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Ex-works Aston Martin Ulster makes £2.9 million at Bonhams’ Festival of Speed sale

Dubbed the ultimate pre-war racer, the ex-works Ulster had raced at Le Mans, the Mille Miglia, RAC and Ards TTs and the 1936 French Grand Prix with Dick Seaman at the wheel. Its selling price of £2,913,500 is the highest figure paid for a pre-war Aston Martin at auction to date, topping the £1,300,700 achieved by a 1934 Ulster at a Bonhams sale in 2013.

Another car driven and owned by a racing legend also made good money at the Festival of Speed sale. The 1961 Porsche RS-61 was offered for sale by Sir Stirling Moss, a car described by him as ‘just super’.

One of only 14 built, the 1605cc RennSport 61 is very similar to the car in which Moss and Graham Hill almost won the 1961 Targa Florio race. It’s also the model raced by Moss and Hill in the 1961 Nurburgring 1,000 Kilometres race in Germany’s Eifel Mountains. The Porsche sold for £1,905,500.

Other cars with famous owners also sold well. A Porsche 911S 2.4 Coupe bought new in 1973 by ‘father of pop art’ Richard Hamilton went for £393,500. And a 1984 Porsche 911 3.2-litre Carrera Coupé, belonging to former Top Gear presenter James May, sold for £51,750.

Ex-Rolling Stone Bill Wyman offered two cars at the sale: a 1966 Mercedes-Benz 250S, which sold for £20,700, and a gorgeously outlandish 1971 Citroen SM that made £61,980 – £20,000 above its upper estimate.

Another high achiever was a 1998 Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR Roadster. One of just six made, it was owned by Mercedes until 2014 and had just eight kilometres on its clock. It far exceeded expectations, selling for £1,513,500.   

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By Claire Evans

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