Aston Martin has made some devastatingly gorgeous and storied cars over the years. But few could hold a candle to the legendary DB4GT Zagato.
Unfortunately for collectors, only 19 were originally made (along with another six continuation examples). But one is coming up for auction, and it could prove the most valuable British car ever sold.
Known by its registration number 2 VEV, this historic Aston stands out even in the rare company of other DB4GTs. It’s one of only three that were made in the ultra-light DP209 specification. It was driven in period by two-time F1 champion and Indy 500 winner Jim Clark. And it’s been in single-family ownership for the past 50 years.
As well preserved as that family has kept it, 2 VEV has hardly been a garage queen its entire life. In its heyday, it crashed several times – including one of the most iconic on-track collisions in racing history. That was when Clark spun it during the RAC Tourist Trophy at Goodwood in 1962, crashing into John Surtees’ Ferrari 250 GTO and joined soon thereafter by another 250 GT SWB. If you know how sought-after and valuable all three cars are today, it’s a scene that’s bound to make you shudder.
Fortunately, it’s long since been restored several times over, including a comprehensive restoration at the Aston Martin factory in the mid-1990s. 2 VEV has now been consigned to Bonhams for its sale at the Goodwood Festival of Speed – the same location where it so famously crashed 56 years prior.
“Bonhams is absolutely delighted to be bringing this landmark vehicle to auction, which continues our history of offering the world’s most important and celebrated sports and collectors’ motor cars to market,” says Bonhams motoring expert James Knight. “It is, by some distance, the most valuable British motor car ever to be offered at a European auction, and we look forward to seeing what the future holds for this historically significant vehicle.”
Rival auctioneer RM Sotheby’s sold another DB4GT Zagato in New York more than two years ago for over $14 million. That same auction house sold another Aston – a 1956 DBR1 – at Pebble Beach last summer for $22.5 million. That beat the Jaguar D-Type it sold the previous year for $21.8m to take the record as the most valuable British car ever sold at auction. Those cars, however, were all sold in the United States – as was the McLaren F1 that Bonhams sold (also at Pebble Beach) last summer for $15.6m. That stands to make this the most valuable British car ever sold in Great Britain, or in Europe altogether.