McCartney’s Aston sings for RM as Ferrari tops Battersea sale

| 1 Nov 2012

A 1964 Aston Martin DB5 that was bought new by Sir Paul McCartney sold for £307,500 at RM’s London auction last night. The Aston was ordered prior to The Beatles' summer tour, and delivered on 22 September to McCartney’s accountants – ah, the romance of rock ’n’ roll…

McCartney specified Armstrong Selectaride dampers, chrome wire wheels and a Motorola radio. The car also boasted a Philips Auto-Mignon record player and McCartney kept it for six years.

Other lots boasting impressive provenance included an Alfa Romeo 6C-1750 Gran Sport that Tazio Nuvolari drove to victory in the 1930 Tourist Trophy. The Italian ace beat Giuseppi Campari and Achille Varzi in the wet race at the Ards circuit in Northern Ireland.

After the race, the car was fitted with a drophead coupé body by James Young and exhibited at that year's London Motor Show. The racing bodywork was recreated when the Alfa was restored in the 1990s. It achieved £700,000 on the night.

The top result, however, came from a 1959 Ferrari 250GT LWB Berlinetta Tour de France (above). The 30th car of only 36 Series IV examples built, it beat its low estimate by selling for £1,750,000 on the hammer.

The evening opened in front of a packed house at Battersea Evolution with the no-reserve sale of the Zegwaard Collection. Populated mostly by American models from the 1950s and ’60s, it also included a DAF 33 variomatic (£6500), a Citroën 2CV Charleston that had covered only 166km (£13,000) and a 2008 Bugatti Veyron (£517,500).

A couple of high-profile lots failed to find new homes, however. An Aston DB6 Shooting Brake ordered new by racing driver Innes Ireland stalled at £300,000, while a 1955 alloy-bodied Mercedes 300SL Coupé topped-out at £2.4million, just short of its reserve.