Aston Martin’s lightweight racer
Famous works DB4 Zagato to be offered at Festival of Speed sale
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