Saturday, October 31, 2009

Aston Martin DB2 Le Mans Racer Sells for $900,000

1950 Aston Martin DB2
The 1950 Aston Martin DB2 Team Car is seen in this handout photograph provided to the media on Oct. 29, 2009. Source: RM Auctions via Bloomberg

RM Auctions
The 1950 Aston Martin DB2 that sold at RM Auctions in London on Wednesday.

Long before James Bond began ordering his with smokescreens and ejector seats in the movies, Aston Martin needed a car to insure the company’s survival following World War II. And while the world’s most famous British secret agent might have saved the world several times over, he wouldn’t have had the wheels to get the job done had it not been for the Aston Martin DB2.

At the RM Auctions in London on Wednesday, a 1950 Aston Martin DB2 racecar that finished first in the 3-liter class (and third over all) at the 1951 24 Hours of Le Mans sold for $910,865, which RM said was the most paid for a DB2.

This featured car, a 1950 Aston Martin DB2 Team Car “VMF 64.” Kept in the same family for 52 years, “the car comes complete with an extensive history file, an original purchase invoice and a great deal of correspondence, including letters from David Brown dating back to 1955,” according to RM’s catalogue. Brown was the entrepreneur who bought Aston Martin in 1947 and whose initials give the DB models their name.

On public roads and on the world’s greatest racetracks, the DB2 coupe earned Aston a reputation for elegant looks and sporting achievement. Built from 1950-53, more than 400 DB2s would be sold during its lifetime. That figure might represent only a few hours of Toyota Camry production today, but in the early 1950s it represented big-league sales for the tiny Aston Martin company.

While the impeccable “VMF 64″ Aston was a star of the auction, the racecar did not set the day’s highest price. That honor went to a 2006 Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR Roadster, the only right-hand-drive version ever built, according to RM. The Mercedes sold for $1.02 million.

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