As­ton Martin’s light­weight racer

Fa­mous works DB4 Zagato to be of­fered at Fes­ti­val of Speed sale

Classic Cars (UK) - - Chasing Cars -

Un­less some­one has an idea to trump it, this looks like be­ing the head­line act of the UK’S 2018 auc­tion sea­son. If sold at Bon­hams’ Good­wood Fes­ti­val of Speed sale on July 13 it is likely to be­come the most ex­pen­sive British car ever sold in Europe.

There were just two ‘works’ As­ton Martin DB4 GT Za­gatos built to be cam­paigned by John Ogier’s Es­sex Rac­ing Sta­ble team, the other be­ing hand­ily reg­is­tered 1 VEV. Both cars racked up some en­vi­able his­tory, 2 VEV be­ing raced by top driv­ers in­clud­ing Jim Clark, Innes Ire­land and Sir John Whit­more at events like the Le Mans 24-hours and the Good­wood Tourist Tro­phy. It has to be said, though, that 2 VEV is prob­a­bly as fa­mous for its crashes as its race suc­cesses, its best fin­ish be­ing fourth place be­hind the Ferraris at the 1961 RAC Tourist Tro­phy. At the fol­low­ing year’s event Jim Clark spun in front of John Sur­tees’ 250 GTO and the two wound up in the bank where they were sub­se­quently hit by a Fer­rari 250 SWB. At to­day’s prices that would be a £60 mil­lion pile-up.

Ear­lier in the year 2 VEV had al­ready been re­built after a crash at Spa and was again re­paired and run at Montl­héry.

Bought in 1971 for £3600, the car has since re­mained in the same fam­ily, be­ing cam­paigned in his­toric events un­til an­other crash and ex­pen­sive restora­tion in 1993 cur­tailed its com­pet­i­tive ca­reer. You can read our track test fea­ture in the As­ton Martin Greats spe­cial edi­tion, avail­able via the Clas­sic Cars web­site.

Bon­hams won’t be drawn into giv­ing the car an es­ti­mate, mo­tor­ing depart­ment chair­man James Knight only ad­mit­ting to some­where over £10 mil­lion. Si­mon Kidston of K500 pre­dicts it should be worth ‘in the area of 250 SWB Com­pe­tizione money’, which would place it at around £12 mil­lion at cur­rent val­ues.

‘If sold at auc­tion on July 13 this is likely to be­come the most ex­pen­sive British car ever sold in Europe’

2 VEV may have been as well known for its crashes as for its suc­cesses, but as one of only two ul­tra-light works DB4 GT Za­gatos built, this is a chance in a gen­er­a­tion

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