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Aston Martin makes £1.4 million at Bonhams’ Paris 2015 sale

An unrestored Aston Martin DB5 Convertible that has had just a handful of owners and covered a genuine 23,000 miles from new sold for just over £1.4 million at Bonhams’ Les Grandes Marques du Monde sale on 5 February.

The original left-hand drive model was first owned by American heiress Charlene Breedon in 1965. In the ensuing 50 years it has undergone some sympathetic restoration, but it remains remarkably original. While the paintwork shows some signs of its age, the chromework and Borrani wire wheels are in great condition. 

Instead of the usual list of classic Ferraris, the other cars that made the most money at the Paris sale were an AC Cobra and an Alfa Romeo.  

The Alfa was a 6C 1750 Grand Sport with a great history. It was ordered by sole British Alfa Romeo concessionaire FW Stiles in 1930. Soon afterwards it was driven to victory on his behalf in the Brooklands Double Twelve class by exiled Russian Imperial Guard Boris Ivanowski. 

At the end of the racing season the car was given a James Young coupe body and wire wheels. It was subsequently sold as a new car in February 1931. At the 2015 Paris sale it sold for more than £886,000. 

The 1966 Cobra at Bonhams’ sale also had an interesting past - its owner since 1978 was ‘gentleman driver’ and banker Amschel Rothschild, so needless to say it had a long racing history. It sold for just over £700,000. 

At the other end of the price scale, a DAP kart driven by Ayrton Senna in 1981 went for £43,000. It was driven by the Formula 1 champion in his last outing in a kart race: the World Championship event in Parma, Italy. 

While Italian marques proved popular at the Paris sale, there was not much love for some of the American cars on offer. A 1934 Chrysler Airflow went for £31,000, a 1960 Ford Thunderbird 500 made just under £19,000 and a 1955 Studebaker President sent for only £17,000. 

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By Claire Evans

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