auction at the Aston Martin Works in Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire, UK, on Saturday 18th May set a new world auction record price for an Aston Martin in the marques centenary year, with the unique 1960 DB4GT Jet Coupe selling for £3,249,500 ($4,928,679).
The 14th annual sale of Aston Martin and Lagonda motor cars was also a landmark success for Bonhams, realising its highest ever total of £10 million. A large crowd of enthusiasts of the Aston Martin marque filled the saleroom to see many lots achieve well above their top estimates.
The multiple-award-winning Jet was the star, attracting intense interest from bidders in the room and on the telephones, with bidding escalating at increments of £100,000 at a time.
The car was the last off the production line and is a complete one-off with coachwork by Italian design house Bertone.
In 1960 Aston Martin commissioned Bertone to conceive and build a special Gran Turismo version of the DB4GT to be premiered at the 1961 Geneva Motor Show. The finished design with its strikingly angular lines was penned by a young Giorgetto Giugiaro, who would go on to become one of the most celebrated automotive designers of our time.
The final DB4GT to come off the production line, the car was named The Jet and debuted as planned in Geneva alongside Jaguars new E-type.
The car was offered from a deceased estate, and came to market for the first time in over 25 years. Its late owner owned several other Aston Martins, before falling for The Jet in 1986.
He had it restored to concours condition by the factory, since which time it has won 12 awards including First in Class at Pebble Beach and the Hurlingham Club, and Best in Show at Villa DEste.
Meanwhile a trio of barn finds a DB4, a DB5 and a DB6 each of which had been hidden from view, languishing in a barn or garage for more than three decades, achieved a combined total of £609,300.
Lot 205, the 1966 DB6 Vantage Sports Saloon Project, sold for more than five times its estimate at £107,900 after intense interest from bidders in the room and on six telephone lines. There were gasps and a spontaneous round of applause as the hammer fell.
Lot 210, the extraordinarily original 1964 DB5 Sports Saloon bought by its previous owner in 1972 for £1,500 sold for more than 200 times that at £320,700.
Meanwhile Lot 217, the 1963 DB4 Series V Vantage Sports Saloon, more than doubled its estimate to sell for £180,700.
Among other lots selling well at the auction were Lot 223, a 1965 DB5 Sports Saloon that was fully restored by Aston Engineering, and Lot 242, a 1968 DB6 Volante, both of which beat their top estimates to sell for £460,700.
James Knight, Bonhams Group Motoring Director, said: I really did not think we could eclipse the record-breaking total achieved at this sale last year, but I am thrilled that in Aston Martins centenary year we have achieved just that. To sell every lot in an auction is almost unprecedented.
When the first car lot realised £190,000 against an estimate of £50,000 I thought this was going to be one of those special days and it was, culminating with the new world auction record set by the Jet.
As ever the day was tremendous, with both Bonhams and Aston Martin Works contributing much to ensure this was once again one of the highlight sales on the global auction calendar.
Kingsley Riding-Felce, Managing Director of Aston Martin Works, said: This years Bonhams sale was a great success, with 197 lots finding new buyers and in excess of 2,000 customers and enthusiasts taking part. It was the first event to make use of the fully refurbished Olympia Building which now houses our Heritage Showroom, and that made the day all the more special.
The Heritage Showroom allows customers to take advantage of the vast knowledge and experience of the Aston Martin Works team, whether for sales, service or our world-renowned restoration division. We can now provide the unique experience of being able to view and compare cars from every era of Aston Martins 100 years.