A Good Sale for the Classic Market – Mixed Fortunes for Aston Martin
When Bonhams initiated their December Bond Street sale a few years back, there was always a sense that it was more a statement of their prestige than the cars they were selling – not so now, the cars are the stars once more. And it was quite an inventory to consider with Aston Martins at every turn and of course, the appearance of what the rostrum described as “Aston Martin Royalty” reflected the volume of Aston specialists attending.
We didn’t have long to wait for the first of those Astons, a DB6 Mark 2 from the overseas seller whose disposals have dominated so many recent sales. Resplendent in Bahama Yellow and an original Vantage, the bidding started with an optimistic jump from the rostrum’s opening of £100,000 to an immediate bid of £200,000, sadly that momentum slowed to a final bid of £220,000 (£253,000 incl. premium) not really reflective of the potential value of the car, especially as like many other cars in the sale, 5% tax was payable if the car remains in the UK.
Like many of the cars, the DB6 was a “No Reserve” offering and, next up, a White 2004 Vanquish S was similarly “dealable” from the word go and she finished up at £60,000 on the hammer (£69,000 incl. premium) – if you think that looked like a bargain, next up was a left-hand drive Vantage 550 Supercharged that had a low estimate of £60,000 but the hammer came down at £88,000 (£101,200 incl. premium)
So, Aston Martin was looking like a value brand! But they weren’t missing like the 1956 Mercedes Benz that came next and was the first non-seller of the day but the mass of no reserve cars meant there were only 4 misses on the day – as we say a good sale for the classic market. The Wiggins collection that followed was a mix of pre-war Rolls, Bentley and Jaguar, all of which sold well before we had the next Aston – a change from the DB6’s but from the same source – a 1979 V8 Vantage Saloon.
It was good to hear some healthy bidding and a hammer of £132,000 (£151,800 incl. premium) – add in that tax liability and that is not a bad price. Rather better in comparison that another DB6 Mark 2 where £190,000 (£218,500 incl. premium) was sadly not an unexpected result.
One interesting change to the bidding came on the next lot, a 2014 Mercedes Benz SLS AMG GT Final Edition where a disappointed front row under-bidder was beaten to the car by “The Aggregator”.
For those not aware, this is not another Schwarzenegger character but rather a phenomenon that has grown with the advent of web-based auctions – aggregators offer clients a broad spectrum of auctions from which to select and bid charging a small percentage on top of the auction house buyer’s premium. For the buyers, the choice is wider, for the auction houses, they broaden their reach and hope to sell more rather than relying on the share of voice of just their own advertising or website.
We only mention this because whilst the auction houses have embraced the aggregators for some time, it has not been so common to see the rostrum dealing with telephones, the internet, the saleroom AND aggregators at a desk!
Moving back to Aston Martin, there was the only miss from the marque when another Vantage 550, again left-hand drive but not “no reserve”, was bid to a similarly bargain £90,000 as the previous Vantage but was passed.
There were then another pair of disposals – first another 1979 V8 Vantage Saloon that came in at just £82,000 on the hammer (£94,300 incl. premium) – second best on quality second best on price!
And this was closely followed by another DB6 – this time a 1967 Automatic – in the circumstance, the £104,000 on the hammer (£119,600 incl. premium) was expected and, when you add the tax and the re-commissioning costs, a truer picture of real values begins to emerge.
But if you wanted a real boost, it came with the very next Aston – a restored DB5 saloon in Dubonnet which saw spirited bidding to £510,000 (£586,200 incl. premium) – more the sort of price you hope for!
The final lot was a Lagonda Rapide - £86,000 on the hammer (£98,900 incl. premium) may look cheap but add that tax and recommissioning and you are looking at a £150,000 car!
A bit of a mixed bag for Aston Martin – the distortion that the disposal of that major collection, which we have previously highlighted, impacts price perception but if you take those tax liabilities and restoration costs into account, it paints a rather different picture – and it is a picture that was framed well by the rest of the Bond Street Sale, positive sounds, strong bidding from all quarters and perhaps signs of a better 2022.
That optimism took a bit of a hit a week later with the Aston results at Bonhams MPH sale but we are sharing al the results.
For full results go to:
© BYRON INTERNATIONAL