The Aston Martin DB2 Team Car ‘VMF 65’ will headline the 11th annual Bonhams auction of Aston Martin and Lagonda Motor Cars and Related Automobilia. The auction will be held on 22nd May 2010 at Aston Martin Lagonda Limited Works Service, Newport Pagnell.
‘VMF 65’ – the ex-Works 1950 Aston Martin DB2 Team Car, Registration no. VMF 65, Chassis no. LML/50/9 – is a British Racing Green gem, as raced by such legendary and leading drivers as Stirling Moss, Peter Collins, Roy Salvadori, Tony Rolt, Lance Macklin, George Abecassis and Eric Thompson.
This competition Coupe was built in 1950 to contest that year’s Le Mans 24-Hours endurance race. It was one of a team of three DB2 Coupes representing the David Brown-owned marque – the others being ‘VMF 63’ and ‘VMF 64’. In those days, it was not unusual to drive the cars to the race – ostensibly to run-in the engines – and en route to the circuit driver Jack Fairman missed a corner on a French road and ‘VMF 65’ overturned. The car was too badly damaged to participate in the 24-Hours, but subsequently made its racing debut on 26th August, driven by Eric Thompson in the Daily Express One Hour Production Car Race at Silverstone.
That year ‘VMF 65’ competed in numerous and varied events including the Tourist Trophy in Ulster, the Shelsley Walsh hill-climb and the MCC ‘Daily Express’ 1,000-Mile Rally in which it was crewed by Stirling Moss and Lance Macklin.
In 1951 the car was bought by legendary British private owner/entrant Rob Walker, for whom it was driven by Abecassis in the British Empire Trophy race at Douglas, Isle of Man, while Walker himself drove it in the Speed Trials at Ramsgate and Brighton Speed Trials. Major Tony Rolt took the car to 3rd and 4th places at Goodwood, and Eric Thompson drove it into 8th place at the car’s second Dundrod TT. Thompson later won with the car at Snetterton in May 1952, and into 1954 Rob Walker scored a string of victories in Speed Trials at Ramsgate, Tarrant Hinton, Weathersfield and Gosport.
In 1955 Walker sold the car to Woking Motors and by 1966 it had passed to Nigel Mann who loaned it to the Le Mans Museum where it was displayed until 1979 when it was acquired by its former works and Rob Walker team driver, Eric Thompson. In 1998 it was purchased by the late Robert Leyba, past Chairman of the German section of the Aston Martin Owners’ Club (AMOC), in whose collection it joined two other DB2 works cars – ‘VMF 63’ and ‘XMC 76’.
The car retains much of its originality, has a well known and respected provenance and is fully operational. Its price is estimated at £380,000-£440,000. Just last year, RM Auction sold ‘VMF 64’ 1950 Aston Martin DB2 Team Car with Le Mans and Mille Miglia provenance for £550,000.
Other early entries in this Sale include a 1968 Aston Martin DB6 barn find and a 1987 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Zagato.
James Knight, Group Head and Managing Director of the Bonhams Motoring department comments, “I have known the Leyba family for many years and it is a privilege to handle such an historic car on their behalf. It is eligible – and a welcome entry I dare say – for pretty much every prestigious historic motoring event, from the Mille Miglia Retrospective to the Le Mans Classic. It will be one of the undoubted stars of the Aston Martin auction sale.”
[Source: Bonhams; photo credit, The Klementaski Collection]