on.
At Gooding’s auction, the beautiful Bertone-bodied 1954 DB2/4 Spider discussed in the last issue sold for a sensible (in relative terms) $3,080,000, but our favourite buy of the week was the car pictured below, a 1983 Lagonda hammered by Bonhams for $10,200 over its top estimate of $80,000.
For around 20 per cent more than the going rate for a William Towns Lagonda, the winning bidder got a car infinitely better than the average wedge – superbly original, with two names in the logbook and a mere 7567 miles on the clock.
Ordered in black on black with a 3.54:1 rear end, it was delivered to its first owner, a resident of Beverly Hills, in September 1983, and has lived in California ever since. Having seen very little rain as well as very little use, it remains in fabulous condition, and has been serviced regularly regardless of mileage. And the electrics work. Bonhams rightly described the car’s styling as ‘polarizing’ in the auction catalogue, and we feel safe in saying that broad popularity is not coming the Lagonda’s way any time soon – but equally safe in saying that the buyer of this car will not regret his purchase.
Bidders had many more Astons to choose from in September: Bonhams arrived at the Goodwood Revival with nine (including a 1953 Lagonda 2.6 Litre DHC), while the RM Sotheby’s London sale featured half a dozen more.
At Goodwood six cars sold, including a 1967 DB6 Vantage that brought the same £455,100 as a 1964 DB5. The pokier-than-standard engine clearly helped, but here was further evidence that the DB6 is no longer considered the poor relation of the DB4 and DB5.
The 1936 2 Litre Speed Model known as ‘Red Dragon’ was expected to be the star of the show, and was valued at £1.62 million, but failed to meet its reserve. There was no such lack of interest in a more modern rarity at RM’S event on September 7, the car shown above breezing past its top estimate to make £655,200. The 26th of 61 roadgoing V12 Zagatos was believed to be the first of its kind to be offered publicly, and perhaps benefited from the presence of another V12 Zagato at the prestigious Concours of Elegance, with which RM is associated, the weekend before the sale.
Attention will now turn to the annual orgy of auctions in Scottsdale in January, but keep an eye on Bonhams’ December 7 sale in London, too, at which one of 55 Lagonda Rapides built will cross the block. We have a soft spot for the strangely dressed DB4, and this well-cared-for 1963 car with uprated 4.2-litre engine certainly looks worth its low estimate of £170,000. If you’ve got it, spend it…