Aston Martin crashed by Jim Clark set to be most valuable British car auctioned in Europe

The 1961 Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato is one of just 19 models with a body built by the Italian design house. 

But this model, known as ‘2 VEV’ in a nod to its registration, is the most notable because it was raced in period by Jim Clark and has been owned by the same family for the past 47 years. 

Clark, one of the most celebrated racing drivers, was famously involved in a crash involving John Surtees and his Ferrari 250 GTO at Goodwood in 1962.

Bonhams auctioneers had, last month, revealed it would be offering “the most valuable British car to ever be auctioned in Europe”, without naming the motor.

The auction house yesterday (Thurs) revealed it would be auctioning the 150mph-plus Aston Martin at this summer’s Goodwood Festival of Speed in West Sussex. 

But last year, in an feature published by Aston Martin, it was estimated the classic sports car was worth around £15million.

This is over 4,000 times more than the £3,600 paid by the family of the current in 1971.

James Knight of Bonhams, said: “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. 

“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.”

The most expensive British car sold publicly in Europe is the Tim Birkin Bentley Blower which was sold by Bonhams at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in June 2012 for £5.4 million.

A very small number of British cars have been sold for more than £10 million, but these were auctioned in the USA.

Under the bonnet of the DB4 Zagato is a 3.7-litre engine which develops around 314bhp – 35 per cent more than a modern-day Volkswagen Golf GTI hot hatch. 

This gave it a 0-60mph time of 6.1 seconds and a top speed of 153mph.

While Aston Martin and Zagato built 19 models, ‘2 VEV’ is one of just two of the legendary ‘VEV’ quasi-works cars, and one of only three configured in the ultra-light DP209 specification. 

Jim Clark most notably drove ‘2 VEV’ for John Ogier’s Essex Racing Stable team and Aston Martin to confront the Ferraris in the RAC Tourist Trophy race at Goodwood in both 1961 and 1962. 

He brought the car home fourth behind team leader Roy Salvadori’s sister car ‘1 VEV’ in the 1961 race, but in 1962 he became involved in a multi-car accident. 

Just after rejoining the race following a pit stop, Clark spun at Madgwick Corner in the path of race leader John Surtees’ Ferrari 250 GTO. 

The two cars collided and crashed into the safety bank, only to be joined a few laps later by Robin Benson’s Ferrari 250 GT SWB which careered into both of them. 

Jim Clark was killed at the Hockenheim racetrack in Germany in 1968. He was just 32 and is regarded as one of the greatest ever drivers. 

In a statement, Bonhams added: “This is an opportunity to own one of the most charismatic, historically important and rarest of all great British racing GT cars, ex-Le Mans, ex-Goodwood TT, ex-Jimmy Clark and a truly great product of this most charismatic British marque, combining the best of British engineering with Italian styling flair.”


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