The annual Retromobile Exhibition in Paris increases in popularity every year and those visitor numbers are not only driven by the 420 plus exhibitors but also the opportunity to attend one or more of the three auctions that happen during the week. It offers us an invaluable first take on the International Aston Martin market as the marque is always well represented and 2014 was no exception.
First out of the blocks were RM – a modest but valuable inventory had two Feltham cars. The was a lovely original left hand drive DB2/4 Mark III – finished in Bronze with Beige leather, it was a fine older restoration that sold for €207,200 (£172,412) . Their second offering was another left hand drive car, a 1950 DB2 – one of 46 original cars with the side vents and with an original race pedigree, this sold for €364,000 (£302,886). Next stop for RM, Amelia Island – maybe they are saving some inventory for that sale!
Bonhams joined the show on the Thursday with a more varied group of Astons. An original left hand drive DB5 with a wonderful ownership history and matching condition delivered an expected high return of €776,250 (£645,374) but then disappointingly, a left hand drive V8 Series III saloon that was originally owned by the deposed Royal Family of Iran, failed to sell. But that miss was countered quickly by a DB4 Series IV – one of 5 series IV cars that were originally fitted with the fabled 3.7 engine from the DB4GT. As this was the only one of those five built as a left hand drive, the car was very rare and sold for a very rarified €1,184,500 (£984,793).
Their final offering was another Feltham car, a White DB2/4 Mark I – once more left hand drive and whilst nicely presented, showed signs of needing some TLC – cracking on the dashboard, missing ash tray – minor points but adding up to a lot for a new owner and reflected in a price of €184,000 (£152,977).
Finally it was time for the “home team” Artcurial – they opened with a DB6 Vantage. An early car and an original left hand drive Vantage, the car made a cracking €286,080 (£238,035) – they too had a DB 2/4 Mark III L.H.D. that at €208,600 (£173,577) sold for virtually the same money as the RM car had three days earlier.
Their final car was another Mark III but upgraded for modern rallies and those modifications failed to add value as it sold for €172,840 (143,821). Presenting any older Astons in racing of sporting configurations only has a positive impact on price if, like the RM DB2, there is genuine provenance to the appearance.
But overall, a very positive start for Aston Martin in 2014 – good prices and a good proportion of cars sold which reflects our experience in these early days of the year. All the sales were in the Feltham and early Newport Pagnell eras but pleased to report that our success goes all the way up to Bloxham.
Happy New Year!