- Aston Martin, founded in 1913, has had a long history of producing luxury sports cars.
- The most expensive Aston Martins sold are often rare, limited editions or race models.
- Auction houses such as Bonhams and Sotheby’s have sold these high-ticket models for millions of dollars.
The Birth of a Legendary Car Company
Aston Martin was founded in the early 20th century by two men in a small London workshop. Robert Bamford was an engineer while Lionel Martin was a businessman with aspirations of owning a car company. The two officially began their partnership on January 15th, 1913 when the Aston Martin company became a legally recognized cooperation.
Throughout its history, Aston Martin has experienced its share of ups and downs, from bankruptcy to being disrupted by two world wars. Despite these challenges, Aston Martin remains a symbol of luxury and racing excellence. In this article, we’ll explore the most expensive Aston Martins ever sold at auction.
1. 1956 Aston Martin DBR1
Sale Price: $22,550,000
Year Sold: 2017
Cool Feature: Updated engine for racing
Interesting Fact: Only five were made
The 1956 Aston Martin DBR1 is the most expensive Aston Martin ever sold. Aston Martin made just five DBR1s, and Sotheby’s sold one of them. The car was the first of that five-unit collection, and the auction house calls the vehicle “The most important model in Aston Martin history.”
2. 1963 Aston Martin DP215 Grand Touring Competition Prototype
Sale Price: $21,455,000
Year Sold: 2018
Cool Feature: 1963 Works-built Hiduminium body
Interesting Fact: Only one was made
Aston Martin made this one-of-a-kind car in 1963 as a test racer for Le Mans. Incredibly, the decision to make the car was made formal just two months before the race. In 2018, Sotheby’s sold this one-of-a-kind car for more than $21 million, making it the second-most expensive Aston Martin ever sold.
3. 1961 Aston Martin MP209 DB4GT Zagato Grand Touring Two-Seat Coupe
Sale Price: $12,170,740
Year Sold: 2018
Cool Feature: One-of-two design
Interesting Fact: This car was raced in the early ‘60s
Only two special-edition ‘61 Grand Touring Coupes were made, and Bonhams sold one of them in 2018. The rare car was made for racing and hit the track in the early ‘60s, including iconic competitions like Le Mans and Goodwood TT.
4. 1962 Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato
Sale Price: $9,520,000
Year Sold: 2021
Cool Feature: Rare left-hand drive design
Interesting Fact: Only 19 were made
Just 19 Aston Martin DB4GT Zagatos were made in 1962, and only six of them were left-hand drivers. This particular 1962 Zagato was sold at a Sotheby’s auction in 2021 for a jaw-dropping $9.5 million.
5. 1965 Aston Martin DB5 “Bond Car”
Sale Price: $6,385,000
Year Sold: 2019
Cool Feature: Modified for special effects
Interesting Fact: This car was featured in a James Bond film
In 2019, Sotheby’s auction house sold a 1965 Aston Martin DB5 featured in “Thunderball” starring Sean Connery as 007. Eon Productions purchased two DB5s for the film, and Sotheby’s says this one was outfitted with modified parts for special effects during production. The car sold for more than $6 million, making it the fifth-most expensive Aston Martin ever sold.
6. 1960 Aston Martin DB4GT Jet Coupe
Sale Price: $3,922,910
Year Sold: 2013
Cool Feature: Connolly leather upholstery
Interesting Fact: This special-edition car reached 153 mph
Bonhams sold a rare Aston Martin DB4GT Jet Coupe from 1960 in 2013. This limited-edition line was adapted from another Aston Martin vehicle and enhanced to perform well against other leading race cars. The 1960 Jet Coupe proved a worthy challenger to the Ferraris leading GT racing, and many earned first place in competitions of the era.
7. 1962 Aston Martin DB4 Series IV Vantage Convertible
Sale Price: $1,827,150
Year Sold: 2015
Cool Feature: Special electric radiator fan
Interesting Fact: Only nine were made
The 1962 Series IV was a limited-edition version of an existing Aston Martin. About 1,100 standard units were made, while just nine special edition Series IVs were made. This particular IV was once owned by Sir Peter Ustinov, an award-winning playwright and actor. In 2015, Bonhams officially sold this rare 1962 Series IV for an astounding $1.8 million.
8. 1934 Aston Martin Ulster Two-Seater
Sale Price: $1,570,250
Year Sold: 2013
Cool Feature: Specially painted to reduce distracting light reflections while racing
Interesting Fact: Only 31 Ulsters were made
The 1934 Ulster was one of the many cars impacted by Aston Martin’s economic troubles, but it was powerful and impressive nonetheless. Only 31 were made and Aston Martin kept the focus on competition. In 2013, Bonhams auction house sold one of these rare cars for about $1.5 million, making it one of the most expensive Aston Martins ever sold.
These eight Aston Martins represent the pinnacle of luxury and performance in the world of sports cars. With their rich history, limited production, and exceptional features, it’s no wonder that collectors are willing to pay millions of dollars for the chance to own one of these rare and iconic vehicles. As the most expensive Aston Martins ever sold, they are a testament to the brand’s enduring appeal and its ongoing commitment to automotive excellence.