Feast or famine

AF­TER A SUR­PRIS­INGLY SLOW MONTEREY CAR WEEK, SEPTEM­BER SAW A GLUT OF AS­TONS AUCTIONED

VANTAGE - - Bulletin Market Watch - WORDS CHRIS BIETZK PHOTOGRAPHY BONHAMS/RM SOTHEBY’S/DIRK DE JAGER

‘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…

From the top A rare ex­am­ple of the con­trar­ian’s Aston of choice comes up for sale in De­cem­ber – and this Lagonda Rapide is fin­ished in Rolls-royce Blue for good mea­sure. The 26th V12 Za­gato built, but the first to be of­fered for sale pub­l­icy. This top-not

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