Each year the events surrounding the Monterey weekend appear to have increasing impact on the prices of what has become a global commodity.
The Press Offices of Bonhams, RM Sothebys and Goodings have been churning out news of world record prices and enormous inventory revenues but while many among you will be following Maranello’s finest or the Stuttgart flying machines, at Byron International, our hearts belong Aston Martin and, after the startling results of 2014, we were interested to see if prices held up.
There was a mix of opportunities for buyers – after its appearances at the Centenary Timeline in 2013 and various promotional events, Zagato’s concept DB9 Spyder came to market and made a very respectable $693,000 (incl. premium) with RM while its earlier cousin, the 2004 Vanquish Roadster Prototype by Zagato nearly matched it at Quail Lodge with Bonhams at $660,000 (incl. premium).
So the untried and ultimately unique cars were there but stretch back to the Feltham years and the stories were quite different – RM delivered a startling $1,072,500 with an immaculate DM Mark III Drophead while a more moderate DB2/4 Mark I Drophead with Bonhams failed to sell and Goodings produced a disappointing $286,000 on a lovely DB2/4 Mark II Fixed Head Coupe. RM’s result on a Concours car was balanced by typically mediocre auction performance on Feltham cars from the other sellers.
But anyone with something a little unusual in their collection will have been heartened by the 1940 Speed Model Type C delivering $1,155,000 (incl. premium) and the 1948 2 litre Team Car making a great $781,000.
There were two DB4’s at Monterey – one sold and one didn’t; with DB5, there was a saloon that did not sell and a right hand drive Convertible that did – and how! Maintaining the model’s momentum from 12 months previously, she delivered $1,540,000 (incl. premium).
Keeping the model’s end up, the sole DB6 Saloon of the weekend sold for a creditable $429,000 (incl. premium). One other from the DB6 stable was a rare 1967 Aston Martin DB6 Shooting Brake - one of a small number of Shooting Brakes specifically designed to the demand of David Brown himself. His original request was fulfiled on a DB5 Chassis one of 12 built on a DB5 and then a further six were built on a DB6 Chassis - two by Panelcraft and four by Radford.
The car offered by RM was an original left hand drive car with one family ownership from new and represented absolutely outstanding value at $682,000 (incl. premium) - £434,235. And there was a V8 Volante which came in at $165,000 (incl. premium) which in Federal specification was a measured result.
So the story for Aston Martin appears to be a repetitive one – the marque remains a strong proposition for investment but the car must be right and in the rarified atmosphere of Pebble Beach and the Concours Cognescenti they have to be exceptional.
If there is a trend it is one of the gentle stability of a flat line – better than a dip, but one to think about very carefully.
© BYRON INTERNATIONAL