On the same day that Bonhams will be staging its prestigious auction of important motor cars at the Chantilly Arts & Elegance classic car event, just north east of Paris, the Bond Street-based auctioneers will also be holding a more down-to-earth sale of attainable and restoration project classics at the 50th anniversary edition of the annual September Beaulieu National Motor Museum in the New Forest, on Saturday 3 September.
One such restoration project that caught our eye is a rare 1959 Series 1 Aston Martin DB4 coupe, with its delightful Carrozzeria Touring ‘Superleggera’ coachwork, which has been dry stored for the last 30 years.
Manufactured between October 1958 and June 1963, the DB4 – made iconic through its use by James Bond 007 in the cult film Goldfinger – was developed through no fewer than five series.
The first series, such as the 1959 example being sold by Bonhams, had already undergone a number of improvements over the early production models, launched in October 1954, including the fitting of heavy-duty bumpers after the first 50 cars, before the second series arrived in January 1960, which include a front-hinged bonnet, bigger brake callipers and an enlarged sump.
This DB4, chassis number 178/R, is the 78th built and left the Aston Martin factory fitted with engine number ‘370/199’. The car had lost its original power unit and been fitted with a Jaguar engine by the time it was acquired by a previous owner in July 1983. A replacement DB4 engine was fitted in December 1985 (invoice on file) and the car has seen virtually no use since then.
In 1986 the DB4 was acquired as a going concern by the current vendor, who started restoring the suspension and brakes. The project stalled when the owner went to work overseas, and the car has been kept in dry storage for the last 30 years.
Offered for restoration and sold strictly as viewed, this early DB4 is estimated to achieve a hammer price of between £150,000 to £180,000. With a fee of around £300,000 to restore this Aston to its former glory, this could example could be a sound investment, with early DB4 coupes now fetching up to £1million in concours condition!
Bonhams will also be offering a 1968 Aston Martin DB6 Vantage for light restoration at the same Beaulieu sale, estimated at £200,000 to £250,000.
Photography courtesy of Bonhams.
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